Leave it to the Japanese to come up with yet another innovative product that makes complete sense. No, I’m not talking about the latest high-tech fabric from Uniqlo or some crazy-cheap product from Daiso. I’m talking about Sompo travel insurance.
It’s quite brilliant, really. A Japanese insurance company like Sompo is never going to be the market-wide leader in Singapore for insurance. So, they aggressively target Singaporeans going to Japan. (Which, since 404,100 of us visited Japan last year, is not an insignificant niche by any measure.)
Let’s have a look at the 3 Sompo Travel Joy insurance plans: the basic Vital plan, the middle-tier Deluxe plan and the Japan-focused GO Japan! plan. We’ll skip the most expensive Elite plan as it’s basically a bumped-up version of the Deluxe.
Sompo travel insurance at a glance
|Travel insurance plan||Sompo TravelJoy Vital||Sompo TravelJoy Deluxe||Sompo GO Japan!|
|Price for 1 week (most of SEA)||$39||$49||–|
|Price for 1 week (Asia)||$50||$64||Japan $88|
|Price for 1 week (U.S., Europe)||$73||$93||–|
|Price for 1 week (Worldwide)||$82||$105||–|
|Promotion||45% off single-trip plans until 30 Sep 2018|
|Medical expenses (overseas)||$150,000||$300,000||$500,000
Cashless payment at 740 clinics/hospitals
|Emergency medical evacuation||$600,000||Unlimited
Covers pre-existing medical conditions
Covers pre-existing medical conditions
|Personal accident (death & TPD)||$150,000||$250,000||$250,000|
|Travel delay ($100 for first 6 hours, $65 every 4 hours thereafter)||$1,000||$1,000||$1,000|
|Baggage delay ($200 for first 6 hours, $125 every 4 hours thereafter)||$1,000
Lower sub-limits apply
|Adventure activities covered?||No||Limited||Limited|
Sompo travel insurance promotions
Sompo isn’t cheap, that’s for sure. But at least they’re trying to be competitive with promotions – like the very generous current 45% off, which makes the basic Sompo Travel Joy Vital plans affordable – $27.50 for a week’s cover in Asia, and about $40 for a week in Europe and US.
However, even with the 45% off, be prepared to pay a premium for their GO Japan! Plan. It’ll still set you back close to $40 for a week’s coverage – ouch.
Annual plans are going at 20% off.
What does Sompo travel insurance cover?
Frankly, you might want to give Sompo a miss if you’re looking for very basic and cheap coverage. The Vital plan has low medical emergency coverage limits and has a lot of activity exclusions – you can get much better coverage at this price point.
In terms of outdoor activities, the Sompo Travel Joy Deluxe and GO Japan! plans cover mainly sedate activities like scuba diving, skiing and hot air balloons. If you’re planning to hike the Japan Alps, you won’t be covered.
|Outdoor activity||Covered by Sompo Travel Joy Deluxe and GO Japan?|
|Hot air balloon||Yes|
|Scuba diving||Yes (up to 30m)|
|Skiing and other ice/snow sports||Yes|
|Hiking or trekking||Not stated|
|Mountaineering or outdoor rock climbing||Not stated|
|Marathons and other competitions||Not stated|
|Jet skiing||Not stated|
|White water rafting||Not stated|
|Paragliding, hang gliding or parachuting||No|
|Bungee jumping||Not stated|
It’s not explicitly stated in the Sompo policy wording whether activities like white water rafting and hiking are covered, but it does say in the FAQ that some “hazardous sports” may be covered as long as they’re “undertaken for leisure purposes”.
Those with pre-existing medical conditions (like asthma or heart conditions) can consider Sompo’s Travel Joy Deluxe plan in addition to NTUC Income Enhanced PreX plans. Sompo’s plan only covers medical evacuation, while NTUC covers medical expenses and trip delays and cancellation as well.
However, Sompo offers unlimited evacuation while NTUC’s coverage is capped at $150,000 for the lower-tier plans. If your condition is life-threatening, unlimited evacuation is more important than being covered for a wide variety of incidents.
If you’re travelling to Japan you will most probably want to spring for the GO Japan! plan, even though it costs quite a bit more than Deluxe. Although its claim limits are more or less the same, there are 2 major perks:
First, Sompo runs a hotline where an English- or Chinese-speaking officer can help with procedures like lodging a police report or making a medical appointment.
Second, Sompo can settle your medical bill at 740 clinics and hospitals in Japan so you won’t have to bear medical expenses upfront.
Sompo travel insurance claims
Emergency hotline: For emergencies or any claim exceeding $5,000, call Sompo Assist Hotline at +65 6532 2522
Online claims: For certain claims, you can fill in and submit documents through Sompo’s online travel claims form. Or you can download the claims form here and email with your documents to [email protected].
Hard copy claims: Download the claims form here and mail with supporting documents to Sompo Insurance Singapore Pte Ltd, 50 Raffles Place, #05-01/06 Singapore Land Tower, Singapore 048623.
App claims: Download the Sompo SG app and submit the supporting documents via the app. You can take photos on the spot or choose from your files. Claims submitted through the app are instantly submitted and enjoy priority assessment.
Things to note: Claims must be reported within 30 days of your return to Singapore. For useful info on supporting documents needed, refer to Sompo’s claims page.
Sompo will acknowledge your claim within 3 working days and inform you if they appoint third-party providers to help process your claim.
Conclusion: should you buy Sompo travel insurance?
GO Japan! is a very comprehensive travel insurance plan for Japan: Japan is generally a very safe place to visit, but Japanese language and bureaucracy can be pretty much impossible for an outsider to penetrate if you need to go to the police or see a doctor. Sompo’s come up with a pretty good solution to these woes, if you’re willing to pay for it.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions, the Sompo Travel Joy Deluxe plan is worth considering, even if you’re not travelling to Japan. Should anything happen, you can get evacuated home for free thanks to the unlimited coverage for medical evacuations.
Sompo loses out when it comes to coverage of outdoor activities. The basic Vital plan doesn’t cover anything at all, so you must at least get Deluxe. And even then, it is definitely not for the adventurous as it has a lot of limitations for outdoor activities, especially aerial activities (skydiving, paragliding, etc.) and hiking/trekking.
Looking to buy Sompo travel insurance? Compare all Singapore travel insurance policies by price and coverage first.
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