Income’s Travel Insurance Review (2024): COVID-19 Coverage, Pre-existing Conditions, Promotions, Premiums

Income’s Travel Insurance Review (2024): COVID-19 Coverage, Pre-existing Conditions, Promotions, Premiums

When you come across the acronym “NTUC,” the FairPrice supermarket probably comes to mind, as every self-respecting auntie would attest. However, frequent travellers may also associate it with the renowned travel insurance plans offered by NTUC Income. Now rebranded as Income Insurance, how does its travel insurance plans fare in the current market?

There is a prevailing notion that Income’s travel insurance plans come with a hefty price tag. Additionally, certain internet users have voiced grievances about the perceived challenge in filing claims.

Are these rumours accurate? Let’s delve into the truth once and for all.

 

Income’s Travel Insurance Review 2024

    1. Income’s Travel Insurance: Summary
    2. Income’s Travel Insurance Coverage
    3. Does Income’s Travel Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
    4. What About COVID-19 Coverage?
    5. The Moment of Truth…How About Extreme Sports?
    6. Comparing Income vs MSIG vs Etiqa
    7. Comparing Income vs FWD
    8. Income Travel Insurance vs Other Travel Insurers
    9. Ongoing Promotions
    10. What Do Netizens Think About Income’s Travel Insurance?
    11. The Verdict: Should I buy Income’s Travel Insurance?

 

1. Income’s Travel Insurance: Summary

Income has 2 travel insurance plans:

  • Standard plans
  • Income Enhanced PreX plans (covers pre-existing medical conditions)

Each travel insurance plan is then further sub-divided into 3 plan tiers which provide different amounts of coverage:

  • Classic / Basic PreX
  • Deluxe / Superior PreX
  • Preferred / Prestige PreX (most expensive)

The premiums you will pay for your travel insurance plan largely depend on the country you’re travelling to. Usually, the further your country of destination, the more expensive your travel insurance plan will be. Here are the countries that are covered by Income travel insurance:

  • ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Asia: All the ASEAN countries, Australia, China (excluding Mongolia and Tibet), Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan
  • Worldwide: All countries
  • Countries not covered: Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Sudan, Syria

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2. Income’s Travel Insurance Coverage

Here’s a quick look at the premiums and coverage for the Income’s Standard travel insurance plans:

Income’s Travel Insurance Classic Deluxe Preferred
Price  (ASEAN) $68/week $84/week $109/week
Price (Asia) $78/week $98/week $135/week
Price (Worldwide) $151/week $172/week $215/week
Overseas medical expenses $250,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Emergency medical evacuation $500,000 Unlimited Unlimited
Personal accident (death, TPD) $150,000 $200,000 $500,000
Travel delay ($100/6 hours) $1,000 $1,500 $2,000
Trip cancellation $5,000 $10,000 $15,000
Baggage delay ($200/6 hours) $1,000 $1,200 $2,000
Baggage loss $3,000 $5,000 $8,000
Sports and adventure Selected activities, including:
– Bungee jumping
– Hiking
– Scuba diving
– Skiing
– Skydiving
COVID-19 Yes

Income travel insurance medical coverage

At $250,000 to $1,000,000, Income’s Travel Insurance overseas medical coverage is generous compared to some of its competitors such as Sompo Travel Insurance’s $200,000 to $400,000 overseas medical limit.

However, do note that for adults aged 70 years and older, the coverage for medical expenses overseas, emergency medical evacuation, and sending you home all share one overall section limit of $300,000 (Classic and Deluxe) / $350,000 (Preferred). If you’re in this age range, this may not be sufficient coverage for you.

For complete peace of mind, you might want to opt for plans that offer unlimited medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. FWD travel insurance’s most basic tier offers $200,000 coverage for overseas medical expenses and unlimited coverage for emergency medical evacuation:

FWD logo

Total Premium

S$26.51

25% OffTotal PremiumS$35.35
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Trip Cancellation Add-on
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$200,000
Trip Cancellation
S$7,500
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$35.3525% Off
S$26.51
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
   
• Enjoy up to 25% off your policy premium.
• Get S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher and Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
         
BONUS: For a limited time only, there are over S$19,600 worth of gifts to be given away:
1x Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
1x Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25)
5x MVST TREK Aluminium Large Suitcase (worth S$790)
1x Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) and many more!
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today. T&Cs apply
         
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024

Income travel insurance trip disruption coverage

One great advantage of Income’s travel insurance is the high trip cancellation coverage ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. Other travel insurance providers might not be so generous. For example, Allianz Travel offers $1,500 to $10,000 for trip cancellation, while Tiq travel insurance offers $5,000 to $10,000.

For travel insurance plans with comparable coverage to Income’s, check out Great Eastern (up to $15,000 coverage) and AIG (up to $15,000).

Great Eastern logo

Total Premium

S$70

30% OffTotal PremiumS$100
MoneySmart Exclusive
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$300,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$10030% Off
S$70
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[GIVEAWAY | MoneySmart Exclusive]
 
• Enjoy up to 30% off your policy premiums
• Get S$10 iShopChangi e-vouchers with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
 
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024
AIG logo

Premium

S$43.20

10% OffPremiumS$48
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most Flexible Plan
Overseas Medical Expenses
S$100,000
Travel Cancelation / Postponement
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Personal Baggage
S$3,000
Premium
PremiumS$4810% Off
S$43.20
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[GIVEAWAY | Receive your rewards as fast as 30 days*]
  
• Enjoy 10% off your policy premium.
• Get up to S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher with eligible premiums spent.
• Additionally, receive an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
  
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024

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3. Does Income’s Travel Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Income is one of the few insurers in Singapore providing comprehensive travel insurance plans that cover pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, eczema, diabetes, high blood pressure and even heart disease. The other 2 that cover pre-existing conditions are MSIG travel insurance and Etiqa travel insurance.

The most obvious difference between Income’s Enhanced PreX travel insurance plan and its regular Travel Insurance plan is, of course, price. The cheapest Income Enhanced PreX plan costs over twice the price of a regular Income travel insurance plan.

For those who have major health problems, you don’t have much of a choice. There’s no point in buying a cheap normal insurance plan with no coverage for you because you definitely will not be able to claim medical expenses, evacuation costs or travel delays linked to a flare-up of your condition.

It is especially worth the money if your condition is either life-threatening or very expensive to treat overseas.

However, if you have a condition that’s not immediately life-threatening, such as eczema, then it is your choice whether you want to spend more on Pre-Ex travel insurance for better coverage.

It’s important to look at the coverage limits if you’re seriously considering pre-existing travel insurance. Why? If you’re travelling somewhere with really expensive healthcare, like Europe or the US, you might want to upgrade to the Enhanced PreX Prestige plan.

Income logo

Total Premium

S$139.40

15% OffTotal PremiumS$164
Online Promo
Pre-existing medical condition coverage available
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$1,000,000
Trip Cancellation
S$15,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$8,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$16415% Off
S$139.40

 

Income’s Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance Premiums and Coverage

Income’s Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance Basic PreX Superior PreX Prestige PreX
Price (ASEAN) $10/week $129/week $150/week
Price (Asia) $122/week $157/week $184/week
Price (Worldwide) $195/week $241/week $278/week
Overseas medical expenses $500,000 $500,000 $1,000,000
Emergency medical evacuation Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Personal accident (death, TPD) $200,000 $200,000 $500,000
Travel delay ($100/6 hours) $1,500 $1,500 $2,000
Trip cancellation $10,000 $10,000 $15,000
Trip postponement $1,000 $1,000 $2,000
Baggage delay ($200/6 hours) $1,200 $1,200 $2,000
Baggage loss $5,000 $5,000 $8,000
Sports & Adventure Limited (scuba diving, hiking, skiing covered)
COVID-19 Yes

Is Income’s travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions any good? Yes. For one, Income PreX travel insurance covers COVID-19 while MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex and Tiq Travel Insurance Pre-Ex don’t cover you for COVID-19. So, if you want both pre-existing medical conditions and COVID-19 coverage in your travel insurance, Income Enhanced PreX is your only choice.

Even though Income Pre-Ex Travel Insurance offers you COVID-19 coverage, the downside is that they’ve lowered the medical benefits you get if you’re aged 70 and above. For example, for those aged 70 and above, Income Enhanced PreX’s overseas medical and emergency medical evacuation coverage share a total claim limit of $300,000 for its basic plan tier (as opposed to up to $500,000 in overseas medical expenses and unlimited medical evacuation coverage for under 70s). 

By comparison, MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex Standard (the basic tier) offers $250,000 / $50,000 medical coverage (below 70 / above 70) and $1,000,000 evacuation regardless of age, while Tiq basic pre-ex travel insurance plan offers $200,000 overseas medical coverage and $1,500,000 combined coverage for evacuation and repatriation of mortal remains.

Otherwise, Income Enhanced PreX’s miscellaneous trip cancellation and baggage delay benefits are pretty good. Travel inconvenience benefits for the Basic PreX plan are higher than those for the Classic standard plan, while benefits for the Superior PreX and Prestige PreX plans match those for the Deluxe and Preferred standard plans respectively.

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4. What About COVID-19 Coverage?

Whether you buy an Income Travel Insurance Standard or an Income Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance plan, you’ll be relieved to know that all Income Travel Insurance plans automatically come with COVID-19 coverage.

You can find the COVID-19 coverage details at the very bottom of the usual Income travel insurance coverage tables for Standard plans and PreEx plans. There’s also a separate Income Travel Insurance COVID-19 policy wording document that you can refer to. Here are the most important bits:

Income’s travel insurance COVID-19 coverage (covers PreX)
Trip cancellation  $2,000
Trip postponement  $2,000
Trip shortening  $2,000
Trip disruption  $1,000
Medical expenses overseas  $150,000
Emergency medical evacuation  $150,000
Overseas quarantine allowance ($100/day)  $1,400

Most of us will not scrutinise the individual coverage limits on our travel insurance. We place a whole lot of trust in insurance companies to cover the bare essentials.

The good news is that Income’s Travel Insurance COVID-19 extension is simple and adequate. Take COVID-19 overseas medical coverage, for example. Income offers $150,000 while MSIG TravelEasy’s basic plan offers $75,000 and Etiqa’s basic plan offers $100,000.

Then, there’s overseas COVID-19 quarantine cash allowance, for which Income offers $100 per day, up to $1,400. In contrast, Etiqa’s basic plan offers $100 per day up to $500, and MSIG’s basic plan offers $50 per day up to $700.

Perhaps the most important distinction is that Income’s COVID-19 coverage applies to both their Standard plans and the PreEx ones. That’s rarer than you might think. For example, Etiqa’s Pre-Ex plans and MSIG’s TravelEasy Pre-Ex plans don’t cover COVID-19 disruptions at all; their COVID-19 add-ons apply only to their standard plans. So if you have pre-existing conditions and want COVID-19 coverage, Income travel insurance is your best choice by a mile.

Income logo

Total Premium

S$139.40

15% OffTotal PremiumS$164
Online Promo
Pre-existing medical condition coverage available
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$1,000,000
Trip Cancellation
S$15,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$8,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$16415% Off
S$139.40

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5. The Moment of Truth…Does Income’s Travel Insurance Cover Extreme Sports?

Income’s Travel Insurance covers common vacation activities like scuba diving and skiing. It’s also adequate if you’re just looking to snorkel or participate in an easy trek with a guide or tour group with a licensed outdoor adventure operator. Here are a few outdoor adventure activities that are included in their coverage:

Extreme sports and outdoor adventures Does Income’s travel insurance cover it?
Hot air balloon Yes
Scuba diving for leisure Yes (up to 30m*)
Skiing and other ice/snow sports Yes
Hiking or trekking Yes (below 4,000m)
Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing No, except for man-made walls
Marathons and other competitions Yes
White water rafting Yes
Skydiving Yes
Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting Yes
Bungee jumping Yes

* For scuba diving: On top of the 30m depth limit, you must also:

  • hold a PADI certification (or similar recognised qualification) and be diving with someone who is also certified; or
  • dive with a qualified instructor

The coverage above  applies to their Income PreEx plans as well as the Standard ones. That makes for very comprehensive travel insurance plans, if you ask me.

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6. Comparing Income vs MSIG vs Etiqa

If you’re considering Income’s Travel Insurance, you should be comparing it against established household insurance providers such as MSIG and Etiqa.

Income MSIG Etiqa
Price (per week) $68 – $215 $62 – $208.50 $39 – $106
COVID-19 (per week) Included (all plans) Included (non pre-ex plans only) Add-on (non pre-ex plans only)
Medical expenses (overseas) $250,000 – $1,000,000 $250,000 – $1,000,000 $200,000 – $1,000,000
Emergency medical evacuation $500,000 – unlimited $1,000,000 $1,000,000 – $1,800,000
Trip Cancellation $5,000 – $15,000 $5,000 – $15,000 $5,000 – $10,000
Baggage Loss $3,000 – $8,000 $3,000 – $7,500 $2,000

Income and MSIG automatically include COVID-19 coverage in their standard travel insurance plans, while this is an optional add-on for Etiqa. Other plans that include automatic COVID-19 coverage include Starr TraveLead Comprehensive, Bubblegum Travel Insurance, Singlife Travel Insurance and DBS Chubb Travel Insurance. However, if we look at pre-existing plans, only Income travel insurance offers COVID-19 coverage.

In terms of overseas medical expenses, all 3 insurers offer quite comparable coverage. When it comes to other travel and logistics-related coverage such as trip cancellation and baggage loss, Income and MSIG travel insurance plans’ coverage are pretty much on par while Etiqa’s falls slightly short.

All things considered, Income, MSIG and Etiqa’s travel insurance plans are surprisingly similar and competitive. The one key difference is emergency medical evacuation coverage for people aged 70 and over—Income’s Travel Insurance parks that under the overall overseas medical expense limit as we discussed above.

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7. Comparing Income vs FWD

When you pit Income Travel Insurance against one of the most popular “budget” travel insurance providers, FWD, you’ll realise that the travel insurance offerings are very similar and competitive.

Income Travel Insurance FWD Travel Insurance
Price (per week) $68 – $215 $33 – $103
COVID-19 (per week) Included $11 – $22
Medical Expenses (Overseas) $250,000 – $1,000,000 $200,000 – $1,000,000
Emergency Medical Evacuation $500,000 – Unlimited Unlimited
Trip Cancellation $5,000 – $15,000 $7,500 – $15,000
Baggage Loss $3,000 – $8,000 $3,000 – $7,500

Between Income Travel Insurance and FWD travel insurance, coverage is largely on par if you’re considering a basic travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage. However, FWD’s prices are lower even if you purchase the COVID-19 add-on.

FWD logo

Total Premium

S$26.51

25% OffTotal PremiumS$35.35
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Trip Cancellation Add-on
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$200,000
Trip Cancellation
S$7,500
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$35.3525% Off
S$26.51
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
   
• Enjoy up to 25% off your policy premium.
• Get S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher and Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
         
BONUS: For a limited time only, there are over S$19,600 worth of gifts to be given away:
1x Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 124200 34mm Silver (worth S$9,000)
1x Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (worth S$1,664.25)
5x MVST TREK Aluminium Large Suitcase (worth S$790)
1x Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones (worth S$589) and many more!
Increase your chances of winning when you refer friends today. T&Cs apply
         
PLUS, score S$100 iShopChangi vouchers in our giveaway on top of existing rewards. T&Cs apply.

Valid until 30 Jun 2024

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8. Income Travel Insurance vs Other Travel Insurers

At a glance, here’s how Income’s travel insurance stacks up compared to the other major travel insurers in Singapore.

income-travel-insurance-vs-other-travel-insurance

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9. Income travel insurance—Ongoing promotions

Even though many Singaporeans probably don’t mind paying more for Income travel insurance just because it’s a household brand name, their travel insurance plans aren’t the most affordable.

However, with ongoing promotions like the current 55% discount promo, it can be value for money. All standard per-trip plans qualify for the promo. For example, if you wanted to go temple-hopping for a week in Myanmar, the cheapest Classic plan would cost just $31 after the discount. Here are the premiums you’ll be paying with the current 55% discount promo:

Income’s Standard travel insurance (55% discount) Classic Deluxe Preferred
Price (ASEAN) $31/week $38/week $49/week
Price (Asia) $35/week $44/week $61/week
Price (Worldwide) $68/week $77/week $97/week

In addition, Income is offering an additional 15% off Enhanced PreX per-trip plans. These start from $88 per week. Pricey, yes, but their pre-existing condition plans offer the best coverage compared to others.

Income’s PreX travel insurance (55% discount) Enhanced PreX Basic Enhanced PreX Superior Enhanced PreX Prestige
Price (ASEAN) $88/week $110/week $128/week
Price (Asia) $104/week $122/week $156/week
Price (Worldwide) $107/week $127/week $142/week

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10. What Do Netizens Think About Income’s Travel Insurance?

If you follow insurance threads on forums or even talk to your friends about insurance claims over kopi, you might have gotten wind of Income’s bad claims reputation

Unfortunately, online forums such as Hardwarezone and Reddit are full of similar stories from users claiming that their Income insurance claims were slow, long-drawn-out and plagued with difficulties. According to the users’ Income claim experiences, there was a lot of emphasis on the need for original invoices to be submitted.

To be fair, between these nasty stories, you’ll also find users who managed to claim from Income smoothly and received their cheques in the mail.

So, how do you make a claim? Your first port of call should be to get in touch with Income ASAP.

Income Travel Insurance Emergency hotline: Call the Income emergency assistance hotline at +65 6788 6616

Here’s where it gets confusing. You have to identify the type of claim that you’re making and the “correct” way to submit it. Super important: all claims must be made within 30 days of the event or incident.

Income Travel insurance online claims: Submit Income Travel Insurance claims online with supporting documents such as invoices, flight itineraries, police reports, etc. through their website. You can do so for the following benefits:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip shortening
  • Travel delay
  • Baggage delay
  • Loss and damage of baggage or personal belongings

Income Hard copy claims: For medical expenses, you need to fill in the Income Travel Insurance claim form and drop off the hard copy form with the supporting documents such as hospital bill, medical report, boarding pass, etc. at an Income branch.

Income Email claims: For claims that do not involve travel inconveniences (see above) and medical expenses (see above), you’ll need to fill in Income’s Travel Insurance claim form digitally, and email it together with your supporting documents to [email protected]. Include your travel policy number in the subject line.

Income Claims settlement time: If there is no dispute, Income will settle your claims within 10 working days or longer during high-volume travel periods like school holidays.

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11. The Verdict: Should I buy Income’s Travel Insurance?

Income Travel Insurance isn’t the absolute cheapest around, but their regular travel insurance plans are very affordable and value for money when there’s a 55% promotion going on.

However, just because it’s a brand name doesn’t mean that its coverage is the highest in town, especially when you compare it with value-for-money providers like FWD. That’s not a problem for most travellers though, unless you’re going to a super expensive country or encounter some unusual scenario.

For most Singaporeans who just want to eat, chill and relax on holiday, Income’s travel insurance is more than adequate especially as it also provides COVID-19 coverage—even for pre-existing conditions. However, daredevils should take note that it does not cover more thrilling activities like mountaineering and other extreme sports.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, Income Enhanced PreX is one of the very few travel insurance options suitable for you. It is pricey for sure, but probably worth the money if you have a life-threatening condition like asthma or heart disease. Make sure that the plan is sufficient to cover your overseas expenses and/or evacuation.

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Still looking for travel insurance? Compare the best travel insurance in Singapore here.