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Singapore - Insurance

There are several types of insurance policies available to the expat living in Singapore. Health, homeowner’s, and life insurance are all obtainable and reasonably priced.

Medisave is a part of the regulated government pension program and is funded from employees, central funds, and employers. It is similar to the United Kingdom’s National Insurance scheme. However, Singapore’s program covers not only health care but retirement as well. A “top up” insurance plan, called MediShield, is available as well. This is beneficial for certain medical conditions such as chronic diseases. It is often used for illnesses that Medisave might not cover.

Although there is a government healthcare program, individuals still find that they often need to pay expenses out of their own pockets and this can get pricey. As a result, buying private insurance can be valuable. You will find several medical insurance policies but not all of them are suited to expats. They can also be complicated so you’ll need to assess your medical needs to figure out which one is best for you. For instance, if you’re planning on starting a family in Singapore then having a policy that covers maternity benefits is important. You’ll also want to purchase it in advance since there is a standard 12-24 month waiting period for most policies before maternity services will take effect.

Some health insurance plans have a cashless billing system, which is convenient because you won’t have to submit an insurance claim. Premiums vary by company and policy but can start at around S$250 per year and go up to as much as S$20,000. If you need to save money then an insurance policy with a co-pay can be a cheaper option. Adding dental and maternity to the policy will usually make it more expensive, too.

For some healthcare costs, you can use your CPF fund if you have one. There is an application procedure to doing this, however, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. No matter which policy you choose, make sure it covers hospital stays, surgeries, and emergency procedures. A Shield Plan will cover these things while a Supplementary Plan will also cover the deductible and any co-insurance costs. Shield Plans are usually more expensive, although there isn’t much a difference between the two.

Life insurance is another choice that you will probably want to make when you’re in Singapore. Those who do not plan on being in Singapore for long and already have life insurance policies in their home countries might simply want to keep those up. However, permanent residents will probably want to get a policy in Singapore.

You can get either Term or Whole Life insurance policies and both offer their own advantages. The costs associated with the policies will depend on your age, health, and what coverage they offer.

Homeowner’s insurance is something you’ll definitely need if you are purchasing property. The same companies that offer life insurance policies also offer home insurance. Most of the policies include personal liability.

Fire insurance is inexpensive and covers the structure of the building (not the contents). If you stay in a HDB flat then fire insurance will be mandatory. Some banks will also require that you get fire insurance if you are taking out a mortgage.

You will want to ensure that your policy covers the contents of your home. Not only will you want to cover the building’s structure, but you’ll want to be able to afford to re-purchase any contents that were damaged in an accident.

Shopping around and comparing prices can save you money when you are looking at insurance policies. The rates aren’t as competitive as they can be in other countries, but you still might find a significant difference depending on what your needs are.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.