Today’s global travel scene is starting its return to pre-pandemic days, but the COVID-19 virus remains a threat. World Health Organization (WHO) data reported about 1.4 million confirmed cases globally in the third week of May 2022. On the other hand, with more countries opening borders, Singaporeans are displaying strong desires to travel.
MoneySmart’s data as of April 2022 showed a transaction volume surge for travel insurance that reached nearly 300% in growth compared to volumes in January 2022, with Thailand being the topmost-searched destination (23%), followed by Malaysia (14%), Australia (11%), Indonesia (10%), and the United States (5%).
Kelvin Ng (黄贤龙), Head of Advisory at MoneySmart Financial, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted travel insurance and the importance of being adequately insured. The purpose of insurance has not changed: to reduce the financial loss of an individual due to unforeseen events. In terms of travel, trips may not always go according to plan due to COVID-19 related disruption or others. Buying travel insurance provides some degree of certainty and peace of mind.”
MoneySmart recently featured 2 avid travellers who quit their jobs to see the world amidst the pandemic. Adrian Chew (邦羽) and Chia Kim Hui (金惠) of Pang & Kim Adventure, a travel blogger couple and MoneySmart customers, caught COVID-19 while travelling in Turkey in January this year. Pang and Kim shared, “After our experience getting COVID-19 abroad, we cannot stress enough the importance of purchasing travel insurance with COVID-19 protection for overseas travel – it gives you peace of mind in unexpected situations, covering hospitalisation and medical bills during our Turkey trip. We made a wise decision to purchase insurance, and we encourage everyone to use price comparison websites such as MoneySmart to compare policies that suit your needs.”
Check out this link for the full interview with Pang & Kim, as they share what it was like contracting Covid while in Turkey and how much it cost them financially as an ordeal – https://blog.moneysmart.sg/travel-insurance/getting-covid-overseas/
Travellers are advised to do research and comparison, before purchasing travel insurance due to the variety of packages available. Some important criteria to consider include the policy coverage, the extent of the provider’s network, and whether the policy covers their destination. At this current point in time, certain countries still require tourists to have valid travel insurance policies with Covid 19 coverage, as a requirement to enter. MoneySmart has published a guide to travel insurance which covers all aspects of what travellers need to know on the subject:
Tricia Lim, Chief Sales Officer at Allianz Partners Singapore, highlighted, “In the travel recovery era, travel insurance with sufficient medical coverage, including the minimum selected COVID-19 cover required by the trip destination, is key, particularly for destinations like the US, Australia or Japan where medical care can be costly. Always read the terms & conditions to understand your coverage and note any exclusions. We also recommend checking if you are covered for cruises or activities like watersports. 24/7 medical assistance including emergency transportation is also a must.”
Another essential consideration to keep in mind is understanding the insurance package’s terms and conditions regarding the claim process. Lisa Leow (廖丽珠), Head of Accident & Health – APAC at Starr International Insurance Singapore, added, “The gist behind ensuring a seamless claim process is being able to view things from the lens of a claim’s manager. It is crucial to ensure organised and detailed documentary proof of related claims to be made. Attention to aspects such as medical bills which show proof of contracting the virus, or prescriptions that display Covid 19 related details are important. Typically, the insured could face challenges with claims when they are unable to attribute medical expenses back to a doctor’s diagnosis.”
Travel Insurance with COVID-19 coverage is undoubtedly a “Must Have” item in this new reality of travel. Choosing the right policy that suits your needs and budget is as important as understanding the terms and conditions of your policy and claim process. Compare and purchase the most suitable travel insurance policies with ease at https://www.moneysmart.sg/travel-insurance[pro_ad_display_adzone id="915575"]