The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will be making changes to the Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) requirements for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) with effect from 1 Oct 2017. This is to ensure that all FDWs continue to be adequately compensated should they become permanently disabled or passes away during their employment in Singapore. The key changes are as follows:
a) Revise the Minimum Sum Assured to $60,000
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 premiums by about $7 to $15.
b) Define the Coverage of PAI
Today, different insurers provide different coverage for PAI, with some insurers taking a narrower definition of accidents and imposing more exclusions. 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. 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.
c) Clarify the Period of Insurance Cover
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.
d) Allow FDWs and their Legal Representatives to File Claims
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 1 Oct 2017. Further details on the PAI requirement will be sent to employers and Employment Agencies of FDWs. More information will also be available on the Ministry's website.
Source information taken from https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2017/0507-changes-to-pai-for-fdws