Travel Insurance

Great Eastern Travel Insurance Singapore Review 2018

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Clara Lim

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Great Eastern travel insurance was once upon a time one of the most popular options in the market, but that was way back when everyone wore huge-ass shoulder pads. Now that the field has been disrupted by so many young upstarts, can the Red Lion still play the game? Here’s what Great Eastern travel insurance plans looks like now:

 

Great Eastern travel insurance at a glance

Confusingly enough, Great Eastern travel insurance is sold under 2 brands: Great Eastern Travel [email protected] and Great Eastern TravelSmart. The former comes in 1 tier only (basic) while the latter has the usual 3 tiers.

However, the cheapest version of TravelSmart is only for Malaysia, Bintan, Batam and Singapore cruises. So we will not compare it for now.

Travel insurance plan Great Eastern Travel [email protected] Great Eastern TravelSmart Classic Great Eastern TravelSmart Elite
Price for 1 week (Asia) $36 $50 $58
Price for 1 week (Worldwide) $54 $77 $91
Promotion 50% off for single trip plans with promo code TG2110 & 10% off annual plans with promo code AG2110 (until 15 Sep 2018)
Medical expenses (overseas) $200,000 $300,000 $500,000
Emergency medical evacuation $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Personal accident (death & TPD) $100,000 $200,000 $300,000
Travel delay ($100 every 6 hours) $1,000 $1,200 $1,200
Trip cancellation $5,000 $10,000 $15,000
Baggage delay ($200 every 6 hours) $1,000 $1,000 $1,200
Baggage loss/damage $3,000 $5,000 $5,000
Adventure activities covered? Some (excludes airborne activities and scuba diving) Yes Yes

 

Great Eastern travel insurance promotions

For their insurance plans, Great Eastern doesn’t split the nearby regions into ASEAN and Asia, which means you you pay the same premiums for countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong as you would for more “atas” places like Australia, Korea and Japan.

So, if you’re travelling to the ASEAN region, you can most probably find a cheaper deal.

If you’re going to Malaysia, Bintan, Batam or going on a Singapore cruise, consider buying the Travel Smart Basic travel insurance plan. It’s $20 for 1 week (individual single trip), and $14 if your trip is under 5 days. I wouldn’t call it super cheap, but it’s still relatively affordable since not every insurer has Malaysia-only plans.

Great Eastern’s Travel [email protected] plan is currently quite affordable thanks to a 50% discount for the brand’s 110th anniversary. There is no current promotion for the Travel Smart travel insurance plans.

Overall, Great Eastern travel insurance plans generally offer relatively poor value as they are more expensive than average across the board.

 

What does Great Eastern travel insurance cover?

There are 2 “brands” of Great Eastern travel insurance, Travel [email protected] and Travel Smart.

But don’t get confused – Travel [email protected] is just their lowest-tier coverage plan, while Travel Smart Classic and Elite are the 2nd- and 3rd-tier ones. Travel Smart Basic is the absolute cheapest option, but it’s only for Malaysia, Bintan, Batam and Singapore cruises.

To be honest, Travel [email protected]’s coverage is not too impressive. But if you’re not too fussed about medical coverage, GE’s Travel [email protected] plan isn’t that poor a choice if you get a good discount.

However, if you’re planning to do outdoor activities and adventure sports, you probably have to upgrade to the TravelSmart Classic or just find another insurance provider. Travel [email protected] doesn’t cover scuba diving or any aerial activity (like skydiving, ziplining, bungee jumping, helicopter rides, etc).

Here’s what Travel Smart covers:

Outdoor activity Covered by Great Eastern Travel Smart travel insurance?
Hot air balloon Not stated
Scuba diving Yes (up to 30m)
Skiing and other ice/snow sports Yes
Hiking or trekking Yes (up to 3,000m)
Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing Yes (up to 3,000m)
Marathons and other competitions Not stated
Jet skiing Yes
White water rafting Yes (under Grade 4)
Skydiving Not stated
Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting Yes
Bungee jumping Yes

That said, the TravelSmart Classic and Elite plans are even less impressive for 2nd- and 3rd-tier plans. In particular, the limits for travel delays, baggage delays and loss are really quite low.

If you’re willing to spend this much on travel insurance premiums, there are definitely better value-for-money plans out there.

 

Great Eastern travel insurance claims

Emergency hotline: +65 6339 2155

Other claims: Print out the travel claim form and mail it with supporting documents to Great Eastern General Insurance Limited, 1 Pickering Street, #01-01 Great Eastern Centre, Singapore 048659 (Attention: General Insurance Claims Department)

The required documents are indicated on the form (depending on what your claims are for). You can find more information on the procedure on Great Eastern’s travel insurance claim page.

And… that’s it. You read that right – Great Eastern travel insurance claims can only be made by snail mail.

 

Conclusion: should you buy Great Eastern travel insurance?

If you’re just escaping to neighbouring destinations for the long weekend, Great Eastern’s cheap Basic Travel Smart plan for Malaysia, Batam and Bintan is not too bad. However, that’s about the only good thing worth mentioning.

The coverage for Travel [email protected] and Travel Smart Classic and Elite is… meh. The limits aren’t terrible, but they’re not really that high. I wouldn’t feel confident buying Great Eastern travel insurance to go on an epic Shinkansen tour of Japan, but perhaps it’s fine for some other nearby countries… Except they don’t have a cheaper ASEAN category.

If adventure sports are in your itinerary, you can scratch Travel [email protected] off your list – it’s strictly for landlubbers. If you’re NOT interested in being underwater and looking at all the weird life forms down there, and the thought of dangling in mid-air makes you go “hell no”, then it’s fine. But if you wanna do those things, there are other basic plans that will cover you.

But perhaps the biggest deal breaker is the terribly outdated claims process. Hey Great Eastern, 1995 called. They want your insurance claims procedure back.

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

 

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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.