Planning your next getaway, sending your child off to university overseas or relocating across the globe? Don’t just settle for the cheapest or easiest insurance plans; do some research to make sure that you’ve got all your bases covered. Basic travel insurance plans often limit or exclude certain items such as pregnancy, medical evacuation or extreme sports – you don’t want to end up having a ton of unnecessary bills because you didn’t check what was included. Here, we posed some of our readers’ questions about travel insurance to the team at Pacific Prime Singapore.
“I’m organising a cruise holiday and the itinerary takes in multiple countries; what sort 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.
“I’m relocating overseas soon. Will I be able to keep my current travel insurance coverage?”
Generally, on an individual level, travel insurance only provides coverage for one trip outside of the policyholder’s home country, and lasts until the moment they return. If you would like 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 countries or not.
“I’m pregnant; will I be covered under travel insurance?”
Technically speaking, yes. However, this depends on several factors, including whether you’re travelling to an at-risk destination and how long you have been pregnant. While pregnancy travel insurance covers similar things as standard travel insurance such as lost and stolen luggage, flight delays and cancellations, it also provides medical benefits more suitable for pregnant women. This applies as long as the situation meets the following criteria:
- Complications that arise are unexpected
- The trip covered by the policy ends on or before the policyholder is 26 to 32 weeks pregnant (the exact number of weeks varies depending on the policy)
- The trip is not related to treatment associated with reproductive programs such as IVF
Note, though, that insurers do not cover normal childbirth, since it’s not an unforeseen event or illness.
“My domestic helper is going home; what type of travel insurance should I consider for her?”
A standard travel insurance policy will be enough to cover the insurance needs of a domestic helper returning home. They are typically not expensive and can provide your helper with emergency care should they need it, coverage for travel disruptions and more. Although there are health insurance plans specifically designed for domestic helpers, these are not appropriate for travelling outside your country of residence as they do not offer international health coverage.
“Are there any age restrictions for travel insurance coverage?”
You may come across insurance policies that come with age restrictions. Many insurers tend to charge higher premiums for individuals over 65 as they are deemed more likely to suffer from accidental injuries and have pre-existing conditions.
Luckily, there’s senior travel insurance that provides coverage for people over 65 – some policies may even cover people over 100 years old! Beyond standard travel insurance benefits, it can include loss of medication compensation, loss, theft or damage of medical equipment and pre-trip medical screening.
“I’m going to try skydiving on my next overseas holiday. Is there a special type of insurance I can get?”
Yes, there’s an extreme sports travel insurance designed to provide coverage for extreme or adventure sports. It usually covers medical coverage, 24/7 emergency assistance, coverage of lost or stolen equipment and unused adventure sports costs due to accidental sickness or injury.
“Sadly, it looks like I might have to postpone or cancel an upcoming trip; can I be covered for that?”
You can only claim for your travel expenses if you postpone or cancel your trip for a covered reason; usually specific unforeseen circumstances such as:
- The unexpected death, illness or injury of you and/or a travelling companion that deems you unfit to travel by order of a licensed physician
- The hospitalisation or death of a non-travelling family member
- Weather or a common carrier-related issue (varies by policy)
- Unforeseen natural disasters at home or your destination
- Cessation of services by airlines, cruise companies or other carriers
“My eldest daughter is going on a short-term exchange programme; what sort of insurance should I get for her?”
Overseas students should consider securing student 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 the place to receive emergency medical care.
“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 for between one day and twelve months, even when you’re overseas. However, any medical conditions that developed during the previous insurance period will not be covered in the new 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.
Pacific Prime Singapore
18 Cross Street, China Square Central, #14-05
6346 3781 | pacificprime.sg