Revised Personal Accident Insurance Requirements for FDWs in Singapore to Come into Effect from October 2017

May 8, 20178:15 am531 views

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be making changes to the Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) requirements for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) with effect from October 1, 2017. This is to ensure that all FDWs continue to be adequately compensated, should they become permanently disabled or pass away during their employment in Singapore.

The minimum sum assured will be revised from $40,000 to $60,000. As PAI is meant to protect FDWs and their families from loss of income resulting in the death or permanent disability of FDWs due to accidents, this revision takes into account the increase in FDW’s median wages over the years, since the last review of PAI coverage in 2008.

This increase in coverage of $20,000 is expected to increase the annual premium by about $7 to $15.

Today, different insurers provide different coverage for PAI, with some insurers taking a narrower definition of accidents and imposing more exclusion. As a result, some FDWs receive compensation for certain accidents, while others may not, even though the circumstances and injuries are the same.

To ensure that all FDWs and their beneficiaries receive the same protection, MOM will require that PAI cover all sudden, unforeseen, and unexpected incidents that results in the death or permanent disability of the FDW.

See: CDE Singapore to Look into Issues Related to Salary, Insurance and Training for FDWs in the Region

Insurers will not be permitted to impose additional conditions, exceptions or exclusions except those specified by the Controller for Work Passes such as on pre-existing conditions and suicide.

The intent of PAI has always been to ensure that FDWs are protected throughout their employment in Singapore. To make this clear, we will specify that the period of PAI cover must be from the date the FDW first arrives in Singapore to the date the FDW returns to her country or, in the case where she is changing employers, to the date her new work permit is issued.

This change is in line with employers’ existing responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of their FDWs. Employers are responsible for the filing of claims with insurers for accidents covered under PAI. However, there may be cases where the employer is unable to file the claims.

Changes will be made to allow FDWs or their legal representatives to file claims directly with insurers. In addition, in the event the FDW or next of kin is unable to file the claims themselves, an MOM-appointed representative can also be directed to act on their behalf.

Employers will need to purchase PAI policies with the new requirements upon new application or renewal of FDW Work Permits from October 1, 2017.

Also read: New Shelter for FDWs in the Eastern Part of Singapore to Open in Q2 2017

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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