February 22, 2016

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance coverage is usually limited to the period of your travel. However, some insurance companies may offer various combinations of protection to cater to the specific needs of customers, including long-term annual policies for a frequent traveller.

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
• Medical and its related expenses
• Loss of baggage, personal effect and money
• Loss of passport
• Personal liability
• Delayed baggage
• Travel delay
• Hijacking
• Repatriation

You can take a 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.

Understanding the policy benefits
Personal accident
– you are 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 related expenses
– coverage for hospitalisation, hospital or surgical expenses, outpatient medical expenses, as well as daily allowances up to a maximum number of days, should you be hospitalised 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 or voyage 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.

Policy exclusions
Losses caused by certain events are excluded from the cover. Some common exclusions include:
• War risks
• Suicide and insanity
• AIDS
• Provoke 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 that 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 me
dical 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 should you 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
• 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.