Travelling Soon? Here's The FAQ You Need For Your Travel Insurance Questions
In this article
Travel insurance, especially for short trips, seemed like an option in pre-COVID-19 days. It wasn’t really a necessity to spend for short-term travel insurance at that time. There were certain credit cards giving complimentary travel insurance coverage as part of their product plans, after all, right?
Yet, COVID-19 came and shook lives everywhere across the globe. It showed everyone that immunity was not impermeable, and that without vaccines, life would otherwise still be confined by movement control orders and social distancing.
Thankfully, life as we know it is almost returning to normalcy. Why, masks are now almost optional here in Singapore.
It beckons the BIG question though - what’s the best way to sort out travel insurance gaps in 2022? How can you protect yourself from instances beyond your control, even like falling sick from COVID-19 while you’re abroad?
This guide answers your burning questions on travel insurance, all in one place.
Why is it necessary to buy travel insurance? Isn’t my credit card’s travel insurance enough?
Sure, you’ve probably got some travel insurance coverage thanks to your credit card. But you’re better off with a more comprehensive plan.
Travel insurance protects you from cancelled or delayed flights, and also medical emergencies that happen while you’re out of Singapore. In the unlucky event of you getting your personal items lost or stolen, you’d receive compensation too.
While COVID-19 may seem like yesterday's news, the chances of getting it while on vacation are still high and the last thing you'd want is to be stuck overseas, concerned about the cost of treatment or quarantining. Income's Travel Insurance takes this worry away, with two times more COVID-19 coverage for overseas transport and accommodation expenses^.
Finally, if a situation arises where you’d need to cover evacuation costs, you’re covered, too.
Learn more about Why Your Credit Card's Free Travel Insurance Is Not Enough here.
How late before a trip can I buy travel insurance?
Travel insurance is only purchasable right up to just before you leave Singapore. Don’t leave it at the final minute though, as you’re otherwise losing out on trip cancellation, travel delays1 and other coverages such as COVID-19 coverage t hat apply before your trip starts. For example, if you need to cancel your trip due to COVID-19 within 30 days before you are due to leave Singapore, you will be covered by Income’s travel insurance.
I am only going for a short trip to nearby Malaysia. Do I still need to buy travel insurance?
Even if it’s just a short trip, purchasing travel insurance could help you a long way. If you travel very often, getting an annual travel insurance could work better for you (and save you more money!).
One ideal plan with hourly travel insurance coverage for short trips to Batam, Bintan, and Malaysia is Income's FlexiTravel Hourly Insurance. It covers you for loss of personal belongings and baggage because of theft and unauthorised overseas charges made to your bank card while you are overseas. Additionally, you can extend or shorten your coverage2 as needed with FlexiTravel Hourly Insurance, giving you a peace of mind while you’re on your short getaways.
I will be going on an adventure (e.g. hiking, skiing,scuba diiving). What kind of travel insurance should I get?
If adventure is part of your overseas trip agenda, it’s best that you opt for travel insurance coverage that extends to outdoor adventures and sports.
There are three distinct categories to adventure sports, and these include:
- Air/aerial activities, like bungee jumping or rock climbing
- Water activities, like scuba diving
- Winter activities, like skiing
- Competitions, like Ironman triathlons
Income's Travel Insurance covers most outdoor adventure, including hiking, trekking, skiing, scuba diving and other snow sports (excluding competitive sports). However, it is best to refer to the policy conditions for examples of exclusion. Alternatively, you may contact your insurer to clarify.
I am bringing expensive equipment (e.g. cameras, bicycles) with me. How can I get insured in case the equipment is lost or damaged?
Loss or damage of personal belongings is covered under Income’s Travel Insurance. The coverage will depend on which plan you choose. However, do note that sub-limits for each section apply, and refer to the Travel Insurance full coverage for a better understanding of each section.
I have existing medical conditions. Will these be covered for in my travel insurance?
Yes, you can get coverage as a traveler with pre-existing conditions. It would definitely be useful to offset any unexpected medical costs, including hospitalisation and evacuation.
Income’s travel insurance coverage covers pre-existing conditions under Enhanced PreX plans, and extends to illnesses like asthma, eczema, diabetes, heart condition, stroke and hypertension. You’d be covered for unexpected overseas hospitalisation and outpatient expenses3 due to pre-existing medical conditions4, and in times of emergency, for medical evacuation and repatriation (terms apply).
I have already flown out of Singapore. Can I still get travel insurance?
Unfortunately, no! You won’t be able to get travel insurance once you’re out of Singapore. Your insuring company also has the right to backtrack to your travel insurance purchase timing (concerning your flight timing, that is) if you ever make a claim.
I came into an accident with a rented vehicle. What should I do now?
Got into a bump (or bumped into) while you were driving abroad? Ensure you have ample pictures of the accident and call your insurance company or insurance agent. If you’re insured under Income’s DrivoTM Car Insurance, there is a 24/7 referral services hotline you can reach out to for road and medical assistance in West Malaysia.
Also, ensure you have a copy of your rental agreement, a police report and the original invoice issued for the rental excess. Check with your insurer if there’s anything additional you’d need to furnish, just to ensure that all bases are covered.
When you return to Singapore and submit your claim for rental vehicle excess, it would take a few weeks to process and for you to receive your coverage sum.
My phone is damaged. How can I make a claim?
If you lose your phone, you would need to make an official police report to the relevant local authority or police department immediately, within 24 hours of the occurrence. Keep a copy of this report, as you’ll need it to make your claim (most of which is online these days).
I lost my passport/wallet. What can I do?
You’d need to firstly locate the Singapore High Commission or Embassy that’s closest to you. They’d be your official contact, where you can get a Document of Identity to exit the country and enter Singapore again.
If the office is closed when you lost your passport, send an email first. You’d need to find your find your way to the office’s location, which often lies in the country’s capital.
Ensure you have a police report lodged within 24 hours from the time you discover your passport was lost.
I need medical assistance. How can I get it?
If you need medical assistance, the first thing you should do is contact your Income’s emergency medical assistance provider.Their team should then be able to advise you and arrange for medical assistance by identifying the closest hospital or medical facility to you.
Your coverage follows the limits stated in the table of cover of your plan or up to a specified period from when you first started treatment.
I’m travelling with infants and/or toddlers. What kind of travel insurance do I need?
If you’re going abroad with a baby or a toddler (or both!), you’d want to ensure that you’ve got every aspect of their travel covered, as they’ve got a higher likelihood of getting injured.
You can insure as many children at the same family plan premium under Income’s travel insurance (terms apply).
In terms of age, it would be ideal to check with your insurer if there is a minimum age to be fulfilled.
My child will be travelling on their own. What travel insurance should I buy them?
According to Singapore Airlines, any passenger between the ages of 5 to below 18 years falls under the Unaccompanied Minor category. They would require Unaccompanied Minor handling services, and tickets can only be purchased through contact with the airline’s office.
Income provides coverage for children who are travelling solo under an Adult coverage. If the child is under 16 years old, the parent can be the policyholder and the child is the insured.
My parents are elderly (above 70) with no medical issues. What travel insurance should I buy for them?
Income’s plan caters to seniors above the age of 70 years and is budget-friendly, making it the ideal pick for someone who wants to get the most value possible out of a budget travel insurance plan for seniors. Under the Classic plan, this includes S$5,000 for trip cancellation, S$5,000 for baggage loss, and S$250,000 for overseas medical expenses.
What travel insurance should I buy for COVID-19 coverage?
Most insurers include COVID-19 coverage as part of their travel insurance plan post the pandemic, and Income is also a part of that, offering two times more COVID-19 coverage for overseas transport and accommodation expenses than similar plans in Singapore^.
In order to qualify for the coverage, a traveller would need to satisfy vaccination, pre-departure tests (if necessary) and post-arrival test requirements (if necessary).
Coverage for COVID-19 includes:
- For trip cancellations of up to S$15,000 (per insured person)
- For shortening your trip of up to S$15,000 (per insured person)
- Medical expenses overseas of up to S$1M (per insured person)
- Overseas hospital allowance of up to S$50,000 (per insured person)
- Overseas quarantine allowance of S$100 per day up to 14 days (per day per insured person).
Driving to Malaysia
What should I do if I get robbed in Malaysia?
If you’re unfortunately robbed while travelling across the border, you’d need to do these four things as soon as possible - cancel your credit cards, file a police report, call the Singapore High Commission (if your passport is stolen) and make your travel insurance claim.
More in depth details in terms of contact points are here.
My car broke down in Malaysia. What should I do?
If your car breaks down, the first thing you should do is contact your insurer’s careline number and explain the situation, as they’d be the best people to access your situation and send the right help, quickly and swiftly.
If your car breaks down, it’s best to have travel insurance at the same time, simply because you’re also covered for things like trip postponement and overseas medical expenses, should you need them.
I want to claim travel insurance. What are the steps to do so?
Depending on the severity and urgency of your claim, you’d want to contact your insurance company by phone or email and explain the situation to them.
Taking Income's Travel Insurance claims as an example, you’d be able to submit your claims online with the respective supporting documents. You could alternatively speak to a customer service officer at +65-67886616 or visit an Income claims servicing branch.
I lost my baggage. How can I make a claim?
If you lost your belongings, make a police report for the lost items. You’d also need a copy of the original purchase receipt and a warranty card (if applicable) to substantiate your claim, alongside with the travel claim form.
Read up more on how to handle travel insurance claims here.
My flight is delayed. What should I do next?
You should obtain a written confirmation from your airline that specifies the delay period, and use this to submit a travel claim for the inconvenience caused.
My airline cancelled my flight. Can I make a claim?
Income’s travel policy only covers for flights cancelled by the airline due to certain reasons (i.e. closure of airport, poor weather conditions, which forces airplanes to be grounded.
Flight cancellation due to operational requirements are not covered.) In this instance you’d need a written confirmation from the airline on the amount refunded and if there are any additional charges. You can then proceed with the claims process by completing the travel insurance claims form and submitting the claims application with the supporting documents.