While most of us think that travel insurance is not mandatory, not many people are familiar with the fact that having this insurance is compulsory while entering certain countries, and when staying more than 90 days in Schengen countries (comprising 26 European states). It is also compulsory to travel to countries such as Qatar, UAE, Cuba, and Turkey.
What is travel insurance?
It can be termed as a cover or protection that is offered for any travel inconveniences, emergencies, natural disasters, unforeseen circumstances, etc. While everyone hopes to have a comfortable journey, unprecedented mishaps can take a toll on your vacation or business trip. In such scenarios, having this insurance will give you the right protection you need.
Many of us travel across the globe and sometimes tend to ignore opting for a travel insurance policy assuming that it isn’t a worthy investment. However, having this insurance will help you save on your medical, accidental, baggage expenses that you might end up spending overseas in cases of any mishap or accident. If you haven’t purchased a travel insurance plan yet, getting one prior to your overseas trip would be a wise decision.
Types of travel insurance
There are two types of plans that are available:
- Single trip plans: You can opt for a single trip insurance when you are making fewer trips or travelling occasionally (once a year).
- Annual plans: If you are a frequent traveller, you can consider opting for an annual multi-trip travel policy. This does not require you to buy an insurance plan each time you are going for the trip.
Travel insurance can be bought by any individual from an insurance company. Most insurance companies will consider the following factors:
- You should be a Singapore citizen or a permanent resident.
- You should be at least 16 years old at the time of buying the insurance.
- You should have a valid employment pass or work permit.
- Your trip should start at Singapore.
- The travel insurance policy should be purchased before leaving Singapore.
Note: Some of the eligibility criteria may differ from one insurance company to another. Please visit the respective insurance websites for detailed information on this.
Here are benefits commonly associated while purchase an insurance plan:
- Travel delay/flight delay compensations
- 24-hour global support
- Accidental death benefit
- Disability benefit
- Medical expense cover
- Compensation provided for loss of laptops and other personal belongings, including credit and debit cards
- Medical evacuation benefits
- Compensation provided for your journey cancellation or delay
- Compensation offered for accommodation expenses incurred in case of emergency evacuation
- Baggage delay/baggage loss
Countries that require mandatory travel insurance
Travel insurance is considered mandatory while entering certain countries. These include Qatar, UAE, Cuba, and Turkey. If you already have an insurance plan, you can check the terms and conditions of the policy for detailed information on this.
Companies offering travel insurance in Singapore
- Tokio Marine
- Allianz Global Assistance
- Hong Leong Group
- American Express
Q. How do I choose a travel insurance plan as there are several insurance providers?
A. There are plenty of insurance providers with a variety of insurance plans. You will need to compare these plans online to decide on the plan you need. For instance, you can decide your insurance plan based on your budget, benefits, optional riders, etc.
Q. I am paying a high premium annually for my insurance plan. What is the use if I am not utilising any of these benefits?
A. A travel insurance plan will ensure your protection and give you the coverage you need for unprepared emergencies and events that could result in death, injuries, emergency evacuations, loss of luggage, delays while you are travelling abroad. If such incidents happen, you may end up spending a lot of money overseas for treatment or to make up for your loss. By having a comprehensive plan, you are always covered as the insurance company will bear the expenses for all the unprecedented hassles you undergo.
Q. How does the travel insurance claim process work?
A. In order to make a claim, you will need to download the claim form. This can be downloaded from the insurance company’s website. You will need to furnish the details of the claim, its occurrence, the loss incurred, and add the necessary documents, including proof of damages or delays. Please refer to the respective insurance website for detailed information on the claim procedure.
Q. How do I check the status of my claim?
A. You can dial the insurance hotline number available on the insurance website to obtain information about your claim. You can also email the customer service department of your insurance company to obtain the status of your claim. For information on the hotline numbers or email address, please visit the respective insurer’s website.
Q. I have a dispute with my insurance company. Where do I report it?
A. If you have already contacted your insurance company, but have not received any satisfactory resolution to your concern, you may contact FIDReC for a possible solution. FIDReC stands for Financial Industry Dispute Resolution Centre. It is an independent body in Singapore that resolves any disputes that may arise between a consumer and the financial institution.
Q. How would I know if my insurance policy needs renewal?
A. The policy tenure date or information would be mentioned in your policy. If the renewal date is nearer, you would receive a notification from your insurance company stating that your policy is due for renewal.
Q. My doctor in Singapore has asked me to undergo treatment overseas. Will I be covered for medical treatment?
A. No, you will not be covered for your medical treatment overseas if that is the specific reason why you are going abroad.
Q. Can I renew my policy online?
A. Most insurance policies in Singapore can be easily renewed online. Please visit your respective insurance website and click on ‘renew’. You will be required to input your details such as policy number, name, and other credentials while renewing your policy.