Buying the best travel insurance in Singapore before going on an overseas trip is a valuable investment that offers financial protection and peace of mind in unfamiliar territory. Especially with the rising number of extreme weather events and unexpected lockdowns happening in recent years that caused flight delays or cancellations, leveraging travel insurance to prevent financial losses has become more important than ever.
If you are unfamiliar with how travel insurance can protect you from sudden flight disruptions or help you get a refund for flight tickets in Singapore, here is what you need to know before your next trip.
What Travel Insurance Covers in the Event of Flight Cancellations or Delays
According to Personal Finance Insider’s 2023 survey, the majority of travellers cited flight changes as the primary reason for buying travel insurance. Perhaps this is because flight disruptions seem commonplace and can easily amount to thousands of dollars even when it is no fault of the traveller.
Here are some common scenarios related to flight cancellations and delays that travel insurance may cover for.
If you need to cancel your trip before departure due to a covered reason such as sickness (for example COVID-19), injury, death of a family member or other unforeseen emergencies, travel insurance in Singapore can get you a refund for flight tickets. Some policies also cover non-refundable trip expenses such as accommodation and prepaid activities.
Travel insurance can provide coverage for additional expenses incurred during flight delays. However, do note that travel insurance benefits for a trip delay can only be claimed if your case meets specific reasons and duration of delay. Depending on the policy you sign up for, the delay must be at least 6 to 12 hours and due to covered reasons like bad weather, airline strikes or mechanical issues.
If you miss a connecting flight due to a covered reason such as a delay of your initial flight or disruptions beyond your control, travel insurance can cover the costs associated with rebooking flights and accommodations while you wait for the next available connection.
Flight Cancellations or Interruptions by Airline
Some policies offer coverage for flight cancellations initiated by the airlines. Whether it is due to the airline going bankrupt, crew protests, or reasons beyond your control such as weather-related cancellations, travel insurance can help cover additional expenses related to rebooking or extending your trip.
Do note that not all travel policies are the same. The best travel insurance in Singapore may offer extensive benefits but there are some that cover only the bare minimum. It all depends on what you sign up for.
To ensure you get the right coverage, think through your travel habits and possible disruptions you may encounter in your travel destination. From there you will have a clear idea of what coverage you truly require. For example, if you are travelling for extreme sports, you may want to have additional riders that cover you from possible danger that comes with such activities. Similarly, if you are flying to a remote location with limited connectivity, a decent travel policy will be useful to cover costs of delayed or missed flights.
How To Claim for Flight Delays and Cancellations
What should you do in the event of a flight delay or cancellation?
First and foremost, you must show proof of disruptions before you will be eligible to make an insurance claim. Insurers will usually ask for a letter from the airline stating the reason for delays and information on the original and actual travel dates and times.
You can approach the airline counter at the airport to obtain the letter if the airline does not provide you with such a letter or you may write to the airline concerned upon your return. You may also approach your tour group leader for assistance if you are part of a tour group.
On the other hand, if the flight cancellation is due to personal reasons like illness, injury or unforeseen emergencies, you must obtain proper documentation that can prove your case. Medical reports, death certifications and police reports may all come in handy to justify your claims.
When in doubt, always make an enquiry via the insurers’ email or hotline. This contact information is readily available on insurers’ websites. Most reputable insurers have made claim procedures relatively straight forward. You can even submit your claims online without visiting their offices.
Best Travel Insurance in Singapore 2023
You do not need to buy the most expensive travel insurance plan to have peace of mind for a trip. What is important is to get one that caters to your travel style and habits.
If you need some guidance on which insurance plan to pick, here are a few options that our travel insurance experts shortlisted after comparing some of the best travel insurance plans from 20 travel insurers in Singapore:
Best Trip Inconvenience Coverage: Allianz Travel
|1-Week Global Trip Premium||S$85.20 to S$154.20|
|Trip Cancellation Cover||S$10,000 to S$25,000|
|Trip Delay Cover||S$0 to S$2,000|
|Baggage Loss/Damage||S$3,000 to S$7,000|
This plan offers high value with a generous trip inconvenience coverage. It is great for those who travel with valuable belongings or tend to make sudden changes to their trip itinerary.
Best Travel Insurance Promotion: FWD
|1-Week Global Trip Premium||S$37.80 to S$S$65.70|
|Trip Cancellation Cover||S$7,500 to S$15,000|
|Trip Delay Cover||S$300 to S$1,087|
|Baggage Loss/Damage||S$3,000 to S$7,500|
FWD offers 20 to 25 percent off premium prices, hence making it a great value option. In general, FWD’s premiums are considered 15 to 30 percent below average industry price yet it still offers competitive benefits that extend beyond basic medical and trip inconvenience.
Cheapest Travel Insurance for ASEAN Destinations: Etiqa Insurance and HL Assurance
|Etiqa Insurance||HL Assurance|
|1-Week Trip Premium||Entry Plan – S$39.00||Basic Plan – S$34.80|
|Trip Cancellation Cover||S$5,000||S$5,000|
|Trip Delay Cover||S$300||S$1,000|
Both Etiqa and HL Assurance offer relatively affordable travel insurance plans. Comparison between various basic plans also found that these ASEAN policies are 30 to 40 percent lower than the industry’s average.
Best Value Annual Travel Insurance: Singlife
|Annual ASEAN Premium||Plus Plan – S$330|
|Trip Cancellation Cover||S$15,000|
|Trip Delay Cover||S$1,000|
The Plus Plan offers above average coverage for those who are looking for flexible medical and trip inconvenience coverage. The overseas medical coverage for this plan is as high as S$2,000,000 and it allows members to change or cancel trip dates for any reason.
For more information on the best travel insurance available in Singapore, check out what our Valuechampion travel insurance experts have to say. They have compared policies by regions and benefits to ensure you get the best coverage based on your travel habits.
The article originally appeared on ValueChampion.
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