Planner Bee
Published in

Planner Bee

Unpacking COVID-19 Insurance for a Worry-Free Travel

Hurray!

After more than two years of closed borders, the world is slowly opening up and travel between countries has resumed.

Are you planning that long-awaited getaway with your loved ones? Or simply a solo trip to cure that #wanderlust itch? Be warned! Travelling in the post-covid era has evolved.

Whether near or far, there are new procedures to be done before departure. Things like pre-departure covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, vaccine certification, and booking vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flights will become staples in your travel itineraries.

Beyond that, there is the need to pack for the appropriate weather of your destination and most importantly, not forgetting your travel insurance!

Countries with quarantine-free travel from Singapore

Travellers now do not need approval to leave Singapore. However, you should check with the authorities of the destination country/region on the requirements imposed on travellers departing from Singapore.

The Singapore government is actively working with other countries to create more quarantine-free travel.

Check the Changi Airport website for more information on travel restrictions to various countries.

Protip: Purchase your flight tickets directly with the airline instead of an aggregator as this will expedite any flight changes in light of the ever-evolving pandemic situation.

Travel insurance: from good-to-have to must-have

In this ‘new normal’, travel insurance is now a very crucial component for your safety. Gone are the days where your biggest worry was merely stolen luggage! In its place, cancellation and postponement of trips are now commonplace, whilst a need for medical assistance overseas has become a real possibility.

Consider this when booking your holiday: that there is a chance (however slim) that you could experience these issues and will need to make a claim.

In fact, when the pandemic started, most insurance providers initially did not extend their coverage to Covid-19-related incidents. But as people continue to look for peace of mind when flying overseas, market demand will undoubtedly continue to grow for travel insurance.

Choosing the ‘best’ travel insurance with covid-19 coverage

Covid-19 insurance coverage is a relatively new thing and there are many combinations that vary from insurer to insurer — think policies that have covid-19 coverage before, during, and after your trip. With this plethora of options currently in the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

Apart from the pricing of the plans, these are some other factors you should consider:

  • Trip cancellation/postponement/curtailment
  • Medical expenses coverage
  • Overseas hospital cash
  • Overseas quarantine allowance
  • Ease of claims

Top 6 travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage

Disclaimer: Accurate as at 25th March 2022

Looking to travel soon and would like someone to help you with your travel insurance needs? Ping us with your travel dates and location and our team will help you along the way, from sourcing to claims.

1. FWD First

FWD offers some of the most wallet-friendly travel insurance plans. Priced at S$67, these plans won’t break the bank especially when factoring the amount needed to be spent on the PCR and ART tests pre and post travel.

Covid-19 travel insurance coverage:

  • Medical expenses: Up to S$100,000 while overseas or after returning to Singapore
  • Hospitalisation allowance: S$200 per day for up to 14 days, while overseas or within 14 days after returning to Singapore
  • Trip cancellation: Up to S$1,000 for non-refundable costs, for up to 30 days before the trip
  • Trip disruption: Up to S$1,000 for additional transport expenses
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation: Up to S$100,000

Benefit: Medical expenses and hospitalisation allowances are applicable for up to 14 days after your return, which not all plans offer.

2. AXA SmartTraveller

AXA SmartTraveller Essential costs S$95.37 for a week-long trip with the most basic plan to most countries and includes the following Covid-19 travel insurance coverage:

  • Medical expenses: Up to S$75,000
  • Hospitalisation allowance: S$100 per day while overseas, capped at S$1,000
  • Quarantine allowance: S$50 per day while overseas, capped at S$350
  • Trip cancellation: Up to S$1,000
  • Trip postponement: Up to S$500
  • Trip curtailment or rearrangement: Up to S$2,000
  • Emergency transportation: Unlimited

Benefit: AXA covers medical costs incurred within 90 days of your trip. AXA is also flexible when it comes to claims for trip curtailment or rearrangement, which includes situations when there is a Covid-19 outbreak at the destination country or a death of a family member from Covid-19.

3. Sompo Essential

The Sompo Essential plan costs S$103 for a week-long trip to most VTL countries and includes the following Covid-19 travel insurance coverage:

  • Medical expenses: Up to S$100,000 while overseas
  • Hospitalisation allowance: S$50 per day while overseas, capped at S$700
  • Quarantine allowance: S$50 per day while overseas, capped at S$700
  • Trip cancellation: Up to S$2,000
  • Trip postponement: Up to S$2,000
  • Trip curtailment: Up to S$1,000
  • Trip disruption: Up to S$1,000
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation: Up to S$100,000

Benefit: If your travel companion is down with Covid-19 up to 30 days before departure, you can choose to claim for your travel expenses rather than go alone.

4. AIG Travel Guard

The AIG Travel Guard Classic is one of the more basic plans and is priced at S$105 for a week-long trip. This travel insurance covers:

  • Medical expenses: Up to S$100,000
  • Quarantine allowance: S$100 per day for up to 14 days while overseas
  • Travel cancellation: Up to S$2,500
  • Travel curtailment: Up to S$2,500
  • Travel postponement: Up to S$500
  • Emergency evacuation and repatriation: Up to S$100,000

Benefit: This plan offers compensation if you (or a family member) catches Covid-19 in Singapore and have to postpone or cancel your trip.

5. NTUC Income Classic plan

The most basic of NTUC Income’s travel insurance, NTUC Income Classic plan, costs S$137 and provides the following coverage:

  • Medical expenses: Up to S$150,000 while overseas
  • Quarantine allowance: S$100 per day while overseas, capped at S$1,400
  • Trip cancellation: Up to S$2,000
  • Trip postponement: Up to S$2,000
  • Trip curtailment: Up to S$2,000
  • Trip disruption: Up to S$2,000
  • Emergency transportation: Up to S$150,000

Benefit: The plan offers up to S$150,000 worth of overseas medical expenses, valid for the first 90 days of your trip. NTUC Income travel insurance policyholders can also enjoy the added benefit of taking the Covid-19 pre-departure PCR swab test at only S$124.20.

What should you do if you are Covid positive during or after your trip

Right from the start when booking your trip, do keep all receipts, tickets and itineraries just in case your trip has to be cancelled or altered.

If you are tested Covid-19 positive or are affected by a related travel disruption overseas, call your insurance provider immediately as they will be best placed to advise you accordingly on the next steps of action.

Many insurers maintain a 24-hour hotline for travel claims.

You will have to submit your claim with supporting documents within the deadline (usually 30 days), remember to always have all receipts on hand so you can submit claims on-the-go and not wait only until you are back in Singapore to process them.

Should you be tested positive in Singapore, you will likely have to submit your results of a PCR or ART test conducted at a clinic or hospital. However, it gets a bit more complicated if you’re overseas. In that instance, you will need to provide documentation from both the hospital as well as a doctor’s letter stating that you are not recommended to fly.

If you have to be quarantined overseas, request for a quarantine order from the government as not all countries provide the documentation, otherwise you may not be able to claim for a quarantine allowance from your insurer.

Conclusion

Regardless how careful you are, there will always be a possibility of catching Covid-19. In times of uncertainty, it is always wise to be certain of the safety net you have when travelling overseas. With travel insurance protecting you not only from Covid-19, and many other nitty-gritties contingencies such as baggage loss, flight delays and accidents.

Choose the best travel insurance for your #wanderlust needs and bon voyage!

Originally published at https://plannerbee.co on April 6, 2022.

--

--

--

Personal finance, tailored for Asia

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Planner Bee

Planner Bee

Automating financial management through smarter technology.

More from Medium

How to Effectively Redefine Employee Career Development in the New Economy

The 3 more laws of stupidity

ACT Freight Forecast: The Pendulum of the Freight Cycle Swings Back

Confronting Sadism