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

Income’s Travel Insurance Review: 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 2023

    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:

  • Travel Insurance Standard
  • Income Enhanced PreX (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: Australia, China (no Mongolia, Tibet), Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, ASEAN
  • 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 Travel Insurance Standard plans:

Income’s Travel Insurance Classic Deluxe Preferred
Price  (ASEAN) $61/week $75/week $98/week
Price (Asia) $70/week $88/week $122/week
Price (Worldwide) $137/week $156/week $195/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 & Adventure Some (Scuba diving, hiking, skiing covered)
COVID-19 Yes

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 emergency medical evacuation shares the same overseas medical expense claim limit for adults aged 70 and over–which may not be sufficient if you are in that age range. If medical coverage is important to you, FWD Travel Insurance offers unlimited medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.

FWD logo

Total Premium

S$25.52

25% OffTotal PremiumS$34.02
MoneySmart Exclusive
FREE FLIGHTS | New 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$34.0225% Off
S$25.52
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[WIN FREE FLIGHTS | Exclusively at MoneySmart]
  
Receive 25% off* your FWD Premiums
Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM worth USD7 with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
 
**BONUS**
1. Exclusive chance to WIN FREE Flights* – There's NO CAP on the number of flight tickets! 🛫
2. Increase your chances by referring your friends and family. The more you refer, the higher your chances! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 04 Mar 2024

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 instance, Great Eastern is offering $2,000 to $15,000, while AIG offers $2,500 to $15,000.

Great Eastern logo

Total Premium

S$80

20% OffTotal PremiumS$100
Online Promo
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$300,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$10020% Off
S$80
AIG logo

Premium

S$38.40

20% OffPremiumS$48
MoneySmart Exclusive
FREE FLIGHTS | 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$4820% Off
S$38.40
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[WIN FREE FLIGHTS | Exclusively at MoneySmart]
 
Receive 20% off* your AIG Single Trip Premiums
• Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM worth USD7 with every policy purchased. T&Cs apply.
 
**BONUS**
1. Exclusive chance to WIN FREE Flights* – There's NO CAP on the number of flight tickets! 🛫
2. Increase your chances by  referring your friends and family. The more you refer, the higher your chances! T&Cs apply.

Valid until 03 Mar 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 pure suffering but 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’s Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance Premiums and Coverage

Income’s Enhanced PreX Travel Insurance Basic PreX Superior PreX Prestige PreX
Price (ASEAN) $102/week $128/week $149/week
Price (Asia) $121/week $156/week $183/week
Price (Worldwide) $194/week $240/week $277/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? 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 $500,000 for its basic plan tier (as opposed to up to $250,000 in overseas medical expenses and $500,000 in medical evacuation coverage for under 70s). 

By comparison, MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex basic offers $250,000 / $50,000 medical (below 70 / above 70) and $1,000,000 evacuation regardless of age, while Tiq Travel Insurance’s basic plan offers $200,000 medical and $1,000,000 evacuation and repatriation of mortal remains.

Otherwise, Income Enhanced PreX’s miscellaneous trip cancellation and baggage delay benefits are pretty good.

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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 won’t find the COVID-19 coverage table in the usual Income Travel Insurance policy wording. Instead, there’s a separate Income Travel Insurance COVID-19 policy wording document that you should refer to.

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

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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.

However, extreme thrill seekers may want to go for a more lenient insurance provider such as Direct Asia travel insurance, which properly covers extreme sports and martial arts.

Extreme Sports & Outdoor Adventure Income’s 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 4,000m)
Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing No (but man-made walls are ok)
Marathons and other competitions Yes
Jet skiing Not stated
White water rafting Yes
Skydiving Yes
Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting Yes
Bungee jumping Yes

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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) $61 – $195 $62 – $208.50 $58-280
COVID-19 (per week) Included Included Included (non pre-ex plans only)
Medical Expenses (Overseas) $250,000 – $1,000,000 $250,000 – $1,000,000 $200,000 – $2,500,000
Emergency Medical Evacuation $500,000 – unlimited $1,000,000 $500,000 – Unlimited
Trip Cancellation $5,000 – $15,000 $5,000 – $15,000 $5,000 – $15,000
Baggage Loss $3,000 – $8,000 $3,000 – $7,500 $3,000 – $10,000

All 3 insurers, Income, MSIG, and Etiqa offer COVID-19 coverage in their travel insurance plans automatically. Other plans that include automatic COVID-19 coverage include Starr TraveLead Comprehensive, Bubblegum Travel Insurance, Singlife Travel Insurance and DBS Chubb Travel Insurance.

In terms of overseas medical expenses, MSIG offers comparable coverage to Income’s travel insurance. 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 also pretty much on par. 

All things considered, Income and MSIG travel insurance plans are shockingly 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 overseas medical expense limit.

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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) $61 – $195 $31.50 – $101.62
COVID-19 (per week) Included $11.39 – $20.04
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.

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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.

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9. 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 are actually pretty expensive.

However, with ongoing promotions like the current 45% 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 $33.55 after the discount. Here are the premiums you’ll be paying with the current 45% discount promo:

Income’s Travel Insurance (45% discount) Classic Deluxe Preferred
Price  (ASEAN) $33.55/week $41.25/week $53.90/week
Price (Asia) $38.50/week $48.40/week $67.10/week
Price (Worldwide) $75.35/week $85.80/week $107.25/week

In addition, Income is offering an additional 15% off Enhanced PreX per-trip plans with complimentary personal accident coverage for 6 months.

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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 45% 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 newcomers 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. 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.