Guide for Choosing The Best Travel Insurance in Singapore (2020)

Travelling aboard is downright thrilling and incredible, whether it’s for pleasure or business purposes. Unfortunately, though, it comes with some potential risks. There are times things don’t go right as planned. For example, your luggage may get lost. This can turn out to be quite expensive than you anticipated. You will certainly end up very disappointed and, in worse circumstances, cut short your travel plans.

Realists know that bad days can happen and to make their trips less stressful, they are turning to travel insurance companies for coverage on a wide range of travel risks. We believe that’s the reason you’re here today. Well, congratulations!

To help you make informed decisions, we’ve prepared detailed answers to frequently asked questions on travel insurance Singapore.

1. What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of insurance product, which is designed to protect travellers from certain financial risks and losses when they are travelling in foreign countries. It covers unforeseen circumstances that can be quite varied. However, most standard travel insurance plans provide coverage for risks like lost or damaged baggage, lost travel documents, overseas medical emergencies, delayed flight, and trip cancellation.

If the risks insured against occur, the insurance company will step in and pay the financial damages you have incurred. Nevertheless, the amount paid out depends on the type of insurance coverage you purchase. So, it’s a good idea to choose a plan that you think can meet your travelling needs effectively. Some can tailor a policy to fit your specific requirements.

Please note that travel insurance Singapore companies do not offer cover for medical tourism. Instead, they cover trips like holiday vacations and business trips.

Travel Insurance Singapore

2. What are the different types of travel insurance?

To help cater to the different needs of travellers, reputable and trusted travel insurance providers in Singapore offer the following common types of plans:

Travel Insurance by Frequency

Single Trip

Single trip insurance is the most affordable plan. As the name suggests, it is only for one trip. You’re covered right from the day you take the trip that originates and ends in Singapore. The single trip plans usually cover a period of 180 or 182 days. They are a perfect option for anyone who travels less frequently in a year, especially those planning a one-off holiday.

Annual Plan

With the annual plan, travellers are insured against certain risks for multiple trips within a calendar year. This is an ideal package for frequent travellers, business travellers, travelling academics, and retirees who enjoy adventuring abroad. The trips covered start and end in Singapore. You’re typically covered up to 90 days per trip.

One-Way

One-way travel insurance is not common in Singapore, but there are companies offering this plan. The cover carries almost the same benefits as the previous plans above. However, it doesn’t cover a round trip. It caters to a special group of people, such as those leaving the country for a long time, migrating, or returning to their home country.

This type of insurance policy has a short time limit. The cover starts from the beginning of the traveller’s flight and ends as soon as they confirm arriving at their final destination. Some insurance companies providing one-way travel insurance can extend the cover period, particularly until a traveller “settles in”.

Travel Insurance by Number of Travellers

Individual Cover

It is an insurance cover designed for anyone travelling alone. The cover can also be purchased for another person who is part of a travellers group.

Family Cover

This package is available for couples that are travelling with their kids. It is considered a cheaper option compared to purchasing individual plans for every member. But, you need to keep in mind that some insurance service providers have set a limit on the number of members that can be covered under the family travel insurance plan.

Group Cover

Group travel insurance typically covers a group of at least 5 people. Expect the total number of people covered to vary between policy providers. Generally, though, the number can reach up to 20.

3. When should I purchase travel insurance?

You can only purchase travel insurance while you are in Singapore before the trip commences. Remember travel insurance plans also protect you from trip cancellations or rescheduling due to unavoidable circumstances. Therefore, you should buy the cover as soon as you’ve booked your travel tickets and accommodation.

In case you want your insurance plan to cover overseas medical treatment and expenses, it’s recommended to make arrangements early enough. Precisely, purchase it once you have confirmed your trip.

4. What type of traveller am I?

Several things go into play when determining the right travel insurance Singapore cover. Well, this includes the type of traveller you are, as well as your habits and activities.

Without further ado, here’s a quick rundown of the different types of traveller categories that you may fall into:

Business Travellers:

Unlike other types of travellers, business travellers take trips strictly for work purposes or attending corporate activities like seminars, conferences, and training.

Solo Travellers:

A solo traveller goes to a foreign country and spends most of his or her time there alone. No family member, friends, or colleagues. However, the traveller is still able to create new friends with other travellers during the trip. This could happen at restaurants, hotels, organized tours, or any other entertainment places where travellers love to hang out. And at the end of the trip, the traveller will still arrive home alone. This kind of travelling offers a unique kind of experience, which some people find to be very rewarding.

Senior Travellers:

These are travellers over the age of 70. While insurers have no upper age limits on travellers, senior travellers are typically entitled to lower benefits, especially in medical and accident claims.

Family Travellers:

This is when you, your husband or wife, and kids travel aboard as one for leisure purposes. You explore various destinations together. It’s not only for leisure reasons, though. You can also travel together to attend an event that matters a great deal to your family.

Group Travellers:

They travel with friends or colleagues, conquering fears and discovering new perspectives together. This form of travel helps them create beautiful and long-lasting memories, at the same time widening their circle of companions during explorations.

Adventure Travellers:

This type of people travel for fun, leisure, and entertainment. They often travel to remote or exotic locations so that they can participate in outdoor activities, such as mountain climbing, scuba diving, skiing, kayaking, and snowboarding. Some travel to attend sporting events and shows, which feature their favourite stars or artists.

Long-term Travellers:

Long-term travellers are simply holiday tourists. They engage in fun activities like sightseeing and camping. They’ll also tend to get so much involved with the cultures and traditions of the locals. Their trips usually last for more than one month but within 90 days.

5. Why is travel cover important?

Risks are everywhere, and some are just beyond our control. While we can’t completely eliminate risks, we can do something to reduce the negative effects they can have on us and our plans. When everything does not go as planned during your trip, travel insurance can provide great monetary benefits. Otherwise, you may be forced to take money out of your pocket to address the unanticipated events. Some cases can be too expensive to afford.

There are many reasons why travel cover is important, but they can be summed up into one benefit — increased peace of mind.

You simply can’t put a price tag on your peace of mind. If you purchase travel insurance, it means you don’t have to keep worrying about the cost of financial emergencies arising out of the trip. Depending on the terms and conditions of the plan, your insurer can take care of the costs in events such as:

Trip Cancellation:

Sometimes you can fall sick a few days before the trip. It could be a loved one has fallen sick or someone died in the family. Some reasons can compel you to cancel your trip. Fortunately, you can recover the expenses resulting from cancelling your trip.

Flight Delays or Rescheduling:

If you find yourself in such an event, you won’t have another choice but to look for your own accommodation and meals. With travel insurance, you can get your insurer to cover part or all of the additional expenses incurred.

Personal Possessions:

Your bags and belonging, including laptops, cameras, smartphone, watches, and jewellery are usually covered. There’s also the risk of losing your wallet or travel documents when in a foreign country, regardless of how careful you are. It’s good to know most policies also offer coverage for such risks.

Medical Emergencies:

If you get injured or get sick during your trip and need urgent treatment, you will be covered for medical care. It is not only medical care but also transportation costs.

Personal Liability:

Your travel insurance policy can protect you against personal liability claims when you are abroad. You may accidentally injure someone or cause damage to their property. The insurance company will cover the legal fees involved in settling your case.

Terrorism:

You are covered for potential liabilities and losses arising from terrorist attacks. Terrorism incidents can lead to personal injuries & death and cancelled or changed flights. If you’re planning on travelling to regions that are prone to terrorist attacks, it’s recommended to ensure this benefit is also included in your cover.

6. How do I make a travel Insurance claim?

While we purchase travel insurance to protect ourselves, it’s something we usually hope that we won’t have to use. But let’s face; travel plans can fail. You have the right to file a claim when this happens.

The good news is that insurance companies have made the claim process easier, which you can complete online. Some companies have also made it possible to track the progress of your claim simply by logging into your account on their website. So, you should not have any trouble.

The process can differ between insurers. However, there are important things you need to keep in mind when filing a claim.

Travel Insurance Singapore

Contact the insurer as soon as possible

You should have the contact details of your travel insurance company when travelling. Insurers with an online presence will also publish contact details on their websites or social media accounts.

Just collect their hotline phone number and get in touch right away to inform them of your situation. Most if not all of the insurers provide 24/7 assistance to clients. They will advise you on how to expedite the process.

Reporting your case earlier can prevent you from having a claim dishonoured because insurers have specific deadlines. You can submit your claim while you are waiting for some supporting documents.

Prepare documents and other evidence

Insurers provide compensation based on the proof you provide. Therefore, you must always be prepared to support the validity of your claim.

In case of trip cancellation or rescheduling, you will need to provide unused tickets, receipts, itemised bills of your expenses, and a letter from your airliner proving delays or diversions.

For stolen baggage or car collisions, police reports are required. This means you have to report your situation to the relevant authorities as soon as possible. As you can expect, authorities too have time limits within which you can make a report.

If your baggage was delayed, request proof from your airliner. For damaged items, you need to take photographs.

Claim cases involving medical emergencies due to sickness or accidents must be supported by medical reports and medical bills.

Provide correct details

When filling out the travel insurance claim form, make sure to double-check before you submit the form for review. Of course, you should attach proper supporting documents as well.

Getting it right will help you avoid unnecessary delays during the process. Also, please do not exaggerate or inflate the extent of your claim in any way. Otherwise, your insurer will choose to reject your application.

Be ready to make an appeal

You may file a claim and your insurer ends up denying it. Do not get upset or lose hope if you find yourself in that situation. Just know you still have one shot at having your claim considered.

The insurer will provide you with a document explaining the reasons for denying your claim. Go through the certificate wording thoroughly and see what you missed out on your application.

Understanding the reasons for denial is the base for filing a compelling appeal. You must also prepare the necessary documents, which substantiates why your claim should be paid.

7. Which is the best travel insurance in Singapore?

The best travel insurance in Singapore is simply the level of coverage that meets your unique travel needs at the price you can afford. Several factors will impact your travel insurance coverage. They include:

Duration of your trip:

The longer you are away, the more the risks of falling sick, getting injured, or causing bodily injury to others. So, if you’re a long-term traveller, then your insurance premiums are likely to be expensive.

Countries covered:

Not all countries are covered by your travel insurance. Also, travelling to a destination with a less stable healthcare infrastructure may attract high insurance premiums.

Pre-existing medical conditions:

Most travel insurance companies in Singapore don’t cover people with pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Plans available for such medical conditions will be expensive than basic travel insurance plans.

Benefits you are entitled to under the plan:

An exhaustive travel insurance plan will be costly.

Age of the travellers:

Since senior travellers are more prone to health problems, their cost of insurance increases.

Adventurous activities you plan to do when travelling:

Insurance policies vary when it comes to the kind of adventurous activities they cover. If you’re an adventurous traveller, make sure you check if your specific activities are covered. Insurers might exclude extremely high-risk activities, such as rock climbing and jet skiing. You may need to buy an extra cover for such.

Insurance service provider:

No two insurers are created the same. The rates, features, benefits, and terms and conditions will differ.

8. Who is the best travel insurance company?

The best travel insurance company is the one that’s properly licensed, offers many benefits, and has the best rates overall when compared to other insurers. It is also characterised by a hassle-free purchase and claim process. Travellers have a good number of insurers in Singapore to choose from. You will need to do some little research and find out what is covered under each of their plans before making a purchasing decision. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the best travel insurance companies you should consider turning to for your needs.

HL Assurance

The best travel insurance promotion for high seasonal discounts in Singapore. You get up to 60% discount and travel vouchers, as well as No Claim Discount (NCD).

FWD Travel Insurance

Best travel insurance for the cheapest single and annual trip plans worldwide. The prices for single trip plans start from as low as S$9, whereas the annual plans start from S$178.

MSIG Travel Insurance

Best travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions and overall value. It offers up to S$1,000,000 for overseas medical expenses. For trip cancellation and lost personal belongings, the insured can receive up to S$15,000 and S$ 7,500 respectively.

AXA SmartTraveller

Best travel insurance for lost baggage. It allows you to claim up to S$800 per item, pair or set of items. · Aviva Travel Insurance: Best travel insurance for trip inconvenience and loss of frequent flyer points.

Allianz Travel Insurance

Best travel insurance for high medical coverage. It offers up to S$5,000,000 for overseas medical expenses.

Etiqa

Best travel insurance for adventurous activities.

9. Which is the cheapest travel insurance in Singapore?

The travel insurance industry is highly competitive when it comes to pricing. While this is a perk to clients looking to purchase insurance plans, going for the cheapest cover without considering other factors isn’t always a smart thing to do. It’s possible to end up with a dud.

Even so, that doesn’t mean you cannot find a cheap but great travel insurance plan in Singapore. You don’t have to overspend if you are reasonably confident nothing will go wrong during your trip.

If you’re looking for the cheapest travel insurance in Singapore, you can’t go wrong with:

  1. HL Assurance Travel Insurance
  2. Etiqa Travel Insurance
  3. MSIG TravelEasy Standard
  4. FWD Travel Insurance

Their basic plans will cost less than S$25 a week for those planning trips in ASEAN countries.

Besides price, make sure you take a close look at the following things.

Medical and emergency evacuation coverage:

The basic limit for overseas medical expenses should range as from S$150,000 for clients above 18 and below 70 years. Those planning trips in remote destinations that are far from healthcare facilities should ensure their emergency evacuation limit is S$1,000,000 or more. Some insurers provide an unlimited option. With such covers, you can get evacuated back to Singapore to receive good medical attention and care.

Travel inconvenience coverage:

This covers issues like loss of baggage, delayed baggage, loss of travel documents, travel misconnections, cancellation of the trip, and flight diversion. Make sure you check and see what is and isn’t covered. Some insurers might exclude some benefits, especially for trips in foreign countries that are prone to natural disasters.

Hassle-free purchase and claim process:

Once you’ve decided on an insurance provider and the plan, purchasing the cover should be a few clicks away. The same goes for filling claims. This should be completed on your phone or laptop with just snapshots of the supporting documents. Processing claims shouldn’t take like forever! Insurers serious about their trade tend to pay claims within a few working days.

10. Can a foreigner buy travel insurance in Singapore?

The local travel insurance companies provide plans that are designed to be used by those residing in Singapore. Over the past years, it’s was not possible for foreigners to purchase travel insurance packages.

A few insurance companies like Etiqa have introduced this type of cover. Unfortunately, travel insurance plans for foreigners tend to be pricier. They cover round trips that start and return to Singapore within a certain period, as per the insurer’s terms and conditions.

To qualify for travel insurance, a foreigner residing in Singapore is generally required to have a valid Work Pass, Student Pass, Dependant’s Pass, or Long-term Visit Pass.