Travel insurance plans are so cheap these days that it’s amazing that premium travel insurance like AXA Smart Traveller even exists.
My colleague explained it to me perfectly: most Singaporeans who buy cheap travel insurance plans never had to file a serious claim before. But there are people who have gone through the trauma of actual medical emergencies overseas. These are the ones who understand the value of good travel insurance and are willing to pay more for AXA travel insurance.
Let’s enter the world of premium travel insurance and see if AXA is really worth your money.
AXA travel insurance at a glance
AXA SmartTraveller comes in two tiers: Essential (cheaper and more basic) and Comprehensive (more expensive). Here’s a brief look at the difference in price and coverage.
|Travel insurance plan||Essential||Comprehensive|
|Price for 1 week (Asia)||$57||$73|
|Price for 1 week (Worldwide)||$79||$98|
|Promotion||30% off single-trip plans, or 50% off single-trip plans for a minimum of 2 adults|
|Medical expenses (overseas)||$300,000||$600,000|
|Emergency medical evacuation||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Personal accident (death & TPD)||$250,000||$500,000|
|Travel delay ($100 every 6 hours)||$1,000||$2,000|
|Baggage delay ($200 every 6 hours)||$1,000||$2,000|
|Adventure activities covered?||Yes|
AXA travel insurance promotion
The regular AXA Smart Traveller travel insurance prices are soooo expensive! Even with the current promotion (30% off single trip plans and 50% off single trip plans for two or more), it is still on the expensive side. 1 week coverage in Asia will cost $28.50 if you’re travelling with at least one other person.
Here’s a link to the AXA Smart Traveller promotions page. Do note that this promotion is for online purchases only.
What does AXA travel insurance cover?
In general, the AXA Smart Traveller plans have great coverage.
With such high premiums, it comes as no surprise that AXA Smart Traveller plans have higher than average limits on emergency expenses. In fact, the cheapest plan (AXA SmartTraveller Essential) is closer to most typical travel insurance companies’ 2nd-tier plans.
So compared to others in the $20 to $30 price range (after discount), it has relatively high coverage limits for things like medical expenses, personal accidents and trip cancellations. There’s even unlimited coverage on emergency medical evacuation, which is not typical of lower tier plans.
Plus, if you’re travelling with expensive items you’ll probably appreciate the high sub-limits on loss/damage to your possessions. For example, if you’re covered by the Essential plan, you can claim up to $2,000 for laptops, tablets and phones, and up to $2,500 for lost passports and cash.
AXA is also well known for the speed and efficiency of their emergency response, should the worst happen.
Does AXA exclude adventurous activies?
Although the policy wording for adventure sport exclusions is vague (excludes activities involving “exceptional speed and height”), there are reasonable exceptions explicitly stated in the FAQs.
Generally, activities are covered as long as they are:
(a) open to the general public without restriction
(b) organised by a licensed operator and
(c) for leisure and non-competitive purposes
See the full list of covered activities and their limitations as listed on the AXA Smart Traveller’s FAQ page.
|Outdoor activity||Covered by AXA Smart Traveller plans?|
|Hot air balloon||Yes|
|Scuba diving||Yes (up to 30m)|
|Skiing and other ice/snow sports||Yes (within approved areas of ski resorts)|
|Hiking or trekking||Yes (up to 3,500m)|
|Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing||Yes (doesn’t require the use of specific climbing equipment and ropes)|
|Marathons and other competitions||Yes (excluding biathlons, triathlons and ultra marathons)|
|Jet skiing||Not stated|
|White water rafting||Yes (up to grade 3)|
|Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting||Not stated|
|Bungee jumping||Not stated|
AXA travel insurance claim procedure
Emergency hotline: Call AXA emergency assistance hotline at +65 6322 2566
Online claims: Submit your claim with supporting documents through AXA’s online form.
Hard copy claims: Print out the travel claims form and mail with your documents to AXA Insurance Pte Ltd, 8 Shenton Way #24-01 AXA Tower, Singapore 068811. Or pass the bundle to your insurance agent.
Things to note: Claims must be made within 30 days of your return to Singapore.
A claims specialist will review your claim and get back to you. You can also use the MyAXA app to track the progress on your claim.
Conclusion: should you buy AXA travel insurance?
The AXA Smart Traveller plans are quite comprehensive, so I would definitely consider it a premium plan. For the average traveller, the coverage limits and payouts for the usual stuff (trip cancellation, baggage damage/loss, medical expenses) are considered above market rate.
It also helps that AXA is relatively transparent about coverage: Unlike some insurance companies that hide behind fine print, AXA is relatively transparent about what you can and can’t claim. For example, their FAQ states that you can claim for damage to your personal belongings if you drop them, illnesses arising from pregnancy, and delays or cancellation if your travel buddy falls sick.
It’s especially suitable for adventurous tourists. It won’t cover you if you’re doing crazy extreme sports, but in general, as long as your activity is for recreation only and is conducted by a licensed professional, you should be covered.
AXA also has an in-house emergency response team, so should anything terrible happen, help will come swiftly and in a coordinated manner – something that might just save your life if it really comes to that.
The only con is that at its regular price, it’s very expensive. I’d say it’s only worth a look if they’re having a good promotion – like now. If not, the $57 is quite a pinch, especially if you’re used to paying $20 premiums.
AXA also has a fairly tedious claim process. These days, new companies like FWD are making it super easy to file claims online and through WhatsApp. In contrast, AXA’s claim process seems terribly outdated.