Travel insurance providers and their policies run the gamut to cater to the diverse needs of travellers. Here’s our guide to choosing an insurance provider that’s right for you.
Find a Reputable Provider
When it comes to insurance, it’s important that the provider you choose is reputable. When searching online, you’re likely to encounter big names like AXA Insurance and Allianz Insurance, global companies with the reputation and experience in providing a vast array of insurance policies including travel.
However, it’s worth comparing their prices with smaller insurance providers such as NTUC Income Travel Insurance, which can sometimes be cheaper, although provide less monetary coverage. The benefit of looking at smaller providers, particularly for shorter trips without complex itineraries or specific activities, is that you can save money – not to mention you’ll be supporting local companies.
If it is the insurer’s reputation you are worried about, many smaller providers are sometimes underwritten by larger companies. This means that while their name may not be well known, you will have peace of mind knowing you are still in safe hands! So research this information and choose a provider that offers the right price as well as a solid reputation.
Choose a Policy That Suits Your Needs
Insurance providers tend to have different levels of cover to flexibly suit the varying needs of travellers – some may require little cover, while others require something more comprehensive.
For example, DBS Travel Insurance covers adventure activities including bungee jumping, skiing, scuba diving, but only under their Premier and Platinum Plans. Just because you’re travelling to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime doesn’t mean you’ll be covered for the activities you’ll experience. It’s important to look for this condition rather than opt for the cheapest policy.
Consider the Excess
Another comparison point is to look at the average excess attached to providers’ insurance policies as this will determine your out-of-pocket expense following a claim. For example, if your policy has an excess of $500, and you need to claim for the repair of a damaged camera for $650, your policy will only cover you for the difference of $150.
Some insurers will have policies that may cost a little more, but offers a no excess option, meaning you will receive the full amount of the claim.
Think about How Much Value Needs to Be Covered
All travel insurance policies will have a limit on their payout amount per item of benefit, usually below the worth of many of our valuables, so look at this carefully. Say you are going to get married somewhere exotic, and you will be packing your wedding dress and jewellery with you – MSIG Travel Insurance’s TravelEasy plan, for example, covers wedding apparel and accessories, which makes this the policy of choice if your travel intention is to get married as you’ll be packing a lot more valuables than if you were going on a backpacking trip.
A more common situation travellers are likely to encounter is car hire. If you are hiring a car during your trip, the excess may put a big dent in your travel budget. It’s worthwhile looking for a provider that has a policy that covers the excess of the car hire. It might end up saving you thousands of dollars in case of an accident.
Check If the Insurer Covers Pre-existing Medical Conditions
Those with pre-existing medical conditions should take great care in ensuring their insurance provider is willing to cover their condition, and be aware of any restrictions that may apply such as any specialist medical items attached to them. Female travellers, for example, can take advantage of the Allianz Insurance policy, which contains cover for women’s benefits. This includes pregnancy-related illness or emergency, which is not typically covered by all insurance companies.
Consider the Support You Will Get
Some insurance providers may include several benefits in their policy, but it may not suit everyone if they are only able to contact the company during normal Singapore business hours. If you are travelling to the other side of the world, where it may be inconvenient for you to work out the time differences for a support call, it is essential you choose a company that provides more contact options or longer support hours for customers to get in touch.
Allianz Insurance has a 24-hour support hotline, making it easier for travellers to get in contact to request assistance, and many companies out there also offer email or online chat support for less-urgent requests.
Consider Family and Annual Policies
If you are travelling with family, it is worthwhile to consider travel insurance providers that offer family policies. These policies are often better value for money and cover both parents and children on their journey.
Or, if you are a frequent traveller, consider providers that offer annual multi-trip policies. These policies cover up to a certain number of days abroad, often also covering local travel for the entire 12-month period. Of course, strict terms and conditions are usually attached to these multi-trip policies, such as AXA Insurance, which has a limitation of cover of up to 92 days per trip for the Annual Plan, where trips must begin from and end in Singapore.
Always Read the Fine Print!
There is so much competition in the insurance world that there is always a travel insurance promotion that can catch your eye. But before you decide to purchase a policy based on the promotional price, always read the terms and conditions carefully. They may be dull, but the fine print that accompanies any travel insurance policy will detail everything you need to know about what is covered and how to claim should you require assistance.