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It seems like everyone is revenge travelling and hopping on a plane these days, even as variants such as XBB elevate Singapore’s daily Covid cases to over 10,000. Photos of the “dreaded double line” still make their rounds on your friends’ social media pages, with some lamenting that it’s their second or even third time!
But it seems like no one is truly worried as Covid-19 is now endemic and many continue to go about their lives as usual… symptoms are manageable, they report. People seem to be more concerned about their travel plan disruptions and trip cancellations than with Covid.
Hence the thought: Is Covid even still a thing? Borders continue reopening and travel restrictions have been totally removed by many countries. Japan, a hot favourite destination for Singaporeans, has reopened, allowing fully vaccinated travellers to finally embark on their sorely-missed free-and-easy sojourns in the Land of the Rising Sun (Hokkaido ski trip or sakura viewing, anyone?).
Travel insurance with minimum Covid coverage isn’t mandatory these days either, but that’s not saying we should throw all caution out of the window!
While a daring few are still bold enough to forgo travel insurance when travelling overseas or just go for the first (or cheapest) plan that comes to mind, we must remember that Covid-19 still exists.
Even if we aren’t afraid of the virus, we should consider the inconvenience it could pose if our travel plans are affected (surely we don’t want to infect our elderly relatives when we visit or travel with them, right?). Then there are still the usual considerations like flight delays, lost luggage and *touch wood* accidents while on holiday.
Thus, here are 6 reasons why a good travel insurance plan still matters, Covid-19 era or not.
1. Trip cancellations/postponement
If you thought life was full of uncertainties before, Covid-19 has taken that up a notch.
Trip cancellations or postponements are much more likely now than in pre-pandemic times. For instance, if you get a positive PCR test the day before your flight or discover that a relative you visited recently has tested positive for Covid-19, you might not be able (or want) to board that plane. Better safe than sorry, right?
Covid-19 aside, it’s also important to have peace of mind should you need to cancel your trip for ANY reason, you are covered.
Singlife’s Travel Prestige and Plus plans, for instance, cover trip cancellations and postponements — whether it’s due to Covid-19 or any other reason. And it’s up to S$5,000, which likely covers all or most of your air tickets and accommodation etc.
To cite some examples, you’ll be covered if you or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19 before you travel and you need to cancel your trip as a result, or if something urgent/important crops up at home (true story, a family member had a major operation) and you’d rather scrap your shopping trip to Bangkok and remain in Singapore instead.
2. Overseas medical expenses
Falling sick overseas usually meant a case of food poisoning. These days, there is also the possibility of catching Covid-19.
Although in the endemic Covid-19 era, we don’t need to have mandatory cover, it’s still wise to give yourself some wiggle room for overseas medical expenses, especially since something as basic as food poisoning could ruin a holiday. If you travel with your family and there are more people in your group who could potentially fall ill (think young kiddos, the elderly, your brother with the weak stomach and so on), you want to ensure that you are covered!
Singlife’s Travel Prestige plan, the highest tier, offers unlimited coverage for overseas medical claims.
Having this gives you the peace of mind that your expenses will be covered no matter what country you’re visiting. Different countries have different health policies and charges, so you never know how much you’ll end up incurring.
If (touch wood) you fall ill upon arrival (Covid-19 or not), you might end up spending most of your holiday feeling sorry for yourself in the hotel room, so you want to at least ensure your pocket doesn’t suffer as well. Singlife’s travel insurance plans also provide overseas Covid-19 quarantine allowance (for Plus and Prestige plans only), with one of the highest payouts in the Singapore market.
Singlife travel insurance also covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, so you are protected even in a worst-case scenario.
3. Trip interruption
If you or someone in your travel group falls gravely ill or needs to attend to an urgent matter, you might have to interrupt your trip to seek treatment, enter quarantine (depending on the country’s Covid-19 policies) or even head back to Singapore.
So, it’s best to get a travel insurance policy, such as one from Singlife, that will cover you for loss of travel expenditure, accommodation costs and entertainment tickets that you have already paid for in advance and cannot get back, or any additional administrative expenses for amendment on the original trip or any additional travel expenses if you are unable to continue on your trip, have to change your plans or return to Singapore.
The Singlife Travel Prestige plan covers up to S$3,000 for any trip interruption/change of trip itinerary. So you can travel, worry-free.
4. Flexible travel dates
There are two extremes of travellers — those who book trips months in advance and plan itineraries down to the minute with an Excel Spreadsheet, and those who book last minute tickets on a whim with no itinerary at all. Many of us fall in between.
Today, travel is less uncertain compared with a year ago. While there are fewer restrictions due to Covid-19, we still need to at least plan some things in advance and be prepared for the unexpected.
Sure, we can select destinations that allow us to travel like before the pandemic, and the good news is that most borders are open (or wide open). We now also have access to much-anticipated destinations such as Japan and Taiwan, but the minor inconveniences and the fact that things have not 100% gone back to normal are still very real.
By the way, Singlife’s Travel Plus and Travel Prestige plans cover change of travelling date or time for any reason, up to S$3,000.
Some of us have also been biding our time to fly out and see family or finally go on a long-awaited round-the-world trip of 2 weeks or more… maybe we want to do 5 trips this year because of all our pent-up demand? Or maybe 10 trips? Would it be economical to buy 10 single trip plans?
Singlife’s annual multi-trip insurance offers coverage for unlimited trips and multiple destinations with cover up to 90 days for each trip and can be more economical than buying single-trip insurance if you make several trips. It’s great news for the revenge travellers among us. You’ll no longer even have to remind yourself to book insurance before your trip, which is one less admin task to take care of before you fly!
5. Assistance and claims
Most of us haven’t travelled for so long that the various travel and customs procedures have almost faded from our minds. What’s more, there are so many new procedures that travelling is going to be more administratively confusing than ever.
Things can get even more stressful if you find yourself needing help ASAP while stranded in a foreign country.
To make life easier, Singlife provides 24/7 emergency travel assistance, whether you’re still in Singapore or are already on your overseas adventure.
The claims process is also a seamless one that can be completed online, with any payouts being made via PayNow.
After forking out all that cash on travel tickets and accommodation, the last thing you need is to spend a fortune on travel insurance.
Travellers of all budgets can rejoice, as Singlife offers three tiers of travel insurance plans, all offering wide coverage. You can choose between Lite, Plus and Prestige plans depending on your travel needs and your budget.
Upcoming 11.11 sale
Enjoy up to 46% OFF your single trip travel insurance plans with promo code TRAVEL23! Promo runs from 9 to 11 November 2022.
This policy is underwritten by Singapore Life Ltd. (Singlife).
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Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.