You’ve booked your tickets, renewed your passport and replaced your storage-worn hiking boots with new kicks. Everything seems to be shaping up for your first overseas trip in a while.
But one more thing: have you bought your travel insurance yet? If you’ve forgotten to buy it, here’s a reminder to get it now. When purchasing this absolute travel essential, be sure to look out for important things like what the coverage includes, if the amount of coverage is sufficient for your needs and smaller details like the claim process.
While some of us might have risked a trip or two back in the past without one, that’s not advisable anymore. In the age of Covid-19, anything that can go wrong might just go wrong: sudden infection breakouts causing flight or trip delays, getting infected before, during or after the trip, or simply losing your luggage.
Should any of that happen, a travel insurance plan provides at least monetary compensation to cover your loss. Just like regular insurance, it also covers the cost of any overseas medical expenses, which we all know can come up to a hefty sum outside of home.
Stay kiasi (cautious), you will not go wrong buying one of these travel insurance plans. For comparison's sake, we’ll be focusing on the most basic options that cover the most common travel inconveniences.
Take note that several countries have since required visitors to purchase their own travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage before they can enter their borders. This includes most of our Southeast Asian neighbours in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal and Vietnam, along with destinations as far and wide as Cuba, Jamaica, and Egypt. Although countries continue to lift this requirement over time, it’s always advisable to check the most updated information online.
So which travel insurance plan is the best to buy in Singapore? Let’s take a closer look at the five recommendations below.
Pro tip: Read till the end for a Now Boarding-exclusive promo for Changi Assure Travel Insurance.
1. FWD Travel Insurance – the popular, affordable choice
Among all the travel insurance plans out there, FWD is known for having one of the most affordable options of them all. For those who don’t want to spend so much time researching, FWD is the easy choice.
Their plans range between S$25 and S$44 a week, though an additional Covid-19 coverage will set you back by S$40 to S$70 a week.
It covers a pretty comprehensive list, with the following for a premium plan (the most basic plan offered): trip disruption (S$300 for delays, S$7,500 for cancellations), overseas medical expenses (up to S$200,000), 24h emergency assistance and S$200 per day if hospitalised overseas (up to S$5,000).
In addition, the plan covers your travel-related expenses if you were to get diagnosed with Covid-19 within 30 days before your scheduled departure. And should you get infected within 14 days of returning to Singapore, your medical expenses will be covered too.
The insurance policy automatically extends (up to 21 days) if you’re prevented from travelling, either by local or by foreign regulations, due to close contact with a Covid-positive person.
2. Changi Assure Travel Insurance – convenient choice with over-the-counter claims
Another extremely affordable option we recommend is the Changi Assure Travel Insurance, offered by Changi Airport Group’s travel services arm, underwritten by HL Assurance Pte Ltd. Travellers can easily buy this plan on Changi Recommends.
Their Basic+ plan provides up to S$75,000 in overseas medical expenses, including Covid-19 enhanced benefits to all countries, except for Afghanistan, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Sudan and Syria. It is one of the most value-for-money deals out there. For illustration purposes, the premiums for a 4-day trip to Thailand will cost less than S$20 in premiums.
Of the usual things expected of a travel health insurance plan, it also covers: trip disruptions (S$500 for delays, S$5,000 for cancellations), overseas medical expenses (S$75,000), and includes additional coverage for enhanced Covid-19 medical expenses (S$50,000).
If you’ve ever experienced the pain of waiting weeks (sometimes even months) for your claims to be processed, you’ll be glad to know that the one key selling point of Changi Assure is that you can make your claims over-the-counter.
Policyholders can pop by one of the Changi Assure counters upon touching down in Singapore, provide the documents to substantiate their claims, and receive the compensation of up to S$200 on the spot.
Exclusive perk for Now Boarding readers: Use <CTS15OFF> to get 15% off outbound travel insurance on Changi Assure, exclusive to Now Boarding readers! No minimum spend is required for this promo, valid from now till 31 December 2022.
3. Travel Protect by Singapore Airlines – the convenient choice for SIA regulars
Those flying with Singapore Airlines are automatically offered the option to add SIA’s travel health insurance to their flight booking.
Premiums for its Travel Protect plans which are underwritten by Allianz Insurance Singapore Pte. Ltd. are affordable and competitive compared to other insurers. For a slightly higher premium than the previous two plans, this policy provides a higher payout for the usual things like baggage (S$1,400 for delays, S$4,000 for lost, damaged or stolen luggage) and trip disruptions (S$1,500 for delays and S$10,000 for interruptions or cancellations).
It also provides generous emergency coverage (S$500,000) and emergency transportation coverage (S$300,000).
SIA makes it easy for you to check-off travel insurance from your to-do list quickly and easily. The plan can be added to your itinerary when you book for your flight on their official website - a one-stop effort that is simply fuss free.
4. Sompo Travel Insurance – the insurance for a rainy day
If you are planning for your travels and wish to be covered for trip cancellation, postponement or disruption due to Covid-19, you could consider Sompo Travel Insurance. Their Covid-19 plan covers pretty much everything you’d need a travel insurance to do, plus features that cover trip cancellations and disruptions due to Covid-19. As its top features cover more extensive coverage due to Covid-19, the premiums would be priced slightly higher than other travel insurance.
At its base, it already covers overseas medical expenses (S$200,000) and trip disruptions (S$800 for delays and S$5,000 for cancellations), but what gives the policy additional breathing room is its extended Covid-19 coverage.
It includes Covid-19 medical expenses (S$100,000), cash (S$700 for hospitalisation, S$700 for quarantine) and Covid-19 trip cancellation (S$2,000).
5. NTUC Income Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance – the insurance to calm worried minds
Insurance claims tend to get a little trickier if you’ve got pre-existing conditions. Not all travel insurance covers pre-existing conditions, so be sure to make a check if you require this feature.
If you require coverage for that, then NTUC Income Travel Insurance might be the way to go.
For S$57, the plan comes with S$200,000 personal accident coverage and S$500,000 medical expense coverage. Of this medical expense, claims due to pre-existing conditions are capped at S$150,000.
As for Covid-19 coverage, it includes: trip disruptions (S$2,000 for delays and cancellations, S$200 per night for accommodation), overseas medical expenses (S$150,000) and cash (S$1,400 for quarantine).
Should the policyholder test positive and require hospitalisation or quarantine, the policy will be automatically extended for up to 14 days at no extra costs.
For those travelling in groups, there are family plans (which typically cover 2 adults and kids up to age 21) and group plans (for unrelated adults). For family plans, signing up is easy and fast as only the adults’ particulars need to be furnished (some only need one set of particulars from one of the adult travellers).
For group plans, ensure that you are travelling on the same dates as your travel buddies and purchase yourinsurance together. Such plans provide more savings, with discounts provided.
Pro-tip: Travel insurance providers often offer promo codes close to the school holidays as more families plan for their vacations. Keep a lookout for these discounts, which can be up to 60% off their original price. Those that travel frequently can consider an annual plan, which not only gives more savings, but also provides convenience as there is no need to research each time a trip comes along.
Compare your travel insurance to get the best plan for your needs
When you're planning a trip, the last thing you want to think about is what could go wrong. But the truth is, personal accidents and illnesses can happen anywhere, at any time.
Travel insurance is an important consideration for any trip, but it can be difficult to know which to choose with the wide variety of plans available. Be sure to compare different policies before making a decision to find one that provides the right level of coverage for you.
Don't forget to read the fine print as well. Some policies have exclusions or limits that you may not be aware of, so it's important to understand exactly what's covered before you purchase a policy.
After buying your travel insurance, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got a safety net laid out in case of emergencies. All in all, regardless if you’re taking a short trip to Kuala Lumpur or a long family holiday in Austria, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re still feeling a little lost, check out the top essentials to add to your packing list to better prepare for your overseas holiday.
Exclusive perks for Now Boarding readers on Changi Assure
Use <CTS15OFF> to get 15% off outbound travel insurance on Changi Assure, exclusive to Now Boarding readers! No minimum spend is required for this promo, valid from now till 31 December 2022. Check out the benefits of the travel insurance coverage plans on Changi Assure now!
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