Travel Insurance

Annual Travel Insurance (2018) – 5 Best Annual Travel Insurance Plans for Singaporeans

best annual travel insurance singapore

Clara Lim

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Annual travel insurance? Isn’t that for frequent flyers, like those investment bankers and C-level executives?” you ask. Actually, I’d argue that it’s something that’s very worthwhile for many regular Singaporeans to buy.

We’re always whining about how we have no time to travel, we’re so burnt out from this rat race, life in Singapore is so boring, blah blah. But the fact is that Singaporeans are an extremely privileged bunch. According to stats, the national travel average is 5.2 times a year.

5.2! That makes us one of the most well-travelled nations in the world, side by side with those tall, handsome Scandinavians who are absolutely swimming in money and annual leave days.

Not only will buying annual travel insurance save you money if you travel at least 7 or 8 times a year – fewer if you count Europe or the US among your destinations – it’ll also save you the mad scramble of buying insurance online just moments before your plane takes off.

 

Best annual travel insurance plans in Singapore (2018)

“But I’m so busy travelling! Where got time to compare all the different annual travel insurance plans?” you wail.

Luckily for you, I’m paid to do just that. After reviewing some 20 insurance providers in Singapore, I’ve shortlisted the best annual travel insurance plans for the average Singaporean traveller. I’ve narrowed it down to individual plans with worldwide coverage under $300 after discounts.

Annual travel insurance Best for… Cost for 1 year
HL Assurance Enhanced Basic coverage on a budget $187
The Wise Traveller Secure Value-for-money boutique insurer $188
Aviva Travel Lite Pregnancy & childbirth coverage $249
Allianz Global Assistance Silver Extremely high medical & travel inconvenience coverage $259
Sompo TravelJoy Deluxe Offers some coverage of pre-existing conditions $288

All 5 plans have all-rounded good coverage, including for medical expenses, emergency evacuation, trip cancellation, baggage loss/damage, plus travel/baggage delays.

But each one has a unique selling point that makes it a standout. I’ll go into detail in the following sections.

 

Hong Leong annual travel insurance ($187/year)

Hong Leong Finance’s insurance arm, HL Assurance, offers annual travel insurance that is probably the cheapest on the market right now. (Of course, given the crazily competitive nature of travel insurance, this might change any minute.)

Its normal price isn’t the cheapest, but thanks to their ongoing 50% off promotion, it’s incredibly affordable. Less than $200 for a year’s coverage worldwide – what more do I need to say? 

Despite its super-low price, it has good overall coverage for Singaporeans who mainly travel around Asia with the occasional sojourn to Europe and beyond. Travel inconvenience benefits a little on the lower side, which means it’s more suited to budget travellers. 

Annual travel insurance HL Assurance Enhanced
Price for 1 year (Worldwide) $187 (after 50% off)
Medical expenses (overseas) $250,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited
Personal accident (death & TPD) $250,000
Travel delay $1,000
Trip cancellation $7,000
Baggage loss/damage $5,000
Adventure activities covered? Yes excluding airborne e.g. skydiving, bungee jumping

Emergency hotline: +65 6922 6009

Travel insurance claims: You can file your claims online through a webform. Thereafter, you have to follow up by mailing the original supporting documents to HL Assurance, 11 Keppel Road, #11-01 ABI Plaza, Singapore 089057.

 

The Wise Traveller annual travel insurance ($188/year)

If you want to take your chances with an independent travel insurance brand, consider The Wise Traveller as it has one of the cheapest annual travel insurance plans around even without a promotion.

This is a boutique insurer you may not have heard of, but the policy is actually underwritten by Tokio Marine and emergency assistance is rendered by Allianz – both big names in insurance.

It costs only a dollar more than HL Assurance and has significantly higher benefit limits. You get really extensive coverage on both the medical/emergency front as well as travel inconveniences.

In particular, the payout for travel delay is US$150 per 6 hours, much higher than the typical S$100. Unfortunately, snow/ice sports and skydiving aren’t covered, so skip it if you plan to hit the powdery slopes in Niseko.

Annual travel insurance The Wise Traveller Secure
Price for 1 year (Worldwide) $188 through MoneySmart (usual price $210)
Medical expenses (overseas) $315,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited
Personal accident (death & TPD) $210,000
Travel delay $1,000
Trip cancellation $10,500
Baggage loss/damage $5,000
Adventure activities covered? Yes excluding skydiving, skiing, snowboarding

Emergency hotline: +65 6327 2215 (Allianz Global Assistance)

Travel insurance claims: Simple. Just submit your claims through the Wise Traveller online claims portal which also specifies what documents are required.

For medical and dental claims, you have to mail the supporting documents + acknowledgement email to Allianz Global Assistance, 12 Marina View, #14-01 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961.

 

Aviva annual travel insurance ($249/year)

Aviva’s annual travel insurance is significantly more expensive than the previous 2, but it’s my pick for women travellers because it explicitly insures pregnancy and childbirth.

Now, I’m NOT saying that being female is equal to bearing children – that’s like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale. But if there’s the slightest chance you might be pregnant in the coming year, I think it’s worth it to pay $60 more for assurance that you and your potential baby are covered.

If you have an immediate family member with a MINDEF/MHA policy with Aviva, you get 30% off, which makes the plan excellent value. (In fact, if you do have the 30% discount, I’d recommend upgrading to Aviva Travel Plus because of their tok gong $2 million medical coverage limit.)

Annual travel insurance Aviva Travel Lite
Price for 1 year (Worldwide) $249
Medical expenses (overseas) $250,000
Emergency medical evacuation $250,000
Personal accident (death & TPD) $50,000
Travel delay $1,000
Trip cancellation $5,000
Baggage loss/damage $3,000
Adventure activities covered? Some, but not airborne activities or mountaineering

Emergency hotline: +65 6322 2022

Travel insurance claims: Submit your claim through the Aviva online form linked on this page.

For any upfront expenses e.g. medical bills, you need to mail original supporting documents (write down your policy number) to Aviva Travel Insurance Claims, Aviva Ltd, 4 Shenton Way, #01-01 SGX Centre 2, Singapore 068807.

For more about Aviva travel insurance, read our comprehensive review here.

 

Allianz annual travel insurance ($259/year)

There are plenty of up-and-comers offering annual travel insurance around the $200 mark, such as FWD, Etiqa and DirectAsia. But I find that their annual travel insurance plans are not comprehensive enough for a year-long commitment.

If you’re going to pay $2XX for annual travel insurance, you might as well pay a little bit more and get pretty much the best on the market – the Allianz Global Assistance Silver annual plan. Ordinarily it’s very expensive, but you can get it for $259 with our promo code 40offms.

The coverage is amazing for what you pay. The $1 million limit for overseas medical expenses and unlimited evacuation mean you’re pretty much covered anywhere you go, even if it’s to pricey countries like the US.

With its very high benefit limits for trip cancellation and lost/damage items, it’s suitable for even lavish travellers.

The main weakness is an extremely low personal accident payout – so either get a separate PA plan or live with it (if you don’t have dependents). Another thing to note is that it doesn’t cover all outdoor activities.

Annual travel insurance Allianz Global Assistance Silver
Price for 1 year (Worldwide) $259 (after 40% discount)
Medical expenses (overseas) $1,000,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited
Personal accident (death & TPD) $80,000
Travel delay $1,500
Trip cancellation $15,000
Baggage loss/damage $12,000
Adventure activities covered? Yes, excluding skydiving, skiing

Emergency hotline: +65 6327 2215

Travel insurance claims: Submit claims quickly and easily through the Allianz online claims portal.

For medical and dental claims, you have to mail the supporting documents + acknowledgement email to Allianz Global Assistance, 12 Marina View, #14-01 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961.

 

Sompo annual travel insurance ($288/year)

If you have a pre-existing medical condition like asthma, consider getting Sompo’s annual travel insurance

Just to clarify, this is NOT a full-fledged insurance policy that covers pre-existing medical conditions. (For that, you’ll have to go to NTUC Income for their Yearly Enhanced PreX plan, which is available for purchase through their hotline (6788 1222) only.)

However, Sompo annual travel insurance offers some form of coverage for pre-existing medical conditions – namely, their emergency evacuation benefit. Emergency evacuation (i.e. air ambulance) is very rare, but when it occurs it is very costly.

So, although it’s more expensive than the others, at least you’re covered in the off chance that you have a severe flare-up. The plan still costs under $300 a year, so I think it’s not too bad.

The travel inconvenience benefits are rather underwhelming and you won’t get millions for medical expenses, but there’s no limit on the evacuation benefit. For the price of a regular annual travel insurance plan, that’s a nice value-add to have for a little extra peace of mind.

Annual travel insurance Sompo TravelJoy Deluxe
Price for 1 year (Worldwide) $288 (after 20% discount)
Medical expenses (overseas) $300,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited
Personal accident (death & TPD) $250,000
Travel delay $1,000
Trip cancellation $6,000
Baggage loss/damage $5,000
Adventure activities covered? Limited

Emergency hotline: +65 6532 2522 (for emergencies or any claim exceeding $5,000)

Travel insurance claims: Refer to Sompo’s claims page.

For some claims, you can fill in and submit documents through Sompo’s online travel claims form. For others you will have to download the claims form here and mail with supporting documents to Sompo Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd, 50 Raffles Place, #05-01/06 Singapore Land Tower, Singapore 048623.

For a full review of Sompo travel insurance, see this article.

 

How should you choose annual travel insurance?

There are a few factors you should consider before you take the plunge. Annual travel insurance is, after all, a year-long commitment and you can’t switch providers midway just because you buay song.

Here are some basics to know before you click “buy”.

Worldwide coverage: Always choose worldwide coverage so you’re not limited to specific regions when you travel. Even if you don’t have anything planned yet, you just never know where 2019 will take you.

Individual vs group plans: Generally annual travel insurance is a personal decision, but do note that some insurance providers give you better rates if you buy as a couple. (You don’t necessarily have to travel together.)

Basic vs upper-tier plan: With travel insurance, you don’t want to be too giam and just stick to the cheapest plan offered by the provider. Instead, consider both basic and mid-tier plans for the best mix of affordability and coverage.

Medical & emergency coverage: You might end up travelling to expensive countries, so make sure to buffer against high healthcare costs. Go for overseas medical expense limits of at least $300,000 if possible, and at least $1 million for emergency evacuation.

Travel inconvenience coverage: You can get away with lower coverage for travel delays and such with single trip insurance, like if you’re going to Bali where the tourist infrastructure is strong and accommodation is plentiful. But you wouldn’t want to have to sleep at the airport in the US just because you can’t get enough compensation for a travel delay. So, pick only annual travel insurance with good coverage for travel inconvenience.

Priced under $300: Generally you won’t want to spend more than $300 on an annual travel insurance plan unless you travel more than 10 times a year. You’ll want your annual plan to save you money, not work out to be more expensive per trip!

Adventure activities: Unlike single-trip plans where you can choose a plan that specifically covers such activities, your annual plan needs to cover anything you might end up doing in the course of the year. Even if you’re not very outdoorsy, your colleagues might talk you into learning to dive with them. You never know. So it’s best to be as unrestrictive as possible.

Comfort level: Finally, don’t commit to an annual travel insurance plan unless you’re REALLY comfortable with the policy wording, the claims process and the reputation of the brand (both for rendering emergency assistance and for settling claims).

Looking to buy annual travel insurance? Compare all Singapore annual travel insurance policies by price and coverage first.

 

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Best Travel Insurance Singapore 2018 – Here’s How to Compare Travel Insurance

Annual Travel Insurance Singapore – Why Buy It & When Is It Cheaper?

Travel Insurance in Singapore – The Total Guide to What You Must Know in 2018

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Clara Lim

I used to be MoneyDumb. I hung out at H&M every day and thought that a $50 lunch set was a good deal. These days, I spend my time researching the crap out of life and trying to maximise utility on micro-decisions. I'm not sure if that's an improvement.