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This is an introductory guide to provide the basic information when purchasing travel insurance policy. Travel insurance will cover you against accidents, losses, delay, etc. in the course of your travel.

Scope of cover

The scope of cover and scale of benefits differ between insurance companies and you should shop around to ensure that you purchase a policy which best meets your requirements. The coverage commonly provided under a travel insurance policy include:

  • Personal accident
    Normally covered for death and total permanent disablement for a period within 365 days after the occurrence of the accident. The compensation will be paid according to a scale of benefits and may differ from one insurance company to another.

  • Medical and its related expenses
    Coverage for hospitalization, hospital or surgical expenses, outpatient medical expenses, as well as daily allowances up to a maximum number of days, should you be hospitalized for more than 24 hours.

  • Loss of travel deposit or curtailment of journey
    You will be reimbursed for expenses incurred due to loss of travel or accommodation expenses paid due to cancellation or curtailment of the journey.

  • Loss of baggage, personal effects and money
    This covers accidental loss or damage to your baggage, clothing, personal effects, and even money, caused by the carrier.

  • Loss of passport
    You will be reimbursed for additional hotel charges, travel and other expenses incurred in the country you visited, while obtaining the replacement of a lost passport. Such loss must be reported to the police within 24 hours.

  • Personal liability
    Should you cause accidental bodily injury to a third party or loss or damage to the property of a third party, the insurer will indemnify you for the legal liability.

  • Delayed baggage
    If your baggage is lost or misplaced for at least 12 hours from the time of arrival at your destination, you will be reimbursed for expenses incurred to purchase essential items of clothing or personal effects.

  • Travel delay
    You will be paid a sum of money, according to a schedule, if your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours due to reasons beyond your control.

  • Hijacking
    The insurer may make daily payments up to a specified maximum number of days, if your journey is interrupted for more than 12 hours due to an act of hijack.

  • Repatriation
    In the event of accidental death of the insured, the insurer will reimburse the insured’s legal representative for the cost of returning the remains home.

The coverage is usually limited to the period of your travel. You can take travel policy for you and / or your family members. If you purchase a family policy, coverage for each family member is apportioned from the total sum assured. In the case of a claim, compensation payable will be in accordance to the portion allocated to each member and should not exceed the sum assured in total.

Please note that if you are above a certain age limit, you may not be able to obtain a travel insurance policy.

Policy exclusions

Losses caused by certain events are excluded from the cover. Some common exclusions include:

  • War risks
  • Suicide and insanity
  • AIDS
  • Provoked murder or assault
  • Childbirth or miscarriage
  • Hazardous sports

In addition, there are exclusions involving events such as baggage delay and loss of baggage and personal effects due to seizure or destruction under quarantine or custom regulation. You are advised to always read carefully and understand your policy exclusions.

Important points to note when buying travel insurance

  • Personal effects
    Check with your insurance company on the personal effects that can be covered under travel insurance as the coverage differs between insurance companies.

  • Beneficiary
    You are advised to nominate a beneficiary and ensure your beneficiary is aware of the travel insurance policy that you have purchased.

  • Multiple insurance
    If you have purchased more than one travel insurance policies, in the event of your demise and disablement, you or your beneficiary, as the case may be, will be compensated for each policy. However, for certain losses such as medical expenses which are compensated on reimbursement basis, you will only be compensated once for the actual loss suffered.

  • Foreign affiliates
    Ensure that your insurance company has a good network of foreign affiliates which can provide you with the necessary assistance when required.

  • Medical and emergency assistance
    It is important to check whether your insurance company provides 24-hour emergency hotline service.

What you should do in the event of damage/loss

  • Contact the medical and emergency assistance hotline
    Certain travel policies cover 24-hour emergency hotline service which provides you with access to assistance such as medical advice, referrals, medical evacuations and travel related matters such as lost passport and baggage.

  • Notify the authorities
    If your insured belongings are lost or damaged, you must take all reasonable measures to protect, save and recover them, and must also promptly notify the local police, hotel, transportation company or transportation terminal authorities, whichever is applicable.

  • Notify your insurer as soon as possible
    In the event of a loss, you must notify your insurance company immediately or as soon as reasonably possible.

Making a claim against your insurance company

You should submit the claim form with all supporting documents such as your original policy, the medical report, police report and any relevant documents to support the claim as soon as possible to your insurance company. You should check the time frame for claim notification stipulated in your policy.

How to lodge a complaint and the redress avenues available

If you have a complaint about the products or services of your insurance company or you are not satisfied with the rejection of offer of settlement of a claim, you should first try to resolve the complaint with the Complaints Unit of the insurance company concerned.