As you start planning your next holiday, sorting out your travel insurance is no doubt on your to-do list. But with common myths about what your travel insurance covers or doesn’t cover, it can get quite confusing!
Let us make your holiday planning a bit easier by busting some of the most popular travel insurance myths.
Myth #1: It’s fine to buy travel insurance at the last minute.
Although you can buy insurance at the last minute, the best time to get your travel insurance is as soon as you book your holiday. This allows you to be covered not just for the duration of your trip, but also against anything that might stop you from getting there – from illnesses to cancelled flights.
For example, if you book an expensive flight to Japan to see those gorgeous sakuras (cherry blossoms), put off buying your travel insurance, and then end up cancelling two weeks before departure because you’re too sick to travel, you can say “Sayonara” to the cash you’ve already put into the trip.
Using a true claim story from Aviva as an example, Jane (not her real name) had to cancel her trip after she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and diarrhoea right before her trip and couldn’t travel for a week upon her doctor’s advice. She would have lost the amount she paid for her travel package as it was non-refundable. But because she was covered by her travel insurance plan, she could claim every dollar of her $4,500 holiday package.
Myth #2: Travel insurance is such a hassle and a waste of money, nothing will happen to me!
Unfortunately, flight delays, illness, or other catastrophes can very quickly and easily derail the best of travel plans. Investing in a travel insurance policy will help to protect you against a range of mishaps – from robbery to loss of or delayed baggage.
Sounds good but surely that comes with a high price tag and a lot of paperwork, right?
Wrong. Aviva’s Travel Lite plan, for example, allows you to get covered from as low as $11.88. For less than $12, you would be covered for a range of common travel mishaps such as unexpected trip cancellations, lost baggage and even in the event of emergency medical expenses and evacuation. And the best part is, you can get a quote online in less than 30 seconds – maximum coverage with minimum paperwork and hassle.
Myth #3: I don’t need travel insurance because it’s impossible to claim for anything unless something catastrophic happens anyway.
Not necessarily. The right policy will not only cover illness, injury, disasters and repatriation costs, but it also covers some of the less catastrophic events such as theft of your valuables, damaged baggage or even paying excess for the loss or damage to your rented vehicle.
But regardless of a big or small event, it can be stressful when things go wrong in a foreign country. Aviva’s Travel Insurance for example, comes with an Emergency Travel Assistance Helpline so you have professional and dependable help any day, anytime when you’re travelling abroad.
Myth #4: I can claim for items I accidentally left in my hotel room.
Most policies don’t cover acts of negligence such as leaving items in your hotel room after check out, or baggage that is left in a luggage storage room.
So always do a full check of your room before you leave, and keep your valuables on you when you put luggage in storage.
Myth #5: I can report stolen items on my return to Singapore.
You should report any lost or stolen items to the local police within 24 hours and notify your insurance company as soon as reasonably possible to be eligible for a claim.
You’ll also need to get a written police report or if that’s not possible written proof of loss from an independent party, such as your hotel.
Myth #6: I have to buy a separate plan for every single person travelling, or for every trip I take.
You now know that getting insurance can be a breeze when you buy direct with companies such as Aviva. But what happens if you’re travelling with a family of 6 or need to travel for business every other week?
Consider annual plans if you’re a frequent traveller as that would give you better value for every trip you take within the year. Insurers such as Aviva also offer family plans, where up to two adults can travel with up to 10 of their children for the same price – more savings for that Disneyland holiday you’re planning!
Myth #7: But I already have health insurance – surely I don’t ALSO need travel insurance?
It’s probably worth reading the fine print on your health insurance plan because a typical health plan usually only covers your hospitalisation fees in an emergency when you’re overseas.
But with a travel insurance plan, you’d be covered for your doctor’s fees if you need to seek outpatient treatment at a clinic. Apart from having your medical fees covered, you also get a hospital income of S$200 for every 24 hours hospitalised overseas.
There you have it – we’ve separated fact from fiction when it comes to travel insurance. With affordable plans and a hassle-free option of buying direct, there are no excuses to go uncovered for your next holiday!