Are we seriously almost the end of a quarter? Yes, we are. School holidays are here and if you’ve already got your bags packed and the kids pumped with excitement, here’s one thing that you may just have forgotten – travel insurance.
Planes and baggage could get delayed, and a sensitive stomach could get just a little too agitated with all that strange and tantalising food you’re planning to feast on. You’d be surprised at how many unforeseen circumstances travel insurance actually covers you for at a relatively small premium. Having a peace of mind, especially with the kids in tow, can definitely put you at ease on your long-awaited holiday.
What are some of the most common and important things to look out for?
Most travel insurances cover for just about the same things, and the difference lies in how much coverage you’re looking for. Some of the more premium insurances even include pet care, golf equipment, and hole-in-one expenses.
By and large, here are the most crucial travel inconveniences that you should look out for in your coverage:
1. Overseas Medical Expenses
Falling sick or getting into an accident are some of the worst nightmares of travellers. Whether you’re planning a trekking trip to Patagonia or street-food feast in Bangkok, you’d want to be able to visit a doctor and receive treatment without worrying too much about the high costs you have to pay as a foreigner. This is especially so if medical costs in the country that you are visiting is particularly high, such as in the United States.
If hospitalisation is required, hospital allowances are also provided for, in most cases about $200 per 24 hours, up to the specific limit.
Travel insurance also typically covers for the continuation of medical treatment upon return to Singapore, and even includes Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment.
As coverage can vary greatly between the basic and premium plans, the key thing is to really assess the risks of your trip. Of course, anything could happen, but you may certainly consider getting a basic plan for a short getaway, and an upgraded one for an extended holiday that you plan to fill with adventurous activities.
2. Travel and Baggage Delay
Nothing beats the frustration of arriving to find that your bag hasn’t, or being ready to depart but the airline doesn’t quite feel the same way.
This is one section that you’d really want to pay attention to when it comes to how much you’re being covered for. For example, HLA Travel Insurance reimburses $100 for every six hours of baggage delay with a total coverage amount of $200 for the Basic plan, while AXA offers $200 for every six hours for its Essential plan with a total coverage amount of $1000.
3. Loss of Baggage and Personal Effects
Heard one too many tales of pickpockets and robbers? Sometimes, no matter how careful you are with your camera, iPad, iPhone, and GoPro, you just can’t beat them. Losing your award-winning travel photographs to theft and robbery can be very heartbreaking, but at least, you can take heart that it’s not too difficult to get compensation for the material value of your personal goods. Just don’t expect to be able to claim the full value.
The maximum compensated value of each article/each set of items is S$500. However, some travel insurance companies compensate up to $1000 for laptops and mobile phones.
Do take note that you need to make a police report within 24 hours of your loss and, you must not have left your belongings unattended in a public place. In other words, you can’t make a claim if you had left your bag on the table to ‘chope’ it while ordering your food.
Get your travel insurance for less
Here’s the interesting part, which travel insurance offers you the best value? In fact, you can even get them free! Some credit cards, like the Citibank Premier Miles Visa, offer complimentary travel insurance provided that you’ve booked your trip using that particular card. If you’re heading out for a short trip, the coverage is certainly sufficient.
For a longer travel period (i.e. more than a week), we would suggest you to take up a plan with more comprehensive coverage. Don’t worry this will not cost you a bomb, in fact a lot of the providers are offering promotion for travel insurance plans.
Here are some other providers that are having promotions for a limited time only:
- HL Assurance Travel Insurance is offering a 50% discount on single-trip plans and 20% discount on annual plans when you buy online.
- DBS is offering 30% off its single-trip plans and 15% off annual plans till 31 March 2016.
- MSIG Insurance offers a 35% discount on single-trip plans and 15% discount on annual plans. In addition, there are also group discounts (6-20pax) available. The promotion lasts till 17 July 2016, so you could even plan ahead for the June holidays.
- Citibank offers a 35% discount on single-trip plans from now till 31 March 2016.
Take time to figure out which plan works best for you, it’s worth the hassle. Happy holidays!
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