We may choose to fly business class, stay in luxury 5-star hotels but scrimp when it comes to getting a travel insurance? Does it even make sense?
Imagine being stranded in a foreign country due to a weather event and your designated flight has been postponed till further notice. You are left to your own devices to look for an accommodation at the last minute.
That’s probably when you start to ask yourself, “Why did I not get a travel insurance?”
It’s definitely not a great way to end a holiday!
What to consider when getting a travel insurance
Most people might be tempted to just get a cheap travel insurance. But getting a cheap insurance that provides inadequate cover is just a waste of money, so price should not be the determining factor.
Instead, one should focus on the types of benefits and coverage which are relevant to them, as well as consider possible exclusions and claim limits for the benefits.
For instance, if a person is planning to do adventurous activities, such as white-water rafting during the holidays, it is important to check whether the travel insurance provides coverage for that.
In recent years, DirectAsia has also improved our travel insurance coverage to include reluctance to travel following a terrorist act at your planned travel destination. This allows travellers to minimise their financial damage during such situations and not have to travel without peace of mind.
Adequacy of sums insured
A good way to assess the level of coverage needed is to gauge the potential financial losses you’d incur if you do not have travel insurance.
Think about the potential monetary damage should your travel agency close down. You can also consider getting a more basic plan for a nearby destination, and a more superior one for far-flung destinations such as Europe and the United States.
Some travellers might only utilise the free travel insurance provided by their credit cards. We wrote about why it might not be adequate here.
Many Singaporeans think that travelling in Asia would not require a high medical expense coverage. But if you are travelling to a third-world country, you might end up opting for a foreign-run hospital or private clinic. This better access will also cost you more.
If not, you might want to ensure that the policy provides sufficient medical evacuation or repatriation coverage to transport you back home or to a hospital better equipped to render the desired treatment.
You might also want to check on the medical expenses coverage and the duration offered on return to Singapore. Some illnesses come with an incubation period and you might only discover it upon your return.
Trip postponement or cancellation
Typhoons, volcano alert, an outbreak of infectious disease or even haze can disrupt your travel plans. It could also be an unfortunate illness that strikes the policyholder or accompanying family members that may cause the trip to be cancelled. Make sure that the travel policy provides coverage for trip postponement or cancellation for these reasons.
Annual or single-trip plan
When getting a travel insurance, many of us often opt for single-trip plan because of the lower cost. But most of us travel a few times a year, making an annual plan more cost-effective. It also saves you the time and hassle to look for a plan each time you travel.
Generally, it is good practice to buy travel insurance once your air tickets and accommodation overseas are booked. Of course, getting an annual plan allows you to skip this step. Getting your travel insurance early ensures that you are covered for trip cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, including any serious illnesses that might cause your plans to be derailed.
Equally important is to use a reputable insurer which provides 24-hour worldwide assistance and the ability to process claims quickly. Remember, getting the cheapest travel insurance may not give you adequate coverage or might contain lots of terms and conditions when it comes to claims.
Pay for quality cover and get what you deserve. FInd a suitable plan here for your next trip!