As a typical cheapo Sinkie, I must confess to buying FWD travel insurance purely because it’s one of the cheapest travel insurance providers in Singapore.
Obviously it’s cheap because FWD is relatively new (2 years old) and unknown, but before you decide to knock it, let’s take a closer look at the FWD travel insurance plans.
FWD travel insurance at a glance
|Travel insurance plan||FWD Premium||FWD Business||FWD First|
|Price for 1 week (ASEAN)||$25||$34||$44|
|Price for 1 week (Asia)||$27||$42||$53|
|Price for 1 week (Worldwide)||$42||$54||$73|
|Promotion||Currently 20% off with promo code Travel20|
|Medical expenses (overseas)||$200,000||$500,000||$1,000,000|
|Emergency medical evacuation||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Personal accident (death & TPD)||$100,000||$200,000||$300,000|
|Travel delay ($100 every 6 hours)||$300||$500||$1,000|
|Baggage delay ($200 every 6 hours)||$200||$600||$1,000|
|Adventure activities covered?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
FWD travel insurance promotions
FWD is definitely one of the affordable brands and their prices are often competitive with ongoing promos (always use MoneySmart’s travel insurance comparison page to get the cheapest rates!) particularly if you’re travelling beyond Southeast Asia. I mean, $27 for a week’s coverage in expensive countries like Australia and New Zealand is really quite a steal.
Plus, with such low prices you’d think they’d be stingy with discounts. It doesn’t seem that way at all – there’s currently a 20% off with the promo code TRAVEL20. That’s $18 for the cheapest plan (1 week coverage in ASEAN countries). Wow!
Here’s a link to FWD’s promotions page for future reference.
What does FWD travel insurance cover?
One of the best things about FWD travel insurance is that they automatically cover activities like scuba diving, rock climbing and skydiving. Here’s a breakdown of common activities covered by FWD’s adventure sports-friendly travel insurance plans:
|Outdoor activity||Covered by FWD?|
|Hot air balloon||Yes|
|Skiing and other ice/snow sports||Yes|
|Hiking or trekking||Yes (up to 3,000m)|
|Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing||Yes|
|Marathons and other competitions||No|
|White water rafting||Yes|
|Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting||Yes|
The FWD policy wording doesn’t mention any sporting exclusions, with the exception of competitive sports and hiking/trekking above 3,000m. Considering that most outdoor activities are covered, their lowest tier plan (Premium) is very good value for money.
For a basic plan, FWD Premium has a pretty high trip cancellation claim limit of $7,500 (which applies for haze-related cancellation or infectious diseases like Zika and dengue too). Emergency evacuation is also unlimited.
Where FWD loses out is in the below-average travel inconvenience benefits. For example, for travel delays, you get $300 limit on delays, another $300 for missed connections and another $500 for “diversions”. It is very hard to claim the full benefit.
I can only assume it’s a measure against people over-claiming for non-critical inconveniences and bleeding insurance companies dry.
FWD travel insurance claim procedure
Emergency hotline: +65 6322 2072
WhatsApp claims: You can do a WhatsApp claim for travel delay or baggage delay. Send the message “I’ve a claim” to FWD Claims at +65 9128 8552. You can then WhatsApp photos of your documents.
Hard copy claims: For medical expenses and baggage loss/damage, you have to complete the online claims procedure and then mail your documents to FWD Singapore Pte Ltd (Claims Team), 6 Temasek Boulevard #18-01, Suntec Tower 4, Singapore 038986.
Things to note: Claims must be made within 30 days of the event or incident. Refer to FWD’s claims guide for what documents to submit for each type of claim. FWD will follow up to acknowledge your claim within 2 working days.
Conclusion: should you buy FWD travel insurance?
In general, the FWD travel insurance plans are good value for money, especially beyond ASEAN (i.e. Asia and Worldwide).
It’s particularly useful for those planning to go for outdoor activities like skydiving and hot-air balloon rides – unlike some other insurance companies that claim to protect you on your travels, but sneakily classify all your planned activities as “dangerous” and therefore excluded.
Another boon is the good trip cancellation coverage. (Because the world is full of threats to your imminent holiday.) FWD Premium has an above-average benefit for trip cancellations, even if it’s due to a Zika outbreak or haze.
Maybe I have the attention span of a millennial, but when I buy insurance from FWD I don’t find it horribly tedious. I appreciate that the whole user experience is mobile-optimised, fast and relatively painless. Plus, you can make claims through WhatsApp!
The only con is the poor benefits for travel inconveniences. For some people, the low limits on travel and baggage delays, and the trouble you have to go through for claiming losses, are a major deal breaker. If you’re travelling with expensive or important items, FWD definitely doesn’t offer enough coverage.