I used to think travel insurance was an add-on to my trip, something to protect you against travel inconveniences such as lost luggage or unexpected flight cancellations. But more importantly, travel insurance gives you accident and medical coverage, during your trip and a few days after your return. These days, I never go on a trip without first buying travel insurance. When it comes to travel insurance, there are many competitive plans and pricing in the market, which is great for us as consumers. But it also means that you might have to spend more time looking for the right one for your trip. It is important not to just get it based on the price alone, as you may run the risk of it not having the proper coverage you need for your trip. After hours of research and reviewing travel insurance plans, we have shortlisted the best travel insurance plan in Singapore to buy, depending on your budget, needs, and type of trip.
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Best Travel Insurance Plans 2020
1. Cheapest travel insurance: HL Assurance
If you are just planning to go on a short holiday to shop, eat and basic sightseeing, basically, nothing out of the ordinary, it is likely you want a cheap and basic travel insurance plan. For the best cheap travel insurance plan, I suggest HL Assurance Travel Protect 360. I bought their basic plan on my Vietnam trip and got injured due to a bad fall. It covered all my medical expenses in Vietnam and back in Singapore, which totaled up to more than $2,000. The claiming procedure was pretty seamless, and the claims officer tied to my account was very helpful.
For a 1 week trip, the basic plan costs under $25 (for Asia) and under $35 (for global). It includes coverage for personal accidents, medical coverage (overseas and in Singapore), trip cancellation, baggage lost and unlimited emergency medical evacuation. HL Assurance has 3 tiers for their single-trip travel insurance – basic, enhanced and superior. Their enhanced and superior packages have higher claim limits.
2. Best Travel Insurance for Medical Coverage: AllianzTravel Insurance
The standard coverage on a basic travel insurance plan for overseas medical coverage if $200,000. If you are traveling to more expensive and further countries, you may want to opt for a travel insurance plan with higher medical coverage limits.
For a travel insurance plan with higher medical coverage, Allianz Travel Insurance Plan stands out for its attractive combination of price and benefit. Their silver plan covers $1 million for medical coverage and costs $38.25 for a 1-week ASEAN plan (with current 35% promotion). The Gold package extends the coverage to unlimited medical coverage. You can also check out their AllianzTravel annual multi-trip travel insurance that starts from $209.30.
When buying a travel insurance plan, make sure to always look out for activity exclusions, especially if you are planning to do one on your trip. The AllianzTravel plan does not cover perceived “risky” activities such as bungee jumping, scuba diving, sky diving, hiking, skiing and more. Professional sport is also listed on the list of exclusions. Always be sure to read the policy wordings to make sure that you are properly covered. If you are planning on an adventurous trip, check out point 3.
3. Best Travel Insurance for Adventurous Activities: FWD Travel Insurance
As mentioned earlier, it is important to take note of policy exclusions when purchasing a travel insurance plan. If you are planning on a skiing or diving trip with your buddies, or if you are going to “higher risk” activities such as water rafting or mountain climbing, make sure to buy a travel insurance plan that covers these activities.
Our recommendation is FWD Travel Insurance. Despite being a young company, their attractive prices and easy to use interface attracts Millenials who love to travel. FWD offers 3 tiers – FWD Premium ($25), FWD Business ($34), and FWD First ($44), and it includes adventure activities (*note: excludes hiking/trekking 3,000 above sea level). The prices quoted above are for a 1-week trip to ASEAN countries. You can even top up to have your sports equipment covered. If you are bringing your own skis, this could be useful. Check out the policy wording here.
For our recent trips, we have been getting FWD’s insurance because their interface makes it very easy and hassle-free to submit claims. They are very speedy in processing the claims too. What I like is their cashless medical claim, where you can download their FWD Flyer app and flash the medical e-card at these Singapore clinics to receive treatment without paying first. While most insurers work on a reimbursement basis, this feature is very useful.
Do note that FWD Travel insurance, like most insurance plans, do not cover pre-existing medical conditions. So if you have a previous injury, you will need to get a travel insurance plan that covers pre-existing medical conditions. Check it out under point 5.
4. Best Travel Insurance for Expensive Trips: AllianzTravel Gold
If you are planning on visiting somewhere far like Europe or the States for a longer trip, you will likely be more concerned with travel inconveniences benefits, such as flight cancellations or delays, or baggage loss (because it’s likely you will be packing quite a bit of stuff).
For such trips, get the AllianzTravel travel insurance. They cover the following at a limit above market average:
- Trip cancellations: The silver package covers up to $15,000 and Gold covers up to $20,000
- Lost baggage: The silver package covers up to $12,000 and Gold covers up to $15,000 for checked-in luggage. Unchecked in luggage is $6,000 and $7,500 respectively.
- Travel delays: Up to $1,500 ($100 for every 6 consecutive hours of delay)
5. Best Travel Insurance for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: NTUC Income Enhanced PreX
Most travel insurance does not cover pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, cancer) and pregnancy, which means that any medical claims resulting from it will not be compensated. This is important to take note particularly if you are traveling with your parents. On my trip to Japan with my parents, I got the NTUC Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance for them, as they have comprehensive coverage and the limits are quite high. You can choose from the 3 tiers – Basic, Superior, and Prestige, and these are the benefit highlights for the Basic and Superior package.
- Personal accident: Covers up to $200,000
- Medical expenses overseas: $500,000 (The prestige plan covers up to $1,000,000)
- Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions: includes overseas expenses and emergency medical evacuation
- Medical expenses Singapore: $25,000 (Prestige plan covers up to $50,000)
- For a 1-week trip to Japan, I checked that it costs about $105 (Basic), $139 (Superior), $167 (Prestige).
- Do note that for persons over 70 years old, the coverage amount will be lesser.
For a cheaper travel insurance plan that covers pre-existing medical conditions, you can also consider the MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex Travel Insurance.
6. Best Annual Travel Insurance: FWD Premium Annual Travel Insurance
While many of us might think annual travel insurance is only for frequent flyers, that is not the case! As reported by Today, the average Singaporean travels 5.2 times a year. I previously bought an annual travel insurance plan for when I was flying regularly. FWD Premium annual travel insurance is now going for $188.80/year (20% off). As I flew more than 7 to 8 times in that year, it averaged out to be about the same, if not cheaper as buying a single travel insurance plan (about $25) each time. Do note that FWD’s travel inconvenience benefits are a little lower, so it is more suited for budget travelers.
The pros of annual travel insurance:
- It saves you the hassle of having to purchase insurance amid all the packing and preparation that you need to do before your trip.
- It grants you the flexibility of the length of your trip. (Single plans will cost more for longer trips)
- More importantly, it safeguards you in the event you forget to buy travel insurance before your trip. While annual travel insurance might not be for everyone, if you travel more than 7 to 8 times a year, an annual travel insurance plan might just be worth it.
- Grants you the flexibility of taking as many trips as you want in that year. It works out once you travel more than 7 times in a year (if you get an annual plan below $250).
Travel Insurance FAQ
When traveling overseas, make sure to use a credit card that will give you rebates for extra savings.
How much is travel insurance?
The cost of travel insurance will depend on your travel destination, the duration of your trip, and how extensive you want the coverage to be. According to Value Champion, the average cost of a single travel insurance plan for ASEAN countries is about $48 for 1 week, $59 for 2 weeks, and $264 for an annual plan. It will be slightly costlier for Asia and the Global region.
Things to consider when buying a travel insurance plan:
When buying travel insurance, it is important to consider the following.
- Travel bans: For example, due to the known COVID-19 situation, it is not being covered in policies
- Exclusions: Always make sure to read the policy wording to see what the policy excludes.
*Do note that prices quoted in this article are accurate only at the time of posting, and are subject to change.