What is travel insurance?
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 chosen by you. 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 travel insurance cannot prevent them from happening, it can surely help you overcome them and provide some solace during such trying times.
No matter what kind of journey you are going on, travel in itself carries some amount of risk and a travel insurance is the perfect solution to protect yourself from those risks. So let’s discover what travel insurance in Singapore offers.
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 related mishaps. 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 travel 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:
- Medical Coverage:
- Trip Cancellation:
- Baggage delay and/or loss:
- Total Permanent Disability (TPD) and Accidental death cover:
For whatever reason your flight has been delayed, if you have travel 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.
If on your travel you fall ill and require medical assistance, your travel insurance 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.
If for some reason you have booked your flight tickets for your trip but need to cancel it, your travel insurance cover will reimburse the non-refundable amount you paid for your tickets. Usually, valid reasons must be provided to your insurer before you claim for trip cancellation compensation. But, if you have purchased a comprehensive travel insurance cover, you may be able to cancel your trip and seek refund without having to provide a valid reason for the same.
If you have landed safely but your checked baggage has not, you can seek compensation for your baggage delay and/or loss under your travel 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.
In an event of your Total Permanent Disability (TPD) or accidental death while on your 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 2017
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.
DBS Travel Insurance Promotion
The DBS Travel Insurance product is called TravellerShield. It comes with both single trip and annual trip plan options.
Single Trip Promotion
Apply for the single trip plan before 31 December 2017 and enjoy a discount of 50% on the premium. You will also receive a complimentary foldable travel bag if the minimum insurance premium, after discount, exceeds S$60.
Annual Trip Promotion
Apply for the annual trip plan before 31 December 2017 and enjoy a 15% discount on the premium. You will also receive a Targus bag worth S$109 along with the discount on the premium.
Here you can learn more about DBS Travel Insurance
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 31 December 2017.
Annual Trip Promotion
Purchase the annual trip plan before 31 December 2017 and receive a 25% discount on your premium.
Note: You can purchase the travel insurance 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
Best Travel Insurances in Singapore
Here are some of the top plans offered by travel insurance companies in Singapore:
|Agency||Trip Cancellation||Trip Interruption||Travel Delay||Lost Luggage||Medical Evacuation||Death||Personal Liability||Terrorism Cover||Single Trip Plans||Annual Trip Plans|
|NTUC||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$2,000||Up to S$8,000||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||YES||YES|
|AIA||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$15,000||S$1,000||Up to S$8,000||As charged||Up to S$500,000||Up to S$1 million||Available||YES||YES|
|AXA||Up to S$12,000||Up to S$2,000||Up to S$2,000||Up to S$10,000||Unlimited||Up to S$500,000||Up to S$1 million||Full terrorism cover||YES||YES|
|MSIG||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$1,500||Up to S$7,500||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||YES||YES|
|DBS||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$2,500||Up to S$2,000||Up to S$8,000||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||YES||YES|
|Aviva||Up to S$20,000||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$8,000||Unlimited||Up to S$500,000||Up to S$2 million||Up to S$500,000||YES||YES|
|OCBC||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$4,000||Up to S$2,000||Up to S$7,500||S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||Up to S$1 million||S$100,000||YES||YES|
|MayBank||Up to S$20,000||Not Applicable||Up to S$1,600||Up to S$5,000||Starting from S$1 million up to Unlimited cover||Up to S$600,000||Up to S$1 million||Up to S$600,000||YES||YES|
|AIG||Up to S$15,000||Not Applicable||Up to S$3,000||Up to S$10,000||Starting from S$500,000 up to Unlimited||Up to S$300,000||S$1 million||Available||YES||YES|
|CIMB||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$15,000||Up to S$2,000||Up to S$8,000||Starting from S$600,000 up to Unlimited||Up to S$500,000||S$1 million||Up to S$500,000||YES||YES|
How to claim your travel insurance
The steps involved to claim your travel insurance 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 choice when it comes to travel insurance in Singapore, making the decision can be tricky. But to determine the best travel insurance plan for you, you must consider the following:
- Do you require a basic cover or a comprehensive one? Frequent travelers 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 travel insurance 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 travel insurance or if this is just a one off trip, then you should get a single trip travel insurance 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 travel insurance 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 policies 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.
Things to consider before buying travel insurance
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 travel insurance 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 travel insurance policy sooner rather 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 life saver 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.
General Travel Insurance Exclusions
Although every travel insurance policy is unique and come with their own set of exceptions or exclusions to the policy, here are some general exclusions of travel insurance policies in Singapore:
- Self-inflicted injuries or suicide/attempted suicide are not covered.
- STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) such as AIDS or HIV are not covered.
- Mental disorders are not covered.
- When the insurer travels to or through certain countries such as Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Syria or Sudan, the travel insurance policy will not be applicable.
- If the insured is engaging in air force, military or naval service, the insurance will not apply.
- Basic travel insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions.
- Loss or damage arising due to radioactivity or sonic bangs are not covered.
- Loss or damage due to manual work is usually not covered under travel insurance policies.
- Injury, loss or damage arising under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs are not covered under travel insurance policies.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When does the travel insurance cover start and end?
- Should I purchase travel insurance before or after I plan my trip?
- Can I extend my travel insurance policy when overseas?
- Are foreigners eligible to apply for travel insurance in Singapore?
- How many members does a family travel insurance plan cover?
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).
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.
This will depend on the insurer who can choose to accept or reject your extension on a case-to-case basis.
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.
Family travel insurance plan usually covers the policyholder, their spouse and up to 2 children. However, there are plans in Singapore that cover unlimited number of legal children of the policyholder.
News About Travel Insurance Singapore
ERGO Launches Comprehensive Travel Insurance Product
ERGO recently announced its entry into the Singapore insurance market with the launch of its travel insurance product - TravelProtect. It has been particularly envisaged to meet business and leisure travel requirements of both the young and veteran populace. The comprehensive insurance product is perfectly designed and conceived to address potential travel risks encountered by frequent and occasional travellers - before, after and during the trip. Citing critical insights derived from its group company ERV, the popular insurance provider concluded that present day Singaporean travellers required a concrete travel insurance plan that address wide-ranging concerns. TravelProtect has several impressive features that suit unique and individual travel needs of travellers - for instance, whether the traveller needs an insurance cover on a rental car abroad or a sports protection, ERGO has the right benefits to offer. Currently, with four comprehensive insurance plans and a medical insurance cover of anywhere between SGD 25,000 to SGD 1.5 million, TravelProtect offers just the right choices for a hassle-free, seamless and uninterrupted business or holiday trip.
13th October 2016
CIMB Bank and Sompo Insurance to distribute non-life insurance products
CIMB and Sompo have tied up a deal to distribute travel and motor insurance. CIMB Bank will market and distribute the products to its 300,000 and growing customers. The products will be distributed via the branches and online. The bank is expecting 70% growth in its bancassurance over the next 3 years. Sompo is expecting the premiums generated through this partnership to quadruple by the year 2020.
14th September 2016
Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns Singaporeans to take Necessary Precautions when travelling to Belgium
Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the MFA has posted a travel notice on its website on July 19, 2016 urging Singaporeans to take all necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety when staying in or travelling to Belgium. It has mentioned that Singaporeans should avoid or stay vigilant in areas where police operations are ongoing, public gatherings and crowded places. MFA has also urged Singaporeans to purchase travel insurance and familiarize themselves with the Terms & Conditions of their policies.
The National Terrorism Threat in Belgium continuous to remain 3 out of 4, meaning the threat is still probable and significant. The Belgium police caught 12 suspects last month during a massive anti-terror raid. These suspects sought to attack prominent areas in Brussels during football matches on the weekends. The country is on an even higher alert since the truck attack in Nice, France on Bastille Day.
21st July 2016
OCBC Explorer Travel Insurance Promotion
Runtime – This is an ongoing promotional offer.
Particulars – You can enjoy discounts of up to 50% on the Single Trip Plans when you choose to make the payments using OCBC credit cards, debit cards or Online Banking.
Avail a discount of up to 25% on the Annual Plans when you make the payments using OCBC credit cards, debit cards or Online Banking.
Terms and Conditions – Please get in touch with the Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation to know more about the terms and conditions of this particular promotional offer.
MFA asks Singaporeans to be vigilant when travelling abroad
Because of terrorist attacks in different parts of the world, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has asked Singaporeans to stay vigilant when they are abroad and has requested them to register with the consulates. MFA also requested travellers to be aware of the local events taking place in their surrounding areas all the time. It asked travellers to ignore places with large gatherings and ones that are famous for demonstrations. It advised them to take all precautions for personal safety and be alert, follow instructions given by local authorities during emergency, buy a travel insurance and read all terms and conditions, stay in touch with relatives, etc. Singaporeans who are traveling abroad should eRegister themselves so that MFA can contact them, if required.
10th July 2016
NTUC Wanderlust Promotion
Run Time – This offer is valid from 1st to 30 July, 2016.
Particulars – Get insurance policy from NTUC Income for your holidays and get a chance to win Singapore Airlines couple tickets to Hong Kong.
Terms and Conditions:
- You will win tickets only if you spend minimum $80 in one transaction (after discounts) on Travel Insurance.
- Customers must apply for any NTUC Income’s Travel Insurance Classic or Deluxe single trip plan, Classic or Deluxe yearly plan, Enhanced Prex single trip plan or TravelBliss Per Trip and Annual plan.
American Express VoyageGuard Travel Insurance Promotion
Runtime – This is an ongoing promotional offer.
Particulars – Enjoy savings of 30 percent on the Essential Single Trip Plans. Avail savings of 35 percent on Standard Single Trip Plans and Superior Single Trip Plans.
Avail shopping voucher worth SGD 50 with the Essential Multi-Trip Plans.
Terms and Conditions – Please, get in touch with American Express to know more about the terms and conditions of this particular promotional offer.
OCBC Explorer Travel Insurance Promotion
Runtime: This is an ongoing promotional offer.
Particulars: On Explorer single trip insurance plans with OCBC cards, you can avail a discount of 30 percent. On the annual plans of Explorer Travel Insurance, you can enjoy 20 percent discount. Using any other OCBC debit card, credit card or online banking can fetch an additional discount of 5 percent.
Terms and Conditions: Please, get in touch with the bank to know more about the terms and conditions of this particular promotional offer.
CIMB Travel Guard Promotion
Runtime: This is an ongoing promotional offer. It will continue till 30th June, 2016.
Particulars: Avail a discount of 50 percent on your travel guard insurance scheme. The scheme allows you to enjoy several benefits like 24 hour assistance. Medical coverage of up to SGD 2, 000,000 when you are overseas, etc.
Terms and Conditions: Please, contact CIMB Bank to know more about the terms and conditions of this particular promotional offer.
OCBC Travel Insurance (Explorer) Promotion
•Single Trip Plans – This is an ongoing promotion that started on 14th December, 2015 and will expire on 18th December, 2015.
•Annual Plans – This promotion started on 22nd October, 2015 and will expire on 21st December, 2015.
•Avail a discount of 50% when you purchase Single Trip plans between 14 – 18 December, 2015 (both dates are included)
•Avail a discount of 20% when you purchase Annual Plans between up to 21st, December, 2015
•Avail an additional 5% discount on the promotional price of the Annual Plan when you purchase it using any OCBC Debit or Credit Card.
Applying for the OCBC Travel Insurance (Explorer) Promotion
•You can apply for this promotion via Great Eastern.
•You can download and login to the OCBC Mobile Banking App and apply for this promotion.
•You can contact OCBC bank via telephone on weekdays between 9 AM and 5 30 PM and apply for this promotion.
Terms and Conditions
•No other offers or discounts can be applied on this promotion with an exception of the additional 5% discount on the Annual Plans.
•For further details on this promotion or for more information on the Terms and Conditions, feel free to contact OCBC bank.