Your passports and airline tickets are all in order, but what about travel insurance? Here’s what you need to know.
Travel insurance policies cover more than just flight delays and lost baggage, says Pan Jing Long, head of general insurance at Aviva Singapore. If you’re holidaying with kids, who can be more susceptible to injuries while on holiday or illness due to changes in the weather, you want to ensure that you’re protected against the high costs of medical emergencies and treatment.
“Beyond medical treatment and hospitalisation,you may also need evacuation back to Singapore in some cases, and that can be quite costly and stressful,” Jing Long adds.
Knowing that you will have assistance from your insurer in such situations can be what diff erentiates a great holiday from a bad one.
But before you hand over your credit card, make sure you consider these factors:
WHEN YOU WILL BE TRAVELLING
Most travellers buy their travel insurance within three days of departure, or even on the day itself, Jing Long notes.
Ideally, you should get yourself covered early – in fact, as soon as you book your airline tickets and accommodation.
“Your policy will come in handy if you need to cancel your travel plans and incur any cancellation charges,” he says.
“Your flights and accommodation are likely the most expensive components of your holiday, so it makes sense to ensure that these costs are covered.
Based on our company’s travel insurance claims data, trip cancellation makes up the highest average amount of claims.”
FREQUENCY OF YOUR FAMILY HOLIDAYS
If multiple trips are on the cards over the next 12 months, it may be more cost-eff ective to buy an annual plan, as opposed to buying single-trip ones each time you travel, Jing Long advises.
HOW MUCH COVERAGE YOUR FAMILY NEEDS
Not all policies cover high-risk activities such as skiing, surfing, diving or mountain climbing. If your holiday is going to be an active or adventurous one, you should ensure that the insurance policy you buy provides the necessary cover, says Jacquelyn Tan, managing director and head of credit payment products at Citibank Singapore Limited.
There are also travel insurance plans with varying degrees of cover to choose from. Just remember to review the benefits offered and select the plan type that best suits your family’s needs.
HOW THE INSURER DEFINES “CHILD”
That family travel insurance policy you’re eyeing may include cover for your children as well, but the definition of children may differ across insurers, Jing Long points out. For example, there may be exclusions for kids not studying full-time, or those above a certain age.
HELP IN AN EMERGENCY
So, ask your insurer if an emergency helpline is available. Better yet, find out if the company has a handy travel app that you can download prior to your trip, which offers emergency FAQs and other functions for help with claims.
Sasha Gonzales, Young Parents, March 2015