My Singapore Travel Tips

04 Easy Tips For The Right Travel Insurance

Buying a travel insurance has always been a necessity but I rarely take time to ponder over it. More often than not, I make my purchases at the last minute (during my ride to the airport). All I wanted was a piece of mind and convenience+cost determines the insurer of my choice.

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I usually go with Chartis or NTUC Income but insurance plans for my upcoming New Zealand trip seems to be a little trickier. After all, the usual annual travel policy will not be applicable for my 6-month stint while a single-trip policy is pretty pricey for a soon-to-be unemployed dreamer.

That begins my tiny project on identifying the right travel insurance and guess what? By a stroke of luck, I managed to get my travel insurance at 50% discount (YAY!)! Well, the following are what I did and I hope it’s helpful!

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1. Knowing Your Priorities

The core criteria for selecting the RIGHT travel insurance lies in the identification of one’s priorities. As the saying goes, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Benefits that appeal to others might not be of top priority for you. An avid golfer might choose that expensive policy for its wide coverage of golf equipments whereas I choose the cheapest policy just to get a peace of mind. Thus, it is always important to know why you want to get a travel insurance and the various priorities that you consider essential. This actually depends largely on your traveller’s profile as well as the type of travel that you might have in mind.

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2. Identify Your Travel Profile

I consider myself a leisure traveller (somewhat low-risk since I try to avoid hard-core activities) with minimal commitments (no loans, no children etc.) and prefers to splurge on leisure and entertainment. As most of my vacations tend to be short (maximum 2 weeks) but frequent, an annual multi-trip travel insurance might actually be ideal for me. On the other hand, people with family commitments (e.g. parents and 2 kids) who probably travel only once a year should consider the single-trip family travel insurance. Knowing your travel profile will help you identify priorities that can narrow down the search for a right insurance.

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3. Some Common Priorities

Have you identified your travel profile and priorities for the much-needed travel insurance? If you are undecided about what might be of more importance to you. Fret’ not! Here are some of my (and many others) common concerns that you may relate to.

  • Emergency Advice / Assistance – It’s a no-brainer but it is very important to get a reliable insurer whom you are able to contact, regardless of time and location.
  • Budget – Money might not always buy you safety but it can buy assurance and minimise damages when unforeseen circumstances occur. However, you should note that a low-premium policy does not mean that is of no good.
  • Medical Coverage – Overseas medical expenses are usually pricey (especially in US and Japan!). A policy that provides high coverage limit on medical expenses or one that allows the traveller to seek medical treatment upon return from his trip will be ideal.
  • Delayed Departure – Time equates money and this happens quite frequently for long-haul travel. A delay might cause you no-show penalty charges for a connecting flight or even 1 night accommodation’s cost. An insurance will come in handy at this time!
  • Delayed Baggage – Imagine the inconvenience of a delayed baggage and the extra costs that you might incur if you did not purchase that travel insurance.
  • Equipment Coverage – This depends on your equipment of choice (i.e. golf, photography, video, musical equipments etc.). Not all insurance covers special equipments and you might need a tailor-made policy if your equipments are not covered under the pre-existing policies.
  • Ease of Claim – This is subjective in spite of all the rules and regulations. After all, claims are handled by different individuals who have their own perception of the “rules”. Nonetheless, a good/reliable insurer (check out the forums!) shall pretty much give you a good idea.

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4. Doing Your Research

To me, buying that travel insurance is mostly for the peace of mind. However, who doesn’t want to get the best deal out of it? Google shall be your best friend for this project! A simple search will allow you to identify the travel insurers in your region (if you do not already know). On top of that, you will get to find out existing travel insurance deals from Google Ads! In fact, I just got a good deal (50% discount!) for my upcoming New Zealand trip. Don’t be a grinch, research thoroughly and you shall be duly rewarded!

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A SIDE NOTE FOR SINGAPOREANS
[Information as at April 2013]

The popular travel insurers in Singapore include Chartis (previously AIG Travel), TravelJoy by Tenet and NTUC Income. These are reliable companies that are commonly recommended by travel agents.

Joint promotions between lesser-known insurers and banks/credit card companies does not seem to be favoured. After doing my research, i attribute it to the poor word-of-mouth and the lack of sufficient information.

For TravelShield (tie-in promo with DBS/POSB banks) funded by MSIG, there are some negative comments regarding claims in some forums. As for SafeTravel (tie-in promo with Citibank) funded by Ace Travel Insurance, this is a relatively new company that does not have much reviews. TravelWise (tie-in promo with OCBC bank) funded by Great Eastern is simply too pricey for me to research beyond its quote.

14 comments on “04 Easy Tips For The Right Travel Insurance

  1. I think this is among the most significant information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general
    things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice :
    D. Good job, cheers

  2. i read some of other blog and after the above read, i went ahead and bought the insurance.thanks, very informative..

  3. Exceptional post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit
    further. Cheers!

  4. I agreed with you doing your own research because you can compare with all the suggestion and choose the one that fits your budget. For me i have tried Allianz Global Assistance, and i will continually stick with them. Thanks for sharing this useful article.

    • Thanks, Sarah. Yes, research is most important. Hope your good planning aid you in a smooth journey:)

  5. Hi KaZ,
    I am planning carefully for my next trip to Bali early next year probably by February, so excited but need to stick on the budget. Thanks again for your helpful article,hope to read another new stuff from you 🙂

  6. Hi KaZ,
    Thanks for the info, very informative and helped me to make a choice as a foreigner in Singapore looking for travel insurance…..not aware NTUC also provide travel insurance….good advice !!

  7. If you’re an expat traveling from USA or any other country, getting insurance coverage from http://www.healthinsuranceglobal.com is a great choice. They don’t just offer their services for traveler, but also for expatriates, seniors, student and groups.

  8. The DBS Travel Shield policies underwritten by MSIG are heavily promoted and discounted but are full of caveats around the medical and activities you can and cannot claim under. beware of this product. For all the advertising regarding adventure sports cover you will find many popular activities are not covered. The advertising is false. Their exclusions for some medical conditions is stringent and the general exclusion for anything related to pregnancy taken to the letter. we found out we were pregnant while travelling and needed to change our flights. they would not assist. brutal. avoid this product

    • Hello Ja, I’m sorry to hear that but thank you for sharing. Previously, when I was doing research, there were some negative feedbacks regarding this product. I think this highlights the need of reading the fine print, which can be quite tedious! Nevertheless, congratulations to you and your family on the new family member though, hope all ended well in the end!

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