Freelancer insurance: A guide for gig economy workers in Singapore, Money News
From grab drivers and tutors to real estate agents and freelance designers, jobs are numerous in the freelance economy. Some are full-time freelance, others do this as a part-time job. Freelancing has also seen a boom behind Covid-19, leaving many people unemployed and turning to other ways to make money.
Types of Insurance Plans Freelancers Should Get
When it comes to getting protection from the curveballs that life could throw at us, freelancers are no different from employees. Here are some of the types of insurance that are critical to adequate coverage:
Health insurance, also known as health insurance, helps you cover your medical bills. In Singapore, we have MediShield Life, a national health insurance company that aims to protect Singaporeans and PRs from high hospital bills by helping pay for these costly outpatient treatments. You can get an Integrated Shield Plan (IP) to improve the coverage of your Medishield life plan.
Life insurance can help provide a flat rate for your loved ones after your death – especially important if you have loved ones or are the sole breadwinner of your family. For life insurance, you have the choice between term life insurance, life insurance or a mixture of both.
Critical Illness Insurance
If you are diagnosed with a covered critical illness such as cancer, heart attack and stroke, you will receive a lump sum payment. As a complement to your health insurance, health insurance plans can help cover lost income.
You can also add a personal accident or cancer insurance plan for more holistic coverage.
Employee 1: Freelancer 0
Freelancing has its own advantages: you can determine your own working hours and jobs that you accept. However, there are benefits an employee enjoys that a self-employed may not have.
One big difference is that employees receive a fixed salary that is paid out on a monthly basis. There could also be year-end and performance bonuses.
Freelancers, on the other hand, are subject to an income stream that is not fixed, regular, or guaranteed, although freelancers are able to secure their income for the coming months by working on longer term projects or building a recurring stream of freelance projects.
Freelancers also miss employers’ CPF dues. Singapore employers are required to pay CPF contributions for employees who are Singapore citizens or PRs. However, freelancers can still make voluntary contributions to their CPF.
Aside from income and CPF, freelancers also do not enjoy employee benefits such as:
- Medical Reimbursement: If you have worked for at least three months, your employer must reimburse you for medical consultation fees if your medical certificate (MC) was issued by a doctor from an approved public body or was appointed by your company.
- Paid outpatient sick leave or paid hospital stay: If you take paid outpatient sick leave or paid hospital leave, your employer must pay you your salary.
To support freelancers, a handful of insurers have insurance plans that are tailored to the self-employed and can help cover lost income due to illness.
Freelance Insurance That You Can Get In Singapore
|Insurance plan||Main advantage||Bonuses|
|MSIG Freelancer CashPlus||– Up to US $ 120 per day in cash for hospitalization – Up to US $ 120 per day in daily outpatient cash benefit||From $ 6.89 per week|
|Great Eastern’s great comprehensive care||– Up to $ 150 per day per day in hospital cash – Up to $ 150,000 for accidental death or TPD – Up to 12 video consultations with Doctor Anywhere.||Starting at $ 264 per year|
|Income’s Extended Medical Leave (PML) insurance for the self-employed||– Daily cash benefit for hospital stays of up to $ 80 per day – Cash benefit of up to $ 80 per day for non-hospital medical leave||Starts at $ 102.72 per year|
# 1 MSIG’s Freelance CashPlus
As a freelance income protection plan, applicants can choose between Basic or Elite Insurance to receive cash benefit if they are deemed unable to work due to injury or illness.
What it covers:
- Hospitalization Cash Benefit: Receive up to $ 120 per day (up to 60 days) after the first three days if you are in hospital and unable to work due to injury or illness
- Daily Outpatient Cash Benefit: After the first five days, receive up to $ 120 per day for every day of outpatient vacation (up to 21 days) if you are unable to work due to injury or illness
The maximum annual payment for hospital stays and outpatient cash benefits is limited to 60 days.
Eligibility Criteria: Self Employed (SEP) who are Singaporean or PR and are between 18 and 75 years old. You can only take out Freelancer CashPlus insurance.
Premiums: The premiums you pay depend on your occupational class, which determines your risk classification. It starts at $ 6.89 per week based on the basic plan for a freelancer between the ages of 18 and 30 who works indoors or in the office and does not do manual and usually administrative work. The plan also offers weekly, monthly, and yearly payment options for policies.
# 2 Great Easterns BIG comprehensive care
The GREAT Comprehensive Care offers hospitalization, death, or permanent disability (TPD) benefits while having free video consultations with a doctor.
What it covers:
- Daily Hospital Benefit: Up to $ 150 per day, up to 365 days per hospital stay. Get up to $ 30 per day upon admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) for up to 30 days per hospital stay.
- Death or TPD Benefit: Lump sum payment of up to $ 150,000 for Accidental Death or TPD; or $ 10,000 in death from Covid-19.
- Video Consultations: Up to 12 Doctor Anywhere video consultations to be shared with family members. Unused consultations can be converted into UPGREAT points.
Eligibility Criteria: Singaporeans, PRs and holders of a valid Employment Pass (EP holder or S-Pass holder) or dependent passport who are 17-65 years old and reside in Singapore can purchase this plan.
Rewards: The basic plan starts at $ 264 per year (equivalent to $ 0.73 per day) while the deluxe plan starts at $ 446 per year.
# 3 Income’s Extended Medical Leave (PML) insurance for the self-employed
What it covers:
- Daily Hospital Allowance: Up to $ 80 per day for each day you are hospitalized, including your subsequent hospital stay, limited to a total of 60 days per insurance year.
- Daily Non-Hospitalized Medical Leave Cash Benefit: After the eighth day of consecutive non-hospitalized medical leave, you can receive a daily cash benefit of up to USD 80 per day for a maximum of 14 days per insurance year.
Eligibility Criteria: You must be a Self Employed Person (SEP) who is a Singaporean or PR resident in Singapore and who is at least 21 years old at the time of application. Your coverage ends when you are 75 years old. Existing conditions are insured even after 12 months of uninterrupted coverage by this policy.
Premiums: The premiums are based on the age of the insured person on the last birthday and differ according to the age group under which you fall. Here are the annual premium rates for PML insurance from Income:
To summarize whether you are a freelancer, employee, or even unemployed, start your protection needs with the following basics:
- Best Integrated Protection Plans (IP)
- Best health insurance plans for critical illnesses
- Best cancer insurance plans
- Best personal accident insurance plans
- Best short and long term foundation plans