If you’re planning your next getaway, sending your child off to university abroad or relocating overseas, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered with the best travel insurance to suit your specific needs. But, with so many plans available, and all the exclusions that come with basic travel insurance, how do you figure out exactly what you need? To help, we called on some of the top insurance experts in Singapore to walk us through it all. From queries on whether you need travel insurance for Malaysia to which travel insurance is the best for pre-existing conditions, read on for 15 helpful FAQs on travel insurance!
Pacific Prime Singapore
#1 “I’m organising a cruise holiday and the itinerary takes in multiple countries. Which type of travel insurance do I need?”
Many cruises involve visits to several different countries, all of which may have their own insurance requirements. You may also spend a significant amount of time in international waters; if an emergency occurs mid-trip, which country is the ship considered to be in? Cruise travel insurance is designed specifically to address relevant risks that could occur during a cruise. It typically includes benefits covering emergency medical treatment, accidents, cruise cancellation, curtailment coverage and cruise interruption cover. While policies vary across providers, most only provide compensation if there’s an accident, interruption, delay or cancellation of the trip. Do note that not all insurers would offer coverage for cruise trips, but Pacific Prime can provide several options.
#2 “I’m pregnant; will I be covered under travel insurance?”
Travel insurance policies, whether they are individual or corporate policies, do not cover any condition that results from or a complication of pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage (except miscarriage due to accidental injury or any condition to pregnancy arising out of an accident).
#3 “This beach holiday is so good I don’t want it to end! Can I extend coverage if I decide to extend my stay?”
Yes, many insurers now provide online services where you can extend your coverage, even when you’re overseas. However, any medical conditions that developed during the previous insurance period will not be covered in the extended period policy. Additionally, many travel insurance plans will extend automatically if a trip is prolonged beyond the period of coverage in the event of an unforeseen circumstance, so you won’t have to extend it by yourself.
#4 “Does travel insurance cover jewellery or other valuable items that are stolen while abroad?”
Some policies might cover this. However, most travel insurances have a maximum amount they would pay out per article lost (for example, $1,000), and this might not be sufficient to cover the cost of some high-value items such as jewellery. If you’re bringing along expensive jewellery or watches, we recommend bespoke annual jewellery insurance. This will cover the items up to their full value on a worldwide basis, including any loss or damage that occurs in your home country.
#5 “Which travel insurance is the best for my daughter while she’s on a short-term exchange programme?”
Overseas students should consider securing travel insurance, which includes emergency medical service coverage and trip cancellation coverage. While living on their own in a foreign country, the policy can be helpful. It can provide much-needed assistance, such as tracking down lost baggage and finding a place to receive emergency medical care.
On the other hand, international medical insurance or overseas student insurance (OSI) would be better recommended. Travel policies have a restriction that each trip out of the home country should not be more than 90 or 180 days (which varies with the insurer). However, an OSI does not have such restrictions. Apart from covering the usual circumstances covered under a travel insurance plan, the OSI also provides coverage for overseas home insurance benefits and study interruption due to prolonged medical conditions (for example, lost fees). It even provides protection if your fees sponsor passes away.
#6 “I’ve got pre-existing medical conditions. Will I be covered by travel insurance?”
Generally, travel insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, in recent times, some insurers have begun offering coverage for this, either by default under their standard offering or as an additional top-up cover. It’s important to check policy terms and conditions with your insurance advisor prior to purchasing travel insurance, to ensure you get comprehensive coverage.
#7 “I’m relocating overseas. Will I be able to keep my current travel insurance coverage?”
Generally, travel insurance only provides coverage for a maximum number of days (as specified in the policy wording) per trip. So, coverage will cease once your travel exceeds those days. In addition, to be eligible for travel insurance claims, you need to be a resident of the region where you bought the travel insurance from. If you want to maintain coverage during a relocation, an international health insurance policy is the best option. This provides medical coverage across the world, whether you move abroad or not.
#8 “Do I need travel insurance for Malaysia if I am just driving there for the night?”
Unforeseen circumstances might occur at any time. Even if you’re travelling to Malaysia for just the night, you might be exposed to certain risks that can be covered under travel insurance. These may include overseas medical expenses, accidents leading to disability, loss of personal belongings, credit card fraud and more. That said, it’s a good idea to secure travel insurance for Malaysia.
Find out more about travel insurance for Malaysia here.
#9 “Do insurers cover COVID-19?”
In Singapore’s individual and retail travel insurance market, not all insurers cover COVID-19. Those who do might only cover up to a sub-limit and not up to the full sum insured. It’s best to ask your insurer or a broker like Pacific Prime before purchasing a plan.
Allianz Travel Insurance
#10 “I already have international medical insurance. Do I need to purchase travel insurance as well for my upcoming trip overseas?
While having international medical insurance is a great benefit, it’s important to note that it may not provide coverage for all the risks associated with travel inconveniences, such as trip cancellations, delays or lost baggage. Travel insurance provides for most travel inconveniences, including stolen personal money and loss of sporting equipment. So, it’s worth considering as an added layer of protection for your upcoming overseas travel.
#11 “It looks like I’m going to have to cancel or postpone an upcoming trip to Bali. Will I be covered for that with travel insurance?”
It depends on your travel insurance policy and the reason for cancellation. Coverage varies based on the policy wording, and valid reasons may include illness, injury or death of a family member. Additionally, most travel insurance policies require that the travel insurance to be purchased before the reason for cancellation exists or is known. This means that it is important to purchase coverage as soon as possible after booking your trip. To determine whether your specific reason for cancelling or postponing your trip is covered, you should review the policy wording, and contact your insurance provider to discuss your situation and understand your coverage options.
#12 “Is buying emergency evacuation coverage really worth it?”
Yes, emergency evacuation coverage is definitely a must, as the cost of emergency evacuations can be extremely high. It’s important to take note of the policy exclusions, particularly around extreme sports and going against authority advice. At Allianz Travel, we have an extensive travel assistance network that is well-equipped to handle emergency evacuations.
#13 “My domestic helper is going home. What is the best travel insurance to get for her?”
The Domestic Helper insurance in Singapore typically only covers medical emergencies that occur within Singapore. Therefore, your domestic helper may not have the necessary travel inconveniences coverage while travelling. Allianz Travel offers various travel insurance plans, providing coverage for emergency medical expenses, trip cancellations or interruptions, and personal liability. These benefits provide financial security and peace of mind in the event of an unforeseen circumstances during travel overseas.
#14 “Why should I buy an annual multi-trip plan instead of a single-trip? Isn’t it more expensive?”
Buying an annual multi-trip plan instead of a single-trip plan can be a more cost-effective and convenient solution for frequent travellers. With this type of plan, you can avoid the hassle of purchasing insurance for each trip and the risk of forgetting to do so. Additionally, an annual plan allows you to lock-in the current price at the time of purchase, protecting you from future price increases or fluctuations for single-trip plans. At Allianz Travel, we offer a range of annual multi-trip plans to meet your specific travel needs and provide you with peace of mind throughout the year.
#15 “Do I still need COVID-19 cover?”
At Allianz Travel, we understand that COVID-19 has been a major concern for travellers in recent times. While we hope that the pandemic will soon come to an end, it is still important to consider the possibility of other epidemic or pandemic diseases in the future. Our travel insurance policies provide coverage for various medical conditions, including being diagnosed with an epidemic or pandemic disease such as COVID-19. Therefore, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, our coverage can still provide valuable protection for unforeseen medical emergencies that may occur during your travels.
– Tricia Lim, Chief Sales Officer, Allianz Partners Singapore
Allianz Insurance Singapore
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