Last Updated on by Tree of Wealth
The Home Protection Scheme (HPS) is an insurance scheme that covers housing payments for HDB flats in Singapore in the case of the insured’s terminal illness (TI), total permanent disability (TPD), or death. In essence, those who are insured pay regular premiums, and in the event that any of the above has happened the insured’s family or relatives may make claims through the Home Protection Scheme to ensure that monthly housing payments are still met. This is an effort to ensure that families can continue to stay in their homes even if a homeowner is not able to pay for the monthly housing payments.
As it is an insurance scheme, like other health-related insurance schemes there is a need to declare your healthcare and medical history for the Home Protection Scheme board to evaluate you for the scheme. The short of it is that your approval for the Home Protection Scheme is subject to you being in good health, which is in line with most other healthcare insurance practices, and if you submit false information or misleading information the scheme may be unfortunately voided.
What will I need to declare?
You must completely and honestly answer the questions about your health conditions and may be asked to get a medical examination as well. In general, this includes any illnesses (past and present), any previous treatments that you had undertaken previously or plan on undertaking (including surgeries, treatments, tests), and any known physical or mental issues you may have. Err on the side of caution when you are declaring your health – better to disclose irrelevant information than to find the insurance being revoked for withholding information, especially if you are unsure of whether or not it is relevant.
As part of the process, you will also be meeting with an officer from the Housing and Development Board (if you are doing it through the HDB loan) or your applicable financial institution (if you are doing it through your bank loan) or your solicitor. They will advise you on how to fill out the forms as necessary as well. If needed, they will let you know if you are requested to go for a medical examination and whether a copy of the medical report is needed to process your application.
I have a serious medical condition. Do I qualify for HPS?
Unfortunately, those who have already been diagnosed with serious medical conditions such as cancers, strokes, kidney failure, etc. will not be eligible for the Home Protection Scheme.
If you are unsure of whether or not you qualify, you may speak with an officer from HDB or from your relevant financial institution to ask. You may also submit the application as per normal, although do note that it may not be approved in this case.
If you are ineligible for HPS, you are still able to make regular payments for your housing via CPF.
What happens if I did not declare my healthcare history accurately?
Regardless of whether it was intentional or not, if it is found that your healthcare history (at the time of application) was not reported accurately, your Home Protection Scheme coverage will be revoked. Any paid premiums will not be returned, and claims will not be considered as well. It is imperative that you declare your healthcare properly.
This, of course, does not apply to new conditions that may have arisen after your cover has been issued. As long as your declarations reflected your healthcare status truthfully at the point at which you submitted the application, it is fine.
In what cases do I need to provide an updated healthcare declaration?
There is a period between your application submission and the date on which the HPS cover is approved and issued to you. If you are diagnosed with a new health condition during this period, you will need to update your application via myCPF by selecting the ‘Apply for/Adjust HPS Cover’ option (form HPS/45). The application will be reviewed once again in light of this new information.
Additionally, you will also need to provide a new declaration of health if you adjusting the coverage of your Home Protection Scheme upwards – that is, if you are already signed up with the Home Protection Scheme and would like to increase the coverage (due to various reasons including increased payment amounts or changes in share coverage).
In this second case, the increase in coverage will be evaluated in light of your new healthcare coverage. If it is denied, you can continue with your existing coverage; the new healthcare declaration will not affect your previous coverage whatsoever.
Do I need to provide an updated healthcare declaration if I’m just porting the coverage?
Firstly, what does it mean to port your coverage?
In the case where you are selling your old HDB property and buying a new one and want to enroll in the Home Protection Scheme, you are generally requested to re-enroll in the HPS for the new property. This means a new application and yes, a new health declaration.
However, sometimes the new application is rejected as you are no longer eligible for coverage. In this case, you may want to port what is remaining of your old Home Protection Scheme coverage to the new property, and this is the scenario that we are discussing.
Do note that you can only port the prior cover if you have been rejected for the new application. Additionally, your prior HPS cover (the one you are trying to port) should have already been terminated due to the purchase of a new property. When these two conditions are fulfilled, you may apply to port the coverage of your Home Protection Scheme insurance.
The ported coverage will last for either the remainder of what was left on the coverage or the new cover period of your new property if it is less than what was left on the coverage. Similarly, the covered sum will either be the remainder of what was left on the coverage or the new sum for your new property if the latter is less than the first.
Either way, if you port your coverage you will not need to submit a new declaration, and the terms and conditions of your ported coverage will still apply as well.