OCBC travel insurance is a top choice for Singaporeans who are risk-averse and prefer to insure themselves with longstanding brands – it is provided by Great Eastern, the insurance arm of OCBC.
Like several other banks, OCBC provides free travel insurance as a perk of selected credit cards, which we’ll examine to check if its coverage is sufficient.
OCBC also sells travel insurance called OCBC Explorer, and likewise we’ll be looking at the coverage and price to see if it’s a good buy.
Free OCBC credit card travel insurance – is it any good?
You can get complimentary OCBC travel insurance coverage when you charge your air tickets to an OCBC 365 credit card. This applies to both principal and supplementary card holders.
(Well, actually the OCBC Voyage credit card gives you free travel insurance too, but since it’s for people with at least a $120K annual income, let’s assume that saving money on travel insurance is the least of their concerns.)
Here’s a brief rundown of what it covers:
|OCBC credit card travel insurance||OCBC 365 (provided by Great Eastern)|
|Medical expenses (overseas)||$500|
|Emergency medical evacuation||–|
|Personal accident (death or TPD while on common carrier)||$200,000|
|Flight delay or missed connection (min. 4 hours)||$200|
|Baggage delay (min. 6 hours)||$200|
|Baggage loss (min. 48 hours)||$400|
|Adventure activities covered?||–|
Let’s not kid ourselves; the coverage here is shockingly low. It’s the insurance equivalent of some D-list Instagram influencer’s wardrobe.
Unlike typical travel insurance plans where you get a payout for every X hours of travel or baggage delays, with this free travel insurance you can only claim what you charged to your OCBC credit card (e.g. hotel rooms, restaurant meals).
Most kiasu Singaporeans would probably rather pay a little to get much better coverage. Luckily, OCBC also offers paid regular travel insurance plans. We’ll take a look at these in the next section.
OCBC travel insurance at a glance
OCBC travel insurance is sold under the OCBC Explorer brand, but as mentioned, it’s provided by Great Eastern Insurance Singapore.
There are 3 tiers to choose from: Starter, Essential and Ultimate. Here’s a look at how they stack up:
|Travel insurance plan||Starter||Essential||Ultimate|
|Price for 1 week (Asia)||$62.09||$80.09||$119.49|
|Price for 1 week (worldwide)||$88.20||$103.80||$157.89|
|Promotion||55% off for single trip plans until 18 Feb 2019|
|Medical expenses (overseas)||$300,000||$500,000||$700,000|
|Emergency medical evacuation||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Personal accident (death & TPD)||$150,000||$300,000||$500,000|
|Travel delay ($100 every 6 hours)||$1,000 (overseas only)||$2,600 (overseas only)||$3,000|
|Baggage delay ($200 every 6 hours)||$1,000||$1,600||$2,000|
|Adventure activities covered?||No||No||Yes|
OCBC travel insurance promotion
At such high prices, it’s no wonder that OCBC runs near-constant promotions to keep its premiums competitive. Usually you can get around 50% off single trip plans.
The current OCBC travel insurance promotion gives you 55% off single trip plans until 18 Feb 2019.
You can keep track of the latest OCBC travel insurance promotions here.
After discount, a week’s coverage in Asia would cost about $28, which is considered cheap if you’re going to countries outside Southeast Asia, particularly the pricier countries like Japan and Korea.
However, if you’re just planning a trip to Malaysia or something, you might want to shop elsewhere for cheaper options. That’s because most other insurers consider ASEAN a separate region from Asia and charge less for travel insurance to those countries. OCBC, however, has no cheaper tier for ASEAN.
What does OCBC travel insurance cover?
OCBC travel insurance has decent coverage… if you plan to stay stationary the entire trip. They are very strict with the excluded activities for Starter and Essential plans.
To get any kind of coverage for activities like scuba diving, skiing, trekking, etc. you have to pay more than double for the most expensive Ultimate plan. No thanks! It’s not worth it as most modern insurers cover adventure activities with their basic plans – no upgrade needed.
|Outdoor activity||Covered by OCBC?|
|Hot air balloon||Not stated|
|Scuba diving||Ultimate plan only (up to 30m)|
|Skiing and other ice/snow sports||Ultimate plan only|
|Hiking or trekking||Ultimate plan only (up to 3,000m)|
|Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing||Ultimate plan only (up to 3,000m)|
|Marathons and other competitions||Not stated|
|Jet skiing||Ultimate plan only|
|White water rafting||Ultimate plan only (up to Grade 4)|
|Skydiving||Ultimate plan only|
|Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting||Ultimate plan only|
|Bungee jumping||Ultimate plan only|
If you’re not planning to take part in anything remotely risky, you’ll be fine with the cheapest Starter plan. Its coverage is comparable to that of standard travel insurance plans.
OCBC travel insurance claim procedure
For those who bought travel insurance through OCBC, most of the after-sales support is through Great Eastern.
Great Eastern hotline: +65 6339 2155
Great Eastern travel insurance claims: Download and print the Great Eastern travel insurance 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: Claims Department)
Conclusion: should you get OCBC travel insurance?
We’ve established that the free OCBC credit card travel insurance offers very little coverage.
I know, I know… free one, cannot complain lah. But the surprising thing is that it even falls short compared to what other banks offer to their credit card holders, such as Citibank complimentary travel insurance. OCBC, why you so stingy!?
As for OCBC’s regular paid travel insurance, I’d say it’s worth your money only if you’re visiting an expensive Asian country and are just planning to shop, eat and chill. This is definitely one to avoid if you’re into outdoor activities. It’s silly that you need to pay such a high price for coverage.
To me, the worst thing about buying OCBC travel insurance is that the claims process is so last century. I just cannot believe that you have to go through snail mail to make a claim!
I guess that comes with the territory when you’re dealing with such an established player. If you’re going on holiday with the older generation, your parents may insist you stick to this known brand rather than buy travel insurance “ABC Insurance Pte Ltd”.
Looking to buy OCBC travel insurance? Compare all Singapore travel insurance policies by price and coverage first.