It is important for any person to purchase insurance which is able to protect the well-being and income of the buyer of the insurance. Suitable insurance plans provide adequate coverage for one’s property, home, and other important material possessions. Other forms of insurance which also exist include life, health, and travel insurance. In Singapore, all insurance plans can be divided into two categories: local insurance plans and international insurance plans. Due to the nature of such plans, many foreigners who live in Singapore today are insured by an international insurance plan. Foreigners who live in Singapore and have a valid visa are also eligible to be covered by local insurance; nevertheless, many such foreigners prefer to utilize international insurance because of the many associated benefits.
How Foreigners May Purchase International Insurance in Singapore
Foreigners who are interested in purchasing international insurance in Singapore may do so from either a local insurance provider or an insurer which is not based in Singapore. Certain local insurance providers in Singapore offer plans for international insurance alongside their local insurance plans. Foreigners who choose to purchase international insurance from such insurance providers are to state the fact that they are seeking international rather than local insurance before making the purchase. Foreigners may also choose to purchase international insurance from an insurer which is not based in Singapore. Many such insurers allow insurance plans to be purchased online by those who are not living in Singapore.
How International Insurance in Singapore Compares to Local Insurance
There are several important differences between international and local insurance plans which may be purchased in Singapore. International insurance typically provides coverage in multiple parts of the world; some forms of international insurance even provide global coverage. It is possible to use local insurance abroad; however, such is not the primary purpose of local insurance. Local insurance provides its purchaser with additional coverage within Singaporean borders because local insurance is primarily intended to protect its buyer inside Singapore. Furthermore, although some forms of local insurance include insurance coverage abroad, such insurance coverage is limited to what is deemed acceptable according to the healthcare costs of Singapore and may only be used during emergencies.
International insurance in Singapore allows its purchaser to select any desired deductible. Some who have purchased international insurance might alternatively prefer to pay a premium at a higher rate than the usual. Those who do so will not be required to pay any deductible. Local insurance, however, is always accompanied by a deductible unless the purchaser buys an add-on which covers the cost of the deductible.
Foreigners who choose to purchase international insurance may select one of multiple co-payment amounts. They might also choose to pay a premium at a higher rate; doing so would ensure that they would not have to pay any amount of co-insurance. Conversely, local insurance plans always includes a co-payment portion which is at a minimum of a 5% rate. The 5% rate was determined by the Ministry of Health to prevent the misuse of insurance by doctors as well as patients. Every local insurance provider in Singapore is to use this 5% rate. However, those who purchase local insurance may opt to buy an add-on which will have the effect of limiting the maximum value of annual co-payment amounts to be paid.
Validity details of international insurance plans often differ, but most of them continue to be valid even after the purchaser leaves Singapore to live in another country. In the case of local insurance plans, any insurance plan which has been purchased in Singapore continues to remain valid unless its purchaser has failed to make necessary payments related to these insurance plans.
Foreigners who intend to have children while living in Singapore should take note of the fact that international insurance plans usually provide add-ons for maternity charges and also cover the costs of childbirth. Basic international insurance plans also cover most health complications which may arise during one’s pregnancy. This represents a key advantage inherent to international insurance which does not apply to local insurance. Most basic maternity and childbirth charges are not covered by local insurance plans.
On a related note, if you are a foreigner who has made a plan to relocate to Singapore and eventually work there, we at Paul Hype Page & Co can assist you in causing that plan to come to fruition. We will work with you so that you will receive a coveted Employment Pass (EP). Once you have received your Employment Pass, you will have taken a significant step towards moving to and working in Singapore. At this point, you may begin considering which insurance plans available in Singapore you believe are most suitable for your current life situation and work towards purchasing such insurance plans.
Thus, it has been shown that international and local insurance plans alike each have specific reasons as to why they should be purchased. Insurance, whether international or local, should be purchased by every foreigner living in Singapore who can afford it. However, it should also be noted that not every international insurance plan in Singapore provides every one of the benefits which have been mentioned.