When it comes to buying travel insurance in Singapore we’re spoilt for choice. You can pick up your travel insurance from banks, airlines, travel agents, the Internet and even at the airport before you board. But not all travel insurance policies are created equal so don’t assume one travel insurance policy is the same as the next.
Problems can arise when people think they’re covered and discover too late that they’re not.
You can take a number of simple but important precautions to make sure your travel insurance lives up to its promises.
Here’s what you can do:
- It may be tedious but it’s important to check the cover and small print before you buy. In particular look for:
- Excesses. Don’t just compare premium prices; check how much of a claim you would have to pay out. For instance, if the excess is $100 per item that means you have to pay the first $100 of any claim for each item you are claiming.
- The level of medical protection you have, particularly in countries where medical costs can be high.
- What you’re not covered for such as pre-existing medical conditions.
- If you’re covered for lost or stolen cash and how much.
- If loss is covered as well as theft.
- If 24-hour emergency assistance is included or optional.
- It’s important to be upfront about any existing medical conditions
Remember, your travel insurance policy is a legally binding contract between you and the insurer. This means you must disclose anything that may affect the acceptance or terms of a policy, any exclusions or its price.Be totally open and honest about your medical history and the activities you’re likely to be involved in, whether you think they’re hazardous or not. If in doubt declare it anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- It’s a good idea to take a copy of the policy documents on holiday with you
Most good policy documents will tell you the claim procedures to follow in the event of theft or loss, what you are covered for and most importantly who to call in an emergency.
- Document any expensive items you take with you
Do take photos and keep receipts for any valuable items you have such as jewellery or cameras you plan to take with you on holiday. Having proof helps enormously if you claim for these expensive items
- Report any thefts or losses as soon as possible
If your possessions are lost or stolen, report it immediately to the local police in whatever country you’re in. Get an accident report number or similar documentary proof that you’ve reported the loss and if you’re on a package holiday, report the theft/loss to the hotel or travel rep too.If your bag is lost, stolen or damaged at the airport, report it immediately and get a receipt from the airline or baggage handler.
- Know what to do in a medical emergency
Before you set off on your travels do check your policy document or contact the insurer to confirm what you should do in a medical emergency. If you have to buy any treatments or medicines, again keep receipts and original prescriptions if possible.
- When you arrive home from your holiday
Examine the small print, contact your insurer and work out what you can claim for. Submit all supporting documentation via recorded delivery (keeping copies for yourself) as evidence of your claims. Don’t be afraid to deluge the insurer with receipts, photographs and copies of any police or medical reports you have. This will help speed up your claim.