Lifestyle

Understanding Travel Insurance

  • December 25, 2018
  • 2 minutes read

When travelling, having a good time is no doubt your main preoccupation. But at the same time, it is also important to make sure you safeguard yourself against any unforeseen circumstances that can put a kink in your plans, from major ones like sudden illnesses and accidents to minor ones like lost luggage or flight delays. Travel insurance offers protection against inconveniences so that you can enjoy your trip, worry-free.

With the many kinds of travel insurance policies in Singapore, how do you choose one that is suitable for you? Here is the lowdown on travel insurance.

What travel insurance covers and does not cover

Most basic travel insurance policies offer various amounts of payouts or reimbursements if you:

  • Get injured during the trip
  • Have to seek medical treatment during the trip and follow-up treatment after returning to Singapore
  • Have to cancel your trip or modify it and you incur non-refundable expenses like package tour fees
  • Encounter a travel delay such as flight delays
  • Require emergency medical evacuation while overseas because of serious injury or illness
  • Your personal belongings like baggage, documents and money go missing or get stolen

Most travel insurance policies will not cover:

  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Natural disasters
  • War and civil commotion
  • Travel to certain countries like Afghanistan

Benefits can vary among insurance companies and by plans, so be sure to read the fine print.

How to choose the best policy?

Here are some things to consider:

How frequently you travel

If your trip is a one-off event, buy a single-trip policy but if you are a frequent traveller, it may be more cost-effective to opt for annual travel insurance cover, a policy which covers trips within a one-year period.

Are you travelling alone or with your family?

If you are travelling alone, an individual plan will do. But if travelling with family, a group plan that covers you, your spouse and children will usually cost less than buying individual policies for all travellers in your group.

Note: People above 70 may receive limited coverage under basic insurance plans, so you may need to opt for an enhanced plan instead, which offers added coverage that is not in basic plans.

Where are you travelling to?

Insurers usually divide the world into different geographical regions such as ASEAN/Asia/Worldwide. Policies covering travel to nearby regions will cost less than those covering farther countries.

What are you planning to do on your trip?

Buy a policy that will cover specific itineraries. Basic policies will not cover you if you take part in high-risk or extreme activities like riding a hot-air balloon or go bungee jumping, in which case, you need to go for an enhanced plan. This applies too if you want to drive during your trip; look for a policy that provides Rental Vehicle Excess cover.

Where to buy travel insurance?

There are many ways to buy travel insurance. You could buy it through your tour agency, if you are using one, or through your insurance agent if you have one. You could also buy it online from a bank or an insurance company’s website or using the company’s mobile apps from various insurance companies.

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