Were you one of those who took advantage of the Deepavali public holiday to take a short trip overseas? Did you buy travel insurance for your trip? Of course you did, you wouldn’t be reading this article if you were one of those people who actually go overseas without travel insurance. But when did you buy it? Just before flying off? It might have been a case of too little too late.
What is the most common travel insurance claim?
Think it’s loss of baggage? You’re way off. If you were to guess medical expenses or personal accident, you’d be closer, but that would still not be the answer. In fact, flight delays are what most travellers experience, and it’s not surprising, especially when you consider the preference for budget airline travel.
So which travel insurance policies give you the most value for money when it comes to travel inconveniences? Here are 3 different kinds of travel mishaps and the top 3 travel insurance policies for each of them that won’t hurt your wallet.
1. Flight delays
Let’s be fair here, flight delays could happen to anyone, due to a myriad of reasons. It could be a mechanical fault with the plane, bad weather, or naming your airline Scoot. Whatever the reason, flight delays can really put a damper on your plans, so here’s what the insurance companies have to offer:
- HL Assurance – $100 per 6 hours of delay (maximum coverage depending on plan, up to $1,000)
- EQ – $100 for each full 6 consecutive hours of delay, up to $1,000
- Tenet Sompo – $100 for first 6 hours, and $65 per 4 hours thereafter, up to $1,000
- Etiqa – $100 per 6 hours of delay, up to $1,000 overseas, but only up to $100 in Singapore
- ACE – $200 per 6 hours of delay overseas, not in Singapore
So, as you can see, ACE Essential looks great at first glance, but only if the travel delay occurs overseas. Both HL Assurance and EQ give the same maximum coverage, so they’re joint winners. Note that for all the companies, the flight delay has to be at least 6 hours long before you can claim.
2. Loss or Damaged Luggage
You hope it never happens to you, but when your luggage looks like everyone else’s (especially if all of you got it from the same credit card roadshow) there’s always a chance that someone else may have disappeared with your luggage. Alternatively, your suitcase may be too heavy for a tired, overworked airport staff to handle, and they may drop it, damaging the contents.
Don’t worry, this is what the insurance companies cover in their policies:
- HL Assurance – coverage depending on plan, up to $8,000
- Tenet Sompo – up to $8,000
- EQ – up to $5,000
- Etiqa – up to $5,000
- ACE – up to $3,000
The numbers speak for themselves, with HL Assurance and Tenet Sompo coming up tops with the highest coverage. Do note that although these refer to maximum claim amounts, there are individual limits per item. Typically, it would be a maximum claim of $500 per item or set of items.
3. Baggage delay
You’re lucky enough that your baggage isn’t lost, however, because a budget airline decided that your suitcase needed a short vacation away from you, you find yourself without clothes and more importantly, without your MacBook for several hours! Leaving you to use… a PC. Such a travesty.
Here’s how the insurance companies can compensate you for your inconvenience:
- Tenet Sompo – $200 per 6 hours of delay and $125 per 4 hours thereafter, up to $1,000
- EQ – $200 per 6 hours of delay, up to $1,000
- HL Assurance – $100 per 6 hours of delay (coverage depending on plan, with maximum coverage of $500)
- ACE – $200 per 6 consecutive hours, up to $800 when overseas
- Etiqa – $200
Tenet Sompo and EQ tie for first place here, because of the way their coverage is calculated. Because the policy only covers a full 6 hours of delay for EQ, even if your baggage has been delayed for 10 hours, you can only claim $200. For Tenet Sompo, however, a 10 hour delay can result in a $325 claim. That’s a big difference.
Okay, enough with the details – I want to know which has real value for money!
Tenet Sompo comes up top in coverage, but for a 4 day trip, it will cost you about $47 per person. EQ comes in a close second, and for the same period of time, would cost about $48 per person. The surprise winner when it comes to value for money is HL Assurance in third place. This is due to their current promotion of 50% off travel insurance. So even if you go for their most expensive Premier policy, it will only cost you $43 per person. And if you need less coverage, you can get it for as low as $25 for their Basic policy.
At the end of the day, of course, you should try and get a travel insurance policy that is as comprehensive as possible. After all, there’s no way of really saying what might happen while you’re on holiday.
Do you have any stories about claiming travel insurance for flight delays or lost baggage? Share them with us.