TIP OF THE DAY
“Your travel plans: If you are travelling for adventure and are planning to indulge in some risky sports activities, such as trekking and skydiving, make sure your travel policy covers injuries/death resulting from such activities. Depending on where you are travelling to, medical treatment in an overseas hospital can cost you thousands of dollars.”
To understand what travel insurance is, let’s first understand what it is not – Buying travel insurance does not prevent you from getting into travel related problems. What travel insurance can offer is cover and compensation if or when travel troubles find you. This cover offered by travel insurance is mainly in the form of monetary aid to reduce the financial impact of the inconvenience caused to you while on your trip. Travel insurance is similar to other types of insurance in the sense that they offer cover to a certain limit that is decided depending on the type of policy you have chosen. This cover, however, is offered on a plethora of travel inconveniences.
When traveling abroad, it is common to feel vulnerable, both emotionally as well as physically. Travel delays, baggage loss/delays or illness or accidents can take a toll on your physical as well as mental health. Even though this insurance cannot prevent them from happening, it can surely help you overcome them and provide some solace during such difficult times.
No matter what kind of journey you are going on, travel in itself carries some amount of risk and an insurance cover is the perfect solution to protect yourself from those risks. So let’s discover what travel insurance in Singapore offers.
Compare Travel Insurance Plans
|Agency||Plans||Trip Cancellation (S$)||Trip Interruption (S$)||Travel Delay (S$)||Lost Luggage (S$)||Medical Evacuation (S$)||Death (S$)||Personal Liability (S$)||Terrorism Cover (S$)|
|NTUC||Single and Annual||5,000 – 15,000||1,000 – 3,000||1,000 – 2,000||3,000 – 8,000||250,000 – 350,000||150,000 - 500,000||500,000 – 1 million||150,000 – 500,000|
|MSIG||Single and Annual||5,000 – 15,000||1,000 – 3,000||100 Maximum: 500 – 1,500||3,000 – 7,500||500,000 – 1 million||150,000 – 500,000||500,000 – 1 million||150,000 – 500,000|
|FWD||Single and Annual||7,500 – 15000||7,500 – 15,000||300 – 1,000||3,000 -7,500||Unlimited||200,000 – 400,000||500,000 – 1 million||-|
|AXA||Single and Annual||6,000 – 12,000||10,000 – 20,000||1,000 -2,000||5,000 -10,000||Unlimited||250,000 – 500,000||500,000 – 1 million||Covered|
|The Wise Traveller||Annual||10,500||10,500||1,000||5,000||Unlimited||208,0000||1 million||-|
|AIA||Single and Annual||5,000 -15,000||5,000 – 15,000||1,000||3,000 -8,000||500,000 – As charged||150,000 – 500,000||1 million||Covered|
|Aviva||Single and Annual||5,000 – 20,000||3,000 – 15,000||1,000 -3,000||3,000 – 8,000||250,000 – Unlimited||50,000 – 500,000||250,000 – 2 million||50,000 – 500,000|
|DBS||Single and Annual||5,000 – 15,000||5,000 – 15,000||Maximum: 1,200 – 2,000||3,000 – 8,000||1 million||150,000 – 500,000||500,000 – 1 million||150,000 – 500,000|
|OCBC||Single and Annual||5,000 – 15,000||1,500 – 4,000||Maximum: 800 – 2,000||3,000 – 7,500||1 million||150,000 – 1 million||500,000 – 1 million||100,000|
|Maybank||Single and Annual||15,000 – 20,000||15,000 – 20,000||500 – 1,000||5,000||1 million||300,000 – 600,000||1 million||300,000 – 600,000|
|AIG||Single||5,000 – 15,000||5,000 – 15,000||200 – 3,000||3,000 – 10,000||50,000 - Unlimited||100,000 – 300,000||500,000 – 1 million||-|
|CIMB||Single and Annual||5,000 – 15,000||5,000 – 15,000||1,000||3,000 – 8,000||600,000 - Unlimited||150,000 – 500,000||1 million||250,000 – 500,000|
|POSB||Single and Annual||5,000 – 15,000||1,000 – 2,500||Maximum: 1,200 – 2,000||3,000 – 8,000||1 million||150,000 – 500,000||500,000 – 1 million||150,000 – 500,000|
|HL Assurance||Single and Annual||5,000 – 12,000||3,000 – 8,000||Maximum of 1,000||3,000 – 7,000||Unlimited||200,000 – 300,000||500,000 – 1 million||-|
Why Do You Need Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is one of the most popular products searched for by Singaporeans and one that is applied for the most before embarking on a trip, but why? In 2015, ACE Travel Insurance Limited conducted a survey to reveal the top mishaps that Singaporeans experience when on a trip abroad. This survey revealed that 78% of the respondents of the survey have had travel accidents. It then comes as no surprise that 1 in 4 respondents also claimed to have regretted not purchasing a travel insurance policy before taking a trip.
Here are the top 3 travel mishaps that were reported by the respondents:
- 19% reported loss of baggage.
- 39% fell ill while on their trip.
- 54% experienced flight delays.
Anyone who knows anything about travel insurance can tell you that even a basic insurance policy covers all of the inconveniences listed above. However, the most striking revelation that came out of this survey was that 70% of consumers below 30 years of age purchase their travel insurance online.
This shows that increasing number of Singaporeans are getting travel insurance policies before their trips and they’re doing it online due to convenience and easy access.
Features and Benefits of Buying Travel Insurance
- Flight Delays and Diversions:
For whatever reason your flight has been delayed, if you have insurance, it will offer monetary compensation for the hours that you are stranded at the airport. Flight delay and diversion compensations are usually offered in Singapore starting from 4 hours and up to 8 hours of diversion/delays.
- Medical Coverage:
If you fall ill while traveling and require medical assistance, your insurance policy will cover the expenses of your medical care when overseas up to the predetermined cover specified in your policy. Depending on the policy you have chosen, you can get medical coverage up to S$1 million for your overseas care. This includes emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, post hospitalization benefits and more.
- Trip Cancellation:
If for some reason you have booked your flight tickets for your trip but need to cancel it, your insurance cover will reimburse the non-refundable amount you paid for your tickets. Valid reasons must be provided to your insurer before you claim for trip cancellation compensation. But, if you have purchased a comprehensive insurance cover, you may be able to cancel your trip and seek refund without having to provide a valid reason for the same.
- Baggage delay and/or loss:
If you have landed safely but your checked baggage has not, you can seek compensation for your baggage delay and/or loss under your insurance cover. In case of baggage loss, you can get reimbursement for your clothes, shoes, bags, etc. It also includes expensive gadgets like headphones, mobile phones, laptops and so on. Travel insurance policies in Singapore on an average offer compensation up to S$500 per article with a cap of up to S$10,000 for baggage loss. With baggage delay, a compensation ranging between S$100 and S$200 may be offered per 6 to 8 hour delay.
- Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) and accidental death cover:
In an event of your Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) or accidental death while on the trip, your travel insurance policy will offer a lump sum payout to your nominee/legal heirs after your demise. Depending on the type of policy and cover chosen by you, the cover for TPD and accidental death on an average ranges between S$150,000 and S$500,000 in Singapore.
The aforementioned are the key features offered under travel insurance policies in Singapore. Additional features and benefits such as trip curtailment, emergency cash cover, rental vehicle cover, ID Theft protection, cover to replace important documents, etc. may be available.
Types of Travel Insurance and Coverage Plans
- Single Trip Plan – The travel insurance policy purchased will be valid for a single trip only. There will be a limit on the duration of the trip. Usually, single trip plans in Singapore are covered for a duration of up to 182 days.
- Annual Multi-Trip Plan – Under this plan, multiple trips within a year will be covered. However, there will an upper limit on the number of days for the trips taken in a year. Plans in Singapore offer coverage for up to 90 days per trip.
- Individual and Family Plans – Individual plans cover only 1 person under a travel insurance policy. Family plans offer cover for all immediate members of the family including the primary policyholder, their spouse and children.
- Student Travel Insurance – Student travel insurance policies typically cover students who are going overseas for studies. Such plans offer coverage for tuition fee, hospital visits, personal belongings, emergency assistance and so on.
- Corporate Travel Insurance – Corporate travel insurance plans are meant to cover business travels embarked on by employees. Corporate travel insurance plans in Singapore are usually group plans that offer comprehensive protection such as extended cover, post hospitalization benefits, terrorism cover, etc.
Travel Insurance Promotions in Singapore 2018
There are several banks and financial institutions that provide Singaporeans with travel insurance options. The most common options include single trip insurance options and annual trip options. While single trip options hold good for just one trip and can cover your entire family, annual plans in most cases cover the individual and are most suitable for frequent flyers. Let’s take a look at some exciting travel promotions offered by various insurance providers in Singapore.
OCBC Travel Insurance Promotion
OCBC provides both single trip and annual trip plans and offers discounts on both plans. Let’s take a look:
Single Trip Promotion
Make your travel reservations and choose OCBC Explorer for your single trip plans to get a concession of 50%. The promotional offer is valid till June 30 2018.
Annual Trip Promotion
Purchase the annual trip plan before June 30 2018 and receive a 25% discount on your premium.
Note: You can purchase an Explorer Single Trip plan up to 180 days prior to your date of travel. Special child coverages are also applicable under the plans. The insurance is available to Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and foreigners with an Employment Pass and a Work Permit.
Here you can learn more about OCBC Travel Insurance
How to File a Claim on Your Travel Insurance
The steps involved to make a claim is pretty straightforward if you have all the documents ready.
- Before you file a claim, it is always useful to check your policy document first and see if you are eligible to file the claim and how much compensation you will be getting.
- Most insurers in Singapore require you to file a claim within 30 days of the incident for which you are claiming your cover. So make sure you file your claim within this period.
- You will need to then fill in a claim form. This form is usually available online on the insurer’s website. So you can fill-up this form without having to go down to their branch office.
- You will need to provide supporting documents when seeking compensation under your policy cover. You must keep all the documents ready for submitting your claim. Here are some examples of documents required when filing specific types of claims:
- Passport with the departure date stamp and return stamp, flight tickets and boarding pass are standard documents that you need to submit no matter what type of claim you are filing.
- For a medical claim, you will need to provide all hospital receipts, discharge summary, diagnosis report, etc.
- A police report must be filed and submitted in case of an accident and loss of valuable items due to baggage loss.
- For a death claim, a death certificate and proof of relationship to the policyholder must be submitted.
- Depending on the type of claim, you can scan all the necessary documents and upload your claim form online or you may have to post the form along with the documents to the insurer’s physical address.
- It is advisable to keep a copy of the claim form and all the documents submitted for your personal reference.
Insurers usually take between 10 working days and a month to settle claims.
Which Travel Insurance is Right for You?
Given that you are spoilt for choices when it comes to travel insurance in Singapore, making the decision can be tricky. But to determine the best plan for you, you must consider the following:
- Do you require a basic cover or a comprehensive one?
Frequent travellers and/or those prone to illness when travelling should opt for a comprehensive cover with enhanced medical benefits and travel inconvenience covers to minimize financial risk on their journeys.
- Do you know what type of cover you need?
Your type of trip will determine which travel insurance plan you should get. For instance, if you are studying abroad for a semester, you should get a student travel insurance. If you travel frequently in a year, you should get an annual multi-trip plan or if this is just a one off trip, then you should get a single trip plan and so on.
- Are you traveling with your family?
If you are traveling with your immediate family, you should consider a family plan rather than buy individual policies for all members in your family. This is because family plans are cheaper, they require less paperwork and one policy will cover all members.
- What does your itinerary look like?
Are you going to participate in adventurous sports such as skydiving or bungee jumping or even take in a game of golf with your own equipment? In such cases, you should get a policy that offers additional riders or cover for injuries/accidents arising out of adventure sports or provide compensation for loss of/damage to your sports equipment.
- Do you have any pre-existing conditions?
This is particularly important because most travel insurance plans do not provide cover for pre-existing conditions. You might either have to opt for a pre-existing condition rider for your basic policy or get an enhanced policy that covers such conditions.
Your job doesn’t end with deciding the right travel insurance policy, there are several factors you need to consider before you actually go out there and buy the insurance. Here are a few pointers for your consideration:
- Is the coverage adequate? Travel insurance policies vary depending on type of cover and amount of cover offered under each category such as personal accident, medical expenses, travel inconveniences, etc. So you need to decide how much cover will be sufficient for you.
- When are you planning to buy your travel insurance policy? It is advisable to buy your policy as soon as you finalize your travel plans. Travel insurance policies come with some striking benefits such as reimbursement of the non-refundable portion of your flight tickets in case you have to cancel your trip or the airline cancelled your flight tickets and so on. However, to enjoy all the comprehensive benefits offered, you must apply for your policy sooner than later.
- Medical cover – This cover is particularly of importance because medical expenses in foreign countries are usually quite expensive. Your medical cover should be enough to take care of all eligible expenses as well as offer a good sum assured to your family in case of your untimely demise. Also, in case of emergency medical evacuation which is very expensive, if you have extensive cover, you will be well taken care of.
- Quality of service triumphs over price – This is not a sale at Zara where the only aspect you’re looking for is how pretty the dress is, so don’t only look at the price of the policy. A travel insurance policy can literally be your lifesaver when you’re in no control of your fate. So, look for a policy and an insurer who values quality of service with extensive assistance.
- Online applications of insurance policies - The ACE Travel Insurance survey that was conducted in 2015 (that was previously mentioned) had a striking revelation that 70% of consumers below 30 years of age purchased their travel insurance online. Leading insurers in Singapore are offering online application services so customers can apply from the comfort of their home. You can purchase your policy from a reputed insurer directly on their website, conveniently and hassle-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When does the travel insurance cover start and end?
A. Usually, travel insurance cover starts when you leave Singapore from your home/workplace and ends when you return to Singapore. The insurance policy might still be in effect for a few hours after you have reached Singapore (not just the airport but until you safely reach home).
Q. Should I purchase travel insurance before or after I plan my trip?
A. It is advisable to purchase after you plan your trip because you will have a better idea of what type of policy to get and how much cover will be sufficient for you. However, you should purchase your policy before you start your trip to get all the benefits of the policy.
Q. Can I extend my policy when overseas?
A. This will depend on the insurer who can choose to accept or reject your extension on a case-to-case basis.
Q. Are foreigners eligible to apply for travel insurance in Singapore?
A. Yes, foreigners are eligible to apply for travel insurance if they have a valid employment pass or student pass and if their journey starts and ends in Singapore.
Q. How many members does a family travel insurance plan cover?
A. Family travel insurance plan usually covers you, your spouse and up to 2 children. However, there are plans in Singapore that cover unlimited number of legal children.