Knowing which travel insurance is best can be quite tricky, especially with COVID in the mix. Here, our friends at Pacific Prime Singapore offer tips on choosing the best travel insurance for your family – what to consider, knowing what travel insurance covers and more.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a coverage plan that financially protects you against unexpected events during your travels, such as trip delays or cancellations, lost luggage, and medical emergencies. Even if your health insurance offers some coverage while travelling, it often won’t cover everything, especially if you’re travelling overseas. A good travel insurance plan acts as a buffer and provides additional protection.
What travel insurance covers
Many different travel insurance plans are available to cater to all types of travellers and trips. Regardless of which insurance plan or provider you go with, here are five things the travel insurance plan will likely cover:
#1 Trip cancellation and interruption
Non-refundable expenses like plane tickets or prepaid hotel bookings are typically reimbursed, though acceptable reasons to claim are often limited unless you add ‘cancel for any reason’ (CFAR) insurance.
#2 Trip delays and missed connections
You can also be reimbursed for extra expenses incurred due to trip delays if it meets the insurer’s criteria (e.g. flight delayed by a certain amount of hours).
#3 Baggage and personal belongings
Plans generally cover the cost of lost or damaged personal belongings and luggage, along with the cost of additional purchases due to delayed luggage.
#4 Emergency medical and dental care
This covers the cost of medical care for illnesses and injuries in another country. However, it won’t cover non-emergency medical expenses like health insurance does.
#5 Emergency medical evacuation
While more expensive, this covers the cost of an ambulance, helicopter or other emergency transfer service if you have to be taken to a place with adequate healthcare services. Therefore, this is essential if you’re in an isolated or politically unstable area.
#6 Accidental death and dismemberment and repatriation
Look for lots of coverage for medical costs and repatriation home. Basic plans usually won’t offer this, but you can easily upgrade with a higher premium.
#7 Concierge and 24/7 service
Good travel insurance policies come with a 24/7 service hotline for travel and medical emergencies.
Things to consider
A basic plan might be enough for some travellers. But, it may not provide enough coverage if you have a pre-existing medical condition, are older, engage in sports while travelling, book a costly trip, or travel with expensive equipment. If any of these categories apply to you, you may want to consider an upgrade or add-on.
Before purchasing a plan, it’s vital to go over the terms and conditions and look out for specific exclusions. Reach out to your insurance provider or broker if something is not clear or if you have any questions. A good insurer or broker will be happy to respond and clarify your questions.
Travel insurance and COVID
While lost luggage was once a traveller’s worst nightmare, COVID-related issues like infection and travel cancellations have become the new travel mishaps to worry about.
At the start of the pandemic, most insurers didn’t extend their coverage to mishaps related to the then-novel coronavirus. Luckily, this has changed as living with the virus appears to be the new normal. Now, more insurers are starting to provide COVID coverage – though coverage can significantly vary between insurers.
Choosing the best travel insurance plan with COVID coverage
Currently, there are a few things you need to look for when selecting travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage. Key considerations include medical expenses coverage, overseas quarantine allowance and overseas hospital cash.
It’s also important to be aware that most plans still won’t offer coverage if you’re travelling against a travel advisory by local authorities. This includes any set by the Singapore government or the local authority at your travel destination. So, it’s important to make sure to monitor announcements from both your departure and arrival destinations before getting on a flight.
Additionally, COVID-19 travel insurance plans tend to exclude failing to take precautions for the coronavirus. This is usually worded rather broadly, but it could include not abiding by COVID-19 regulations while flying or at your destination. Do be sure to wear your mask as required and avoid any illegal gatherings – for example, a rave.
Get the best travel insurance plan for you with Pacific Prime Singapore
Purchasing travel insurance can feel like packing for a trip. It might be overwhelming at the start, but sooner or later it becomes a habit and essential part of travelling. Then you get to experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re financially protected wherever you go.
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