23 Oct 2018

What to do after a house fire in Singapore




A house fire is a terrifying experience and will understandably be very stressful. Here is a list of what to do so you can get back to normal life as quickly as you can.






Take a deep breath, then contact your insurer

We know a lot just happened and it is hard to take everything in. But take a deep breath, calm yourself down and focus on the situation at hand. Contact your insurer as soon as you can. This way the claims process can begin as quickly as possible so you can start getting your life back to normal.

With MSIG‘s 24-hour Emergency Home Assist helpline, our customer service team will be able to advise you what to do next and forward your claim to the team.

Find a place to stay

A house fire can be extremely traumatic especially for children and pets. It is important to give your loved ones (as well as yourself!) some rest and comfort so that you can plan your next steps together.

If you are unable to find temporary lodging with a relative or a friend, try using a hotel booking app to look for alternative accommodation. Ensure the hotel has a 24-hour check-in desk, and that they can accommodate your pet (if you have any). You can search “pet-friendly hotels” for a start.

Fortunately, MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus covers alternative accommodation costs so you can rest easy that your lodging will be well taken care of.

Check your finances

Now that you have had time to calm down, the next thing to do is to limit your losses. Make a checklist of the things you have to pay for on a recurring basis. For example, call your internet and landline provider to see if they can suspend your service for a few months.

Keep the receipts and credit card statements of all the home services you paid for during the time your home is uninhabitable. This will make the claims process smoother.

MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus also covers conservancy charges during a home fire so do keep the receipts of all payments made. Note that you will still have to make payment for the conservancy charges first before making a claim with MSIG.

Save undamaged items, only when it is safe

We know it is tempting to start finding your most treasured possessions after a fire. However, a fire can cause your house structure to be severely weakened. You should wait for an all-clear directive from a relevant professional before heading in. After salvaging what you can, you will need the help of a professional debris-removal company to clear your home.

Add to that, you will need to get your home temporarily boarded-up to prevent pests and break-ins. This ensures your home does not suffer more damages than it already has. You can seek help from your neighborhood’s Resident Committee if you are unsure on how to do this.

Thankfully, MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus covers you for up to S$6,000 in debris removal fees as well as up to S$2,000 for temporary protection, so leave it to the professionals when you should! Your safety should be your utmost priority.

Did your fire cause damage to your neighbour's home? 

If your insurance policy covers personal liability, your neighbour will be able to claim from your insurer as well. Link them up with your insurer so that they can start their claims process too.

The importance of a personal liability cover in your home insurance policy cannot be emphasised enough. MSIG’s Enhanced HomePlus covers you for up to S$1,000,000 in personal liability, giving you maximum peace of mind.

Bonus tip 1: Document everything now

Before an unfortunate event happens to your home, keep an inventory and receipts of the items you have in your house. This is especially important for the big-ticket items that will be costly to replace. This way, you can ensure that you get a claim amount as close to your actual losses as possible.

There are plenty of home inventory apps and guides that you can find online. Take some time during a free weekend to take stock of the big-ticket items in your home. It helps too if you can take pictures or videos of the items and receipts.

Bonus tip 2: Get protected

In the unfortunate event of a house fire, MSIG’s comprehensive home insurance plan will come in handy. With Enhanced HomePlus, you are covered every step of the way. It is also easy to purchase a plan and make a claim with MSIG’s 24/7 customer portal.

Learn more about Enhanced HomePlus and get all your questions answered here!