So, you have your checklist ready:
Change of clothes *tick*.
Visa *tick* (Phew! Just in time).
Flight tickets *tick*.
Travel Insurance *Oops*.
Wait, you forgot to get travel insurance? Let’s go into flashback mode here – you put travel insurance on your agenda somewhere before starting your preparations for your trip abroad. You even started your research but realized there are way too many options and you didn’t know how to choose the right travel insurance. You decided to put a pin on it for the time being and come back to it later. Now, coming back to the present, the “later” never came, did it?
Don’t panic, it’s never too late, especially when someone else has already done the research for you. Use this as your personal guide into the inner workings of travel insurance. Let’s go!
The mind boggling decision of choosing between Single Trip Cover, Annual Trip Cover or Annual Multi-Trip Cover
Let’s first understand the differences between all three:
Single Trip Cover – Ideal if you are going for one trip in a year which does not exceed 182 continuous days of travel. Your entire trip, starting and ending in Singapore will be covered.
Annual Trip Cover – This cover is similar to the Single Trip Cover, but it allows you to take more than one trip in a year. You will be covered on all your trips in a year that start and end in Singapore with up to 180 days of travel per trip.
Annual Multi-Trip Cover – If you are a frequent traveler (then it’s already a shame that you don’t have travel insurance yet), the Annual Multi-Trip Cover is more of a match for you than makeup is for Marilyn Manson. This travel insurance will provide you with coverage on all trips you take in a year. It allows you to take unlimited trips in a year up to a certain number of consecutive days per trip.
Quick options for consideration: Aviva Travel Insurance guarantees good deals on their premiums starting at S$1188. AXA Travel Insurance is offering a discount of 40% on their Annual Multi-Trip Covers and 50% on their Annual Single-Trip Covers.
Should you take a family travel insurance policy?
Are you treating your family to a vacation? Yes, what you are thinking is absolutely justified – paying for an entire vacation for your family is expensive enough and you did not factor in the cost for travel insurance. But let’s face it, if you do not ensure their safety with travel insurance, you are going to feel guilty and live in fear the whole trip. Now that’s just a waste of money, isn’t it?
That’s why travel insurance companies sell family travel insurance policies. The biggest advantage of family plans is that the premiums are much cheaper than buying individual policies for each member in the family. These policies also provide comprehensive cover for you, your spouse and your children.
Quick options for consideration: If you sign up as the main policyholder for the Family Policy offered by AIA Travel Insurance, your entire family will automatically be covered under it. AIG Travel Insurance plans offer “Family per Trip Plan” and “Family Annual Multi-Trip Plan” policies.
Sports and Activities Cover
What’s a trip without a little adventure, right? Many of us try out sports and other activities that we wouldn’t normally try in Singapore. Why? Because we’re on vacation! Did you know that if you choose the right travel insurance policy, you can be insured against numerous sports and activities? Such insurance policies offer coverage on sports equipment, adventurous activities and even cover leisure activities such as bungee jumping or parachuting.
Quick options for consideration: DBS Travel Insurance Standard and Premier Policies offer cover for adventure activities as well as sports activities including scuba diving, skiing, underwater sports etc. HSBC Travel Insurance offers cover for amateur sporting activities such as parachuting, skydiving and bungee jumping.
Cancellations, Delays and Loss
There are many things that can go wrong even before arriving at the first destination on your trip such as your flight being delayed or cancelled, your baggage being delayed or lost, and so on. If you are insured under the right travel insurance, you can recover from unforeseen mishaps and losses.
For instance, if your trip has been cancelled, you can recover the amount you spent on the trip. If your flight/baggage has been delayed for several hours, then your insurance policy will compensate you for such delays. Insurers in Singapore offer compensation for a minimum travel or baggage delay of 6 hours where you will receive S$100 per 6 hour delay and usually up to a maximum of S$1,000 (under a basic plan). You can get greater coverage if you apply for advanced cover. If you baggage has been lost, then you will be paid to reassemble the personal belongings in your suitcase.
Quick options for consideration: UOB Travel Insurance offers cover up to S$5,000 in case of trip delay, curtailment or cancellation. OCBC Travel Insurance offers a comprehensive cover for baggage loss up to S$7,500 (Ultimate Plan) including cover for laptop computer/tablet/netbook/spectacles/headphones etc .
Tip: If you have an FWD travel insurance, you can simply take a picture of your flight/baggage delay and send a WhatsApp message to your insurer for processing your claim.
All travel insurance policies offer medical cover to policyholders. You never know when you need medical attention and it can become nerve-racking especially in a foreign country, not knowing where to go and how much it costs. Your travel insurance can cover all medical expenses incurred while on the trip from medicine to hospitalization. It will also provide coverage and payouts for unfortunate accidents resulting in total permanent disability or death.
Medical cover is offered at varying levels and choosing an optimum one can be tricky. If you are a frequent traveler, it is advisable to get a comprehensive overseas medical cover such as those offered by Etiqa Business or FWD First that offers a cover up to S$1,000,000 as overseas medical coverage. Basic plans in Singapore usually offer cover of around S$500,000 to S$600,000.
Quick options for consideration: Tokio Marine Travel Insurance offers a comprehensive medical cover with no maximum age for medical cover under the Atlas Travel Travel Insurance plan. If you are below 70 years of age, you can get injury/illness cover up to S$1,000,000, if you are between 70 and 79 years old, you can get cover of S$50,000 or S$100,000 and if you are above 80 years old, you will get a cover of S$10,000. If you wish to secure your family in case your worst fears come true and want to leave something substantial for your family, Maybank Travel Insurance offers up to S$600,000 cover in case of your death or Total Permanent Disability.
Tip: If you are looking for an insurance policy that covers pre-existing medical conditions, try the NTUC Travel Insurance. It offers a one-of-a-kind medical plan that covers overseas medical expenses and evacuation caused due to pre-existing medical conditions that other insurers usually do not cover.
No matter which travel insurance you ultimately choose, there will be certain aspects that will not be covered under the policy. The exclusions could be certain dangerous activities, mental disorders, sexually transmitted infections/diseases etc. The exclusion could also be due to legal reasons such as travelling through restricted countries such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Liberia and so on. You need to read the fine print on your policy carefully to learn what aspects are and aren’t covered under your policy before you sign the contract and start paying the premiums.
Now that you have given due consideration to all aspects pertaining to travel insurance, you are ready to choose the right travel insurance for you. Remember, safety always comes first.
Do you always get travel insurance when you travel? Tell us in the comments!
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