Have you ever faced a situation when you are auto-included in the travel insurance policy of the airline at the time of booking tickets? This is a common grievance among many travellers who do not wish to be included in the travel insurance policy offered by the airline. Even though there is an option of opting out of the policy, many are not aware of it. How good are these travel insurance policies and how do they size up when matched with travel insurance policies bought directly from an insurer?
Here we will compare the benefits offered by travel insurance policies offered by four airlines: Jetstar, Scoot, Singapore Airlines, and AirAsia and how they stack up against MSIG’s travel insurance policy.
Overseas Medical Expenses
Most travel insurance policies offered by airlines do offer medical benefits while you are overseas, but the magnitude of the amount offered as the benefit will often be much lower than what you get with a standalone travel insurance policy. For instance, AirAsia offers an amount of only up to S$10,000 as medical benefits when you are overseas.
Jetstar and Scoot will offer an amount of up to S$50,000 as part of the accident and medical expenses incurred abroad. Only the policy offered by Singapore Airlines offers unlimited benefits for medical expenses incurred overseas.
With MSIG, you will be entitled to an amount of up to S$1 million for your overseas medical expenses.
A missed connecting flight is one of the claims that are quite frequently made by travellers. If you miss a flight because your incoming scheduled public transport arrived late at the transfer point outside Singapore, you will get up to S$200 per individual with MSIG. On the other hand, with Sccotsurance, you will have to get a written proof of the duration of the travel misconnection from the public transport operator. With AirAsia’s Tune Protect, you will get up to S$200.
Singapore Airlines and Jetstar insurance offer no benefit if you miss your flight. Which means that if your first flight is delayed and you happen to miss your connecting one, you won’t get compensated for it.
If you have opted for the travel insurance policy offered by the airline, you should better be on your best behaviour as some of them have limited benefits. For example, with AirAsia’s Tune Protect, you will not get any coverage if you are liable to pay for any damages caused to a third party.
With Singapore Airlines, you will get coverage against damage to property of third parties caused by your negligence and any other liability, but the amount you get will be based on the discretion of the company. With Scootsurance, you are entitled to an amount of up to S$350,000 as part of personal liability while it is up to S$1 million with Jetstar.
If you purchase an independent travel insurance policy by MSIG, you will be entitled to get up to S$1 million as personal liability abroad.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you will not get any benefit from the four airline plans. In fact, if you are afflicted with an illness during your trip, the insurer may even try and argue that it is due to your pre-existing condition. In contrast, with MSIG’s TravelEasy Pre-Ex, you will get coverage for all common medical conditions such as heart problems, cancer, asthma, and more. You will definitely have to pay more for the additional benefit, but it can be a lifesaver if you face any medical issue when you are away from home. Income’s standalone travel insurance policy also offers coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
You are likely to make a travel insurance claim when your flight is either cancelled or if it is delayed due to multiple reasons such as bad weather conditions, mechanical breakdown of the flight, and more. With MSIG, you will get coverage of up to S$15,000 if your flight is cancelled or if your trip is shortened for various reasons such as the closure of the airport, natural disasters, riots, epidemic, and more.
With Jetstar travel insurance which is underwritten by AIG, you will be eligible for a maximum amount of up to the total original cost of the Jetstar air ticket which will obviously be a lot less than S$15,000. The maximum amount that you are likely to get for any trip disruption claim is S$2,000.
Singapore Airlines’ Travel Guard by AIG is no different as the maximum that you are eligible to get is S$10,000 for any travel disruption. In fact, if you postpone or cancel your trip due to reasons like a death in the family or serious injury to yourself, you will only get the non-refundable Singapore Airlines ticket fare.
With Scootsurance, which is underwritten by AIG, you will only get up to S$800 if your trip is cancelled. This amount is valid for both one-way and two-way trips. You will also not get any benefit if you have purchased the policy less than three days before the start of your trip.
With AirAsia’s Tune Protect, there are numerous exclusions and the benefit amount which is only up to S$800 for travel inconveniences will only be offered under specific conditions. For example, if the delay is caused by a bomb threat or the airport staff going on strike, you will not get anything.
We often think that airline travel insurance would be more than enough, especially at first glance since you will find all the major benefits included. However, when you look closely and compare it with any standalone travel insurance policy, you may find the airline travel insurance wanting.