After our Prime Minister’s speech on 24 Mar 2022, people in Singapore can see a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to travelling overseas for leisure.
Border restrictions will be eased ‘substantially’ and the simplified vaccinated travel framework will allow Singaporeans to travel abroad more easily.
But before you do so, it might be helpful to get travel insurance. After all, there are many things that could happen before, during or even after a trip. This could range from having to cancel a trip due to getting COVID-19, to getting infected overseas and requiring medical assistance.
From the right time to buy travel insurance to a simple guide on how to make a claim should you get COVID-19, we have listed it all down for you.
When Is the Right Time to Buy Travel Insurance?
To put it simply, you should purchase your travel insurance as soon as you’ve finished planning your trip. If you buy insurance as soon as you book your travel, it means you’ll have cover in case the unexpected happens and you have to cancel or amend your travel plans due to a covered reason.
Having the itinerary planned out translates to a more accurate travel insurance quote and will help make sure you have the right cover in place for the destination(s) you will travel to.
For the majority of insurers, the best deal offered by insurers will fall into the 14-day window after your first deposit for the trip.
However, should you purchase your travel insurance plan after the 14-day mark, your plan will inevitably cost more or include fewer benefits such as lesser trip cancellation cover.
How COVID-19 Coverage Works For Travel Insurance in Singapore
Travelling during a pandemic has a lot of uncertainties, which is why insurers now offer travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage.
Some insurers offer COVID-19 coverage as an add-on but there are other insurers, such as Allianz Travel, that incorporate selected COVID-19/pandemic coverage with their travel plans automatically.
What Is Covered?
Of course, the coverage offered will vary from insurer to insurer. However, below is a list of common coverage offered by insurers in Singapore.
Prior to Your Trip
Prior to your departure, should you or your travelling companion be diagnosed with COVID-19 that results in you cancelling the trip, you may be reimbursed for your non-refundable trip expenses.
- Cancellation fees
- And change fees, up to the maximum benefit for trip cancellation coverage listed in your policy.
You can also claim in cases where your trip is rescheduled due to you or your travelling companion contracting or being exposed to COVID-19 exposure.
Furthermore, in the unfortunate event that your family member who is not travelling with you has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you might be able to claim depending on your travel insurance’s policy wording.
In short, cover is available for the following events prior to your trip:
- Cancellation of the trip due to COVID-19
- Rescheduling of the trip due to COVID-19
During Your Trip
With the rapid spread of Omicron or the unpredictability of a new strain emerging, there is a possibility that you as well as your travel companion could contract COVID-19 overseas.
In such circumstances where you would have to shorten your trip, your insurer may reimburse you, up to the maximum benefit for trip interruption and trip delay coverage listed in your policy.
Some insurers such as Allianz Travel provide cover for your additional transportation and accommodation expenses incurred if you need to return home early or if you need to stay at your overseas destination longer.
However, to be eligible for such claims, a doctor must have examined you and you must not have travelled against your home country’s government advice or a medical practitioner’s professional medical advice.
Put simply, cover is generally available for the following benefits during your trip:
- Curtailment of the trip due to COVID-19
- Medical Assistance required to treat COVID-19
- Medical expenses incurred due to COVID-19
- Emergency Evacuation required due to COVID-19
- Medical Repatriation required due to COVID-19
Some travel insurers also offer assistance in the unfortunate event that you’re stranded in a foreign country.
For example, Allianz Travel provides 24/7 medical assistance that includes:
- Identifying the closest hospital, arranging and paying for medical transport
- Make advance payment for in-patient services (where applicable)
- Provide medical escort (subjected to availability and if deemed medically necessary)
- Arrange for payment to return home
After Your Trip
Depending on the level of plan you choose to purchase, some medical cover for events that occurred during your trip may be available to you on your return to Singapore. However, the duration of coverage depends on duration specified in your policy.
Some travel insurance policies could cover you for up to 90 days after you return to Singapore.
For most insurance plans, you will be entitled to the following benefits after you return from your trip:
- Medical Expenses incurred due to COVID-19 as long as you tested positive and first sought treatment overseas.
How Do You Make Claims?
In the event that you encounter the travel inconveniences caused by COVID-19 and require the above service, you should first contact your insurer.
Following that, you should prepare the required documents. Find out from your insurer the required supporting documents to make a claim.
Typically, the supporting documents that insurers require include, and are not limited to:
- Obtaining an official quarantine order
- A doctor’s letter
- The hospital bill
Make sure to keep your documents safe in order to successfully make your claim.
Even though every insurer will have different cut-off dates that you may make your claims, ideally, you should do it as soon as possible, even if you have yet to return to Singapore.
Lastly, submit your documents according to your insurer’s guidelines. This can be done online through email.
Apart from emailing your insurer, insurers such as Allianz Travel allow you to do it on their website.
Coverage Offered by Insurers in Singapore
Having understood the general coverage offered prior to, during and after your trip, it is now time for the most important information: the coverage offered by each insurer.
The table below illustrates the differences in basic COVID-19 coverage offered by the following Insurers for a 1-week single trip policy to Australia:
(Comprehensive Bronze Plan)
(TravelSmart Premier Classic)
|Tiq Travel Insurance
|Price of Premium||S$63.05||S$52.08||S$56.13||S$70||S$58||S$66|
|Trip Cancellation Coverage||S$15,000||S$1,000||S$500||S$5,000||S$3,000||S$3,000|
|Trip Interruption Coverage||S$15,000||S$1,000||S$500||S$1,000||S$3,000||S$3,000|
|Travel Postponement Coverage||NA||NA||S$200||S$500||S$1,000||S$500|
|Emergency Medical Coverage||S$1,000,000||S$100,000||S$30,000||S$250,000||S$25,000||S$100,000|
|Emergency Transportation Coverage||S$1,000,000||S$100,000||$100,000||S$500,000||S$25,000||S$200,000|
|Hospitalization Benefit in Singapore||NA||S$2,800
(S$200 per day for 14 days)
Evidently, while there are marginal differences in the price of premiums, the coverage provided under each policy can vary greatly. It’s important for you to read the policy wording to make sure you properly understand the cover and that it is right for you.
Allianz Travel Insurance with selected Covid-19 coverage*
For those looking for a value for money plan with higher coverage, Allianz Travel is a great option. While the price of their premium may be on the higher side, the coverages offered are excellent.
From the table above, it can be seen that Allianz Travel’s travel insurance offers more coverage with selected Covid-19 / pandemic coverage* (up to S$15,000) for trip cancellation and interruption compared to its counterparts. Travellers who opt to book upfront for activities before flying out of Singapore might benefit the most from this upsized coverage.
Apart from the basic Comprehensive Bronze plan, Allianz Travel has two additional tiers, Comprehensive Silver and Comprehensive Platinum, for those who require additional coverage.
To better visualize the difference in coverage, you may refer to the table below to see the extent of coverage provided by Allianz Travel:
|Single Trip Comprehensive Bronze||Single Trip Comprehensive Silver||Single Trip Comprehensive Platinum|
|Trip Cancellation Coverage||S$15,000||S$15,000||S$25,000|
|Trip Interruption Coverage||S$15,000||S$15,000||S$25,000|
|Travel Delay Coverage||S$1,500||S$1,500||S$1,500|
|Emergency Medical Coverage||S$1,000,000||S$1,000,000||Unlimited|
|Emergency Transportation Coverage||S$1,000,000||S$1,000,000||Unlimited|
|Cruise Coverage – Missed Port of Call||NA||NA||S$10,000|
|Cruise Coverage – Cabin Confinement||NA||NA||S$1,000|
*It’s important to remember that travel insurance doesn’t cover everything. Your policy will be subject to the terms, conditions, exclusions, and benefits limits of the policy wording. For more information please click on the Allianz Travel Policy Wording.
Read Also: Allianz Travel Insurance: Comprehensive Coverage at Competitive Prices?
It’s Not Just Limited to Travel Insurance
COVID-19 coverages are not just available for travel insurance plans. Other plans such as International Health Insurance plans also offer COVID-19 coverage.
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
For non-locals staying in Singapore and looking to get similar benefits as locals who are covered by Medisave subsidies, Allianz Care has got your back.
Apart from offering great flexibility in their optional add-ons – Out-patient, Dental, Maternity, and Repatriation Plans – the Allianz International Health plan also offers COVID-19 coverage in Singapore so that you can be protected while you’re here.
To better cater to your needs, the Allianz International Health plan also offers the following services:
- Expat Assistance Programme
- Travel Security Services
- MyHealth Digital Services
- Olive – Allianz Care’s Health and Wellness support program
- Tele-medicine services
Under the Expat Assistance Programme, you will be entitled to a range of 24/7 multilingual support services with one being confidential professional counselling.
The Travel Security Services provides you with 24/7 access to personal security information and advice for all your travel safety queries. With services such as daily security news and travel safety alerts and more importantly, an Emergency Security Assistance Hotline, you can definitely travel with peace of mind.
Offered by their sister company Allianz Care, you may manage your cover with the MyHealth Digital Services app or portal wherever you are.
Lastly, for those who are interested in taking better care of your body, Olive – Allianz Care’s Health and Wellness support program – gives you access to a wealth of Wellness resources.
As such, apart from offering COVID-19 coverage, there are a ton of extra benefits that you stand to enjoy when you purchase the Allianz International Health Insurance.
You can check out Allianz International Health Insurance here.
This article was written in collaboration with Allianz Travel. While we are sponsored by them, we still review products and services with an objective lens and stay true to our mission — providing you with the best recommendations and advice to make smarter financial decisions.