Many of us travel to relax and recharge. While flying to another country for a holiday is undoubtedly a privilege, it has somewhat become an essential part of achieving work-life balance. With many travelling with a vengeance after the global pandemic (despite skyrocketing air ticket prices), it’s clear that going abroad for a break remains dear to the hearts of many Singaporeans.

And yet, travelling itself can be stressful. There’s a lot to consider when you have to set aside money and time amid your busy work life to plan and prepare for your trip. A major part of what has made travelling worry-free is travel insurance – a way to secure peace of mind as you step onto unfamiliar shores. 

Although it’s known to be important, there’s a nagging question that travellers often ask: is travel insurance really necessary and worth getting? That’s a valid question as it is an expense on top of your air ticket and accommodation. We look into the common misconceptions people have about travel insurance and why, above all, it’s a powerful asset to make one’s holiday a smooth-sailing one.

1. Travel insurance is not required for short trips

woman poses for photo in infinity pool after purchasing travel insurance for short getaway woman poses for photo in infinity pool after purchasing travel insurance for short getaway

Even if you’re only planning to go on holiday for a weekend, travel insurance can financially protect you in the event of unexpected flight cancellations, natural disasters, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Think about it: a weekend sojourn in a foreign country merely hours away, like Bangkok or Jakarta seems like a quick and easy escape. Is travel insurance even necessary for an international trip that’ll be over in the blink of an eye? Should you bother purchasing travel insurance at all? Why pile on the cost of travel insurance for a short trip that may not warrant taking leave from work?

Truth is, whether it's for three days or three months, the usual hazards that come with venturing beyond borders are, unfortunately, still there. 

Flights can get delayed or, worse, cancelled. Or there could be unforeseen incidents such as natural calamities that leave travellers stranded in a country. That brief weekend escape can suddenly turn into an involuntary longer stay that prevents you from going back home.

There’s also the case of health scares. In a post-COVID-19 world, travel regulations are no longer as strict, but it certainly begs each traveller to take precaution by monitoring for any flu symptoms. If (touch wood) you get tested positive for COVID-19, it might mean having to delay your travel plans to ensure you recover before your flight. 

Apart from COVID-19, there could be other more severe health-related issues which we usually wouldn’t want to think about. However, in the unfortunate event of medical emergencies, having travel insurance will help cover hefty overseas medical care expenses and emergency evacuation, if required.

So while you try to make the most out of a short trip, be sure to secure yourself with some travel protection.

If you are a globetrotter who embarks on multiple overseas trips in a year, annual plans such as the Singtel Travel Protect Annual Plan will keep you covered throughout the year. This means you can make more short trips in a year to neighbouring countries (or further) with greater peace of mind! 

Should you usually travel with children, grandparents, or other family in tow, Singtel Travel Protect has also got Family Cover plans to keep your loved ones covered when you are all overseas.

2. Travel insurance is expensive

pile of international currency notes symbolising versatility of cheapest travel insurance plans pile of international currency notes symbolising versatility of cheapest travel insurance plans

You can now find travel insurance plans available at almost any price point, allowing you to pick a plan (and coverage) tailored to your needs and budget.

Let’s be honest: travel insurance may be helpful but it doesn’t come free. 

And, no matter how much you’re intending to spend on a single trip, there’s always a tendency to see it as an expense worth cutting – just so you can save that extra money for what’s immediately more tangible. 

But if you think about it, the cheapest travel insurance today can cost the same as a cab ride. These days, there are affordable travel insurance products that can be purchased without being too difficult on your pockets. 

There are countless providers – from tech powerhouses to boutique services – that offer value travel insurance plans to fit your budget. These plans are comprehensive too: providing coverage for overseas medical expenses, trip cancellations and baggage losses, along with easy-to-access platforms on your phone, and 24/7 helplines for your emergency queries.

Singtel Travel Protect, for one, offers unbeatable prices with its Value Plan, which will give you exactly what you need for a no-frills, all-thrills trip overseas. A single trip Value Plan for a 3-day trip to Malaysia with Singtel Travel Protect will only set you back by S$12.50 with its current 50% off promotion.

With the Value plan, travellers are entitled to essential coverage at an incredibly affordable price: coverage for medical expenses while overseas (up to S$150,000), trip cancellation (up to S$5,000), and baggage loss (up to S$3,000). 

If you prefer a higher level of coverage, the Economy plan includes medical expenses for COVID-19 as well. 

An Economy plan with Singtel Travel Protect (single trip) for a 5-day trip to Hong Kong will set you back S$37 with its ongoing 50% off promo. Rest assured that travel protection can be affordable and won’t break the bank.

3. My health insurance covers me abroad

woman bravely walks atop atop haiku stairs in hawaii covered by travel insurance woman bravely walks atop atop haiku stairs in hawaii covered by travel insurance

Even the best health insurance plans may not offer comprehensive coverage while you’re on holiday. To ensure you’re fully financially protected while abroad, be sure to purchase a travel insurance plan that meets your needs!

When it comes to travelling to a country for the first time, The first thing is to always familiarise yourself with the important or essential stops in the country in the case of emergencies. 

For starters, these can be pharmacies (for band aids, medicine and other important health items), convenience stores (for the toiletries and personal care products you may have missed out on packing) or even mobile repair shops (in case your overseas SIM card starts to act up unexpectedly).  

But if the worst happens, and need to find the nearest hospital, cost of care should not be what stops you. With travel insurance, you’ll be able to get the help you need at any hospital and make a claim on your hospital bill thereafter.

As always, this will depend on the travel insurance plan you purchase – if your destination is known for steep healthcare costs, it’s better to opt for a higher value plan that will keep you covered on all corners. 

If you are a Singaporean, local health insurance (MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plan) does not cover your medical fees abroad. As a foreigner overseas, medical coverage or healthcare subsidies might not be available to you as well, making any hospitalisation fees or medical costs relatively expensive. For those travelling with parents or grandparents in their old age, some travel insurance may even offer greater coverage to account for pre-existing medical conditions and other concerns.

This is why travel insurance for your overseas medical expenses and COVID-19 coverage is crucial, so that unexpected financial burdens don’t mar the enjoyment of your trip. Singtel Travel Protect covers up to S$1,000,000 in medical expenses while overseas, so there’s no worries there.

4. I don’t need travel insurance if I am familiar with the place I’m travelling to

woman wearing cap looks happy she bought travel insurance for her holiday woman wearing cap looks happy she bought travel insurance for her holiday

Is trip insurance worth it if you’re travelling somewhere familiar? The answer is yes, as you never know when emergencies might happen!

Now, if you’re travelling to a country that you’re familiar with – be it a country that you’ve visited several times over the years, or a place where your loved ones currently reside – it can feel like a second home.

That familiarity might lead you to think that travel insurance wouldn’t be needed since you know it well, but you’d be wrong. Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime. If you have any kind of pre-existing medical condition, travel insurance can also ensure you’re protected should the unexpected happen.

In emergency cases, travel insurance providers will typically have a hotline to assist you. 

It’s a 24-hour hotline that will require you to first present your policy number, but after which, you’ll get all the guidance you need, be it for local health consultation or emergency services. Singtel Travel Protect provides this and more! (Learn about it further below)

5. I can buy travel insurance at the last minute before my trip

woman looks at phone for her travel insurance policy when planning trip woman looks at phone for her travel insurance policy when planning trip

If you’ve forgotten to buy travel insurance it’s usually not too late to purchase it before you jet off. But there are benefits to buying travel insurance as early as possible, even during the planning stage of your trip.

Amidst the excitement and flurry that comes with travel planning, do avoid buying your travel insurance at the last minute.

Of course, you could buy your travel insurance minutes before you jet off on the plane. However, when you purchase your travel insurance earlier in the planning stage, there’s an added benefit that not many talk about: trip cancellation insurance.

It’s assumed that the standard travel insurance package comes replete with coverage for trip cancellations. However, such cancellations are unpredictable and could occur even before your travel departure date.

Thus, travel insurance, when bought earlier, helps secure you in the travel planning stages, not just when or after you’ve jetted off!

6. Claims for travel insurance are cumbersome

insurance agent explains travel insurance claims process to another individual insurance agent explains travel insurance claims process to another individual

Dreading making a travel insurance claim? Fret not because many travel insurance claims processes today are easy and seamless, saving you on time and worries after something unexpected has happened.

What lies beyond the overseas mishaps that travel insurance would help protect are the costs involved. 

Let’s say you need to foot a fairly large hospital bill after a serious injury – it’s normal to fear that retrieving that cost from your insurer would take weeks, if not months, and that you’re left with a crater-sized hole in your bank account until then.

In this age of cashless transactions, that’s far from the truth. Insurance claims are no longer bound by convoluted processes that require mountains of paperwork and months of waiting.

Take Singtel Travel Protect. The claim process is a simple one, with two syllables that have resounded widely in our island these past few years: PayNow. You will need to fill in a Travel Insurance Claim Form and provide supporting travel documents within 30 days from the date of the claim/ event. Once approved, you will receive your claims via PayNow.

If you encounter any of these following travel incidents, do note that these are some of the supporting documents that may be required to file your claims: 

  • Sudden disruptions, like an overbooked flight, a missed connection, or a general travel delay. For these, here’s what is required: a scheduled and revised travel itinerary and boarding passes for every flight, letter from the airline/ cruise operator/ handling agent stating the reason and duration of delay. 
  • For baggage delays, you’ll have to retrieve a property irregularity report (from the airline counter or the airport’s Lost & Found counter), and a baggage acknowledgement form/slip.
  • For personal accidents, or medical treatments, you’ll need to provide your travel itinerary, original medical bills/ receipts, medical report or inpatient discharge summary.
  • For general property loss or damage, these are what you need to submit: Your travel itinerary, a copy of the police report lodged at the place of loss within 24 hours, photographs of damaged items, a report filed with relevant authorities or service provider, repair bill, and the original purchase receipt or credit card statement of the item.

You should always check with your travel insurance provider on the supporting documents required for the type of claim you are making, usually stated in your policy wording, to ensure that you would be eligible for claims when you return from your trip.

They would have a claims hotline to help you through the process, or answer any queries or concerns you might have.

7. All travel insurance policies are the same

travellers from different countries sit by a lake comparing the best travel insurance companies travellers from different countries sit by a lake comparing the best travel insurance companies

From annual travel insurance to single trip insurance to old age travel insurance, there are a wide range of travel insurance plans out there for every type of holiday or traveller.

Simply getting a travel insurance policy isn’t winning the battle – picking out the right one for you matters. No two policies are completely alike: whether they're from the same provider, or if they’re the same price.

Some offer more comprehensive healthcare coverage, especially with COVID-19 coverage, and some feature benefits that you won’t get elsewhere, such as coverage for adventurous leisure activities like bungee jumping and skydiving.

With Singtel Travel Protect, there are exclusives for existing Singtel Mobile subscribers: up to S$800 reimbursement to cover the cost of phone repairs (should it get damaged during travel), phone bill protection (if your stay gets extended due to injury or sickness, and you require longer mobile usage), and further coverage for data roaming in cases of unexpected travel delays.


You can now purchase Single Trip Plans and Annual Plans under Singtel Travel Protect, with benefits including discounts up to 50% off, and free gifts such as luggages and AirTags. Visit for the latest promotions. Terms & Conditions apply. Protected up to specified coverage limits by SDIC.

This story is brought to you by Singtel Travel Protect.


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