Great Eastern Travel Insurance Singapore Review 2022

Great Eastern Travel Insurance Review

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

In the past, the Great Eastern travel insurance was sold under 2 brands: Great Eastern Travel [email protected] and Great Eastern TravelSmart. The former has now been taken off the market. The latter is the last one standing and 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 TravelSmart Classic Great Eastern TravelSmart Elite
Price for 1 week (Asia) $83 $102
Price for 1 week (Worldwide) $119 $143
Promotion No current promotions
Medical expenses (overseas) $300,000 $500,000
Emergency medical evacuation $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Personal accident (death & TPD) $250,000 $500,000
Travel delay ($100 every 6 hours) $1,200 $1,200
Trip cancellation $10,000 $15,000
Baggage delay ($200 every 6 hours) $1,000 $1,200
Baggage loss/damage $5,000 $5,000
Adventure activities covered? Yes Yes

Great Eastern COVID-19 extension at a glance

COVID-19 benefits Great Eastern TravelSmart Classic Great Eastern TravelSmart Elite
Medical expenses (overseas) $25,000 $150,000
Emergency medical evacuation $25,000 $150,000
Trip disruption $3,000 $5,000
Trip postponement $1,000 $2,000
Trip cancellation $3,000 $5,000

Great Eastern travel insurance promotions

For their insurance plans, Great Eastern doesn’t split the nearby regions into ASEAN and Asia, which means 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 $39 for 1 week (individual single trip), and $19 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.

At the moment, 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?

TravelSmart Basic is the absolute cheapest option, but it’s only for Malaysia, Bintan, Batam and Singapore cruises. Travel Smart Classic and Elite are the 2nd- and 3rd-tier ones.

If you’re planning to do outdoor activities and adventure sports, you have to upgrade to the TravelSmart Classic or just find another insurance provider as TravelSmart Basic does not offer any coverage .

Here’s what Travel Smart Classic and Elite plans cover:

Outdoor activity Covered by Great Eastern Travel Smart travel insurance?
Hot air balloon Yes
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. While the plan does offer COVID-19 extension, the amount claimable is shockingly low especially for the Classic plan.

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 6856 8548

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 TravelSmart plan for Malaysia, Batam and Bintan is not too bad. However, that’s about the only good thing worth mentioning.

The coverage for 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 TravelSmart Basic 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.