Some issues with buying insurance for maids

My experience with buying insurance coverage for maids has been an unhappy one (Better insurance coverage for foreign maids from Oct; May 8).

When employers hire a maid, they have to pay the full insurance premium, but are not refunded on a pro-rated basis if the maid leaves their employ within a few weeks or months.

When employers apply for another maid, they have to buy a fresh insurance policy and pay the full premium again.

Maid agencies are unable to explain why no refunds are available. They just say that it is the way things are done.

Other categories of insurance, such as motor vehicle and fire, calculate premiums on a pro-rated basis. Why can't the same be done with insurance for maids?

I also have a grouse about the conditions covered by the insurance policy.

Say, for example, a maid slips in the bathroom while taking a shower and suffers a deep gash on her forehead or a hairline fracture. She is taken to a government restructured hospital and is discharged after a few hours of observation.

In this case, there is no permanent disability or hospitalisation, so the costs of X-ray follow-ups, medicine and other medical expenses are all not claimable under the policy.

Additional coverage will need to be purchased to cover such accidents, which adds to the already hefty agency fees.

Bernadette Chow (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2017, with the headline 'Some issues with buying insurance for maids'. Print Edition | Subscribe