The idea of travel insurance came about in 1863 (not that long ago!) when a gentleman by the name of James Batterson realised that travel came with a unique set of risks. Globalisation and advancing technology have spurred travel, and increased the need for assurance against travel risks. You may know that travel insurance is important, but do you know to what extent? Here are some interesting facts about your travel insurance and claims benefits:
1. You are covered for up to 60 days before your trip
Savvy travellers often preach about getting travel insurance early but do you know the true implications behind the good advice? Contrary to thinking, travel insurance does not just cover you during your travels or post-trip. It also protects you from trip cancellation (in case an unforeseen incident, like bad weather or political unrest, hinders your travel plans) and loss of deposit. This means that if you or your family are injured or ill, or if an unexpected event prevents you from travelling, your travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed according to your policy benefits. Hence, you should always buy your travel insurance ASAP once you have confirmed your travel plans.
2. The cheapest travel insurance does not mean the best value
The basis of travel insurance lies in having a peace of mind, but do you have the habit of considering which aspect of your travel do you need assurance? Do not be too quick to choose the basic plan with the lowest price because that may not be the best value choice.
To determine which insurer or plan suits you best, begin with a risk assessment and consider the following:
- Your destination(s) – Some insurers do not offer coverage for travel to high-risk countries.
- Your travel companion(s) – There are greater considerations for solo female travellers or if you are travelling with an elderly person (or even someone with existing medical conditions!)
- Trip duration – The length of your travel will affect your travel insurance costs
- Travel activities – Adventure travels, such as scuba-diving trips, tend to involve higher risks so optional add-ons may be necessary.
The cheapest policy may not be of value to you if it does not cover your needs, and paying a little more can go a long way – especially for travellers doing extreme sports or travelling with expensive equipment.
3. Travel delay is not limited to air conveyance
The travel delay benefit in your policy is not confined to just air travel. While many people associate travel delay with flight delay, your travel insurance actually covers delay for any air, land, and water conveyance. This means that if the ferry you’ve booked to get to Tioman Island is cancelled or delayed unexpectedly, you can file a claim with relevant, supporting documents. If your train has been delayed due to bad weather or if a pre-booked tour bus fails to turn up at your hotel, this also falls under Travel Delay benefit. There are an array of travel delay instances you can claim for! When in doubt, always refer to your policy wording to know your benefits.
4. There’s usually a time limit to seek medical treatments and file your travel claims
If you have fallen ill overseas or shortly after you return to Singapore, your travel insurance does cover medical expenses. However, you should note that there is usually a time restriction. Most travel insurance stipulates that medical treatment must be consulted within 48 hours of your return, if you have not seek medical treatment during your overseas trip. You must also file your claims immediately upon return, within the terms of your policy. Doing so will also help you to avoid forgetting to file your claims due. You should also let your doctor know that you are covered with travel insurance.
5. Proof is required for making claims
If you wish to make a claim, you must obtain and submit relevant proof of the incident. Depending on the type of claim, you’d need different documentary evidence. Often, the insurer will require copies of airline ticket, police report, medical bills and report, carrier irregularities report and original purchase receipt etc.
Imagine you were driving along the highway when a car crashed against the rear of your car. If both drivers were not injured, you’d be taking pictures to document the damages for motor claims, right? The same rule applies for the unfortunate events during your travel, such as taking pictures of your belongings pre-trip, just in case you happen to lose them along the way! You can refer to the policy contract or contact your insurer for more details.
More pre-travel tips:
- Always keep a soft copy of important information such as your travel details, passport, travel insurance, etc.
- Leave a detailed itinerary and your travel insurance with a family member or friend
- Take a time-stamped picture of the belongings in your luggage/baggage in case of baggage loss or delay
- When purchasing travel insurance for family travel, it may be good to compare prices of individual, family and group plans. Note that age will affect the premium and coverage
- For more information of travel insurance, read here.
Think you know travel insurance? Think again! Here’s answering some frequently asked questions that are seldom answered:
Qn. If I am not travelling with my child who’s 16 years old, can I buy travel insurance for him?
Ans: For individual travel insurance, policyholder must be at least 18 years of age. In case of exceptional circumstances, please write in to our customer service team to request a purchase.
Qn 2. What policy can I buy if I am doing a RTW trip during my sabbatical year?
Ans: You can buy an annual global travel insurance policy that will cover you for the entire year. However, do note that annual policy plans usually have a maximum trip length for each trip taken during the year. For example, Tiq Travel Insurance annual policy only covers the insured up to 90 days per trip.
Qn 3. I did not seek medical treatment until the third day after I returned from my trip. Am I still eligible for claims?
Ans: Do not wait to see the doctor if you are feeling unwell. To be eligible for claims, medical treatment has to be sought and administered within 48 hours of return from overseas. Any medical treatment thereafter will not be covered by your policy.
Qn 4. I forgot to buy travel insurance before I depart Singapore. What should I do?
Ans: (Ahem!) please refer to point 1 at the top of this article.
Information is accurate as at 5 November 2019. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
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