Travel Insurance Singapore Guide (2024): Must-Knows for Choosing the Best Travel Insurance

travel-insurance-singapore-guide

Travelling is a favourite Singaporean pastime. A national sport, if you will. But while we all love travel and wanderlust, most of us don’t give much thought to buying travel insurance.

Buying travel insurance in Singapore is something a lot of us take for granted. Few of us bother to buy travel insurance ahead of time, and even fewer compare policies to find the best travel insurance in Singapore.

Here is everything you should look out for before buying travel insurance in Singapore.

Key features to look out for in travel insurance

  1. What does travel insurance cover?
  2. How to choose travel insurance
  3. Travel insurance prices
  4. Best travel insurance in Singapore
  5. Common mistakes when buying travel insurance
  6. Travelling with pre-existing health conditions 
  7. When should I buy travel insurance?
  8. Single trip or annual travel insurance?
  9. Compare travel insurance before buying

 

1. What does travel insurance cover you for?

A good travel insurance policy covers you for a whole series of situations, from the small inconveniences to the most terrible.

Trust me, you never want to be in a situation that you’re not covered for.

It could be a minor inconvenience, like having your luggage delayed and being forced to spend  at least one night in the same clothes you wore on the entire flight. Or it could be a serious medical emergency, like getting stung badly by jellyfish in the middle of a remote island adventure and needing immediate medical attention.

travel-insurance-singapore-guide-what-does-travel-insurance-cover

These days, almost all travel insurance in Singapore automatically includes COVID-19 coverage. That means, you’ll be able to claim from your travel insurance if you get Covid-19 while travelling.

You should also have coverage for everything from lost and delayed luggage, flight delays and cancellations, all the way to medical treatment, medical evacuation and even repatriation in case of serious illness and death. All these different situations have different claim limits, of course.

Travel insurance also covers things like reimbursing deposits if your travel agent goes bust, if your credit card is used fraudulently overseas, or if you damage your rental car. Some policies even pay you if you are kidnapped while overseas! And the best part is that travel insurance is relatively cheap and convenient to buy.

Back to top

 

2. How to choose travel insurance

With so many different benefits in a travel insurance plan, it can be tough to decide if a particular travel insurance plan is worth your money. You should look out for how much you are reimbursed for common travel hiccups.

travel-insurance-singapore-guide-flight-delay

  • Find a travel insurance that covers flight delays and cancellations: Flight delays happen more often than you realise. They can be extremely inconvenient, especially if it ends up causing you to miss your connecting flight. Ensure that your policy covers you for a decent period of time. For example, if your flight is delayed, some policies pay you $100 for every 6 consecutive hours of delay. There’s usually a cap of around $200-$500, but if you want more coverage DirectAsia Voyager 150 pays out up to $1,000 for travel delay.
DirectAsia logo

Total Premium

S$23.10

40% OffTotal PremiumS$38.50
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Free coverage for children
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$150,000
Trip Cancellation
S$3,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$1,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$38.5040% Off
S$23.10
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | FLASH DEAL]
  
• Enjoy 40% off your policy premium
• Receive up to S$25 via PayNow and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher with eligible premiums spent. 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 19 Jun 2024
  • Lost or delayed baggage: Make sure your policy covers you well for such situations. Many policies pay $100 for every 6 consecutive hours your baggage is delayed, including Bubblegum Travel Insurance which pays up to $3,000 for lost or damaged baggage. Don’t forget to also pay attention to the maximum amount you’re covered for.
Bubblegum logo

Total Premium

S$46.85

10% OffTotal PremiumS$52.05
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most fuss-free plan
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$150,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Personal Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$52.0510% Off
S$46.85
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[GIVEAWAY | Receive your cash as fast as 30 days*]
 
• Enjoy 10% off your policy premium.
• Get an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$25 via PayNow and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-vouchers with eligible premiums spent. 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
Apply NowApply directly on MoneySmart
  • Medical coverage overseas: Since you can never predict what might happen on your trip, it literally pays to be safe than sorry. A good travel insurance policy covers you for at least $200,000 for overseas medical coverage and unlimited coverage for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. One value-for-money insurance policy that fits the bill is Starr TraveLead Comprehensive Bronze.
Starr logo

S$30.42

50% OffS$60.84
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Best Value Plan
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$200,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
S$60.8450% Off
S$30.42
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | FLASH DEAL]
  
• Enjoy 50% off your policy premium
• Get an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$50 via PayNow OR 1 x Apple AirTag (worth S$45.40) and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-vouchers with eligible premiums spent. 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 19 Jun 2024
  • Travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage: Ideally, your policy should offer coverage for a range of COVID-19 expenses you might encounter during your travels (and even before you fly!). Look out for the travel insurance policies’ coverage for trip cancellation and postponement and medical expenses due to Covid-19. Overseas quarantine cash allowance is an added bonus. For example, AIG Travel Guard® Direct – Enhanced covers $100 per day for 14 days if you’re quarantined overseas due to COVID-19.
AIG logo

Premium

S$74.70

10% OffPremiumS$83
MoneySmart Exclusive
Most Flexible Plan
Overseas Medical Expenses
S$1,000,000
Travel Cancelation / Postponement
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Personal Baggage
S$5,000
Premium
PremiumS$8310% Off
S$74.70
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

Back to top

 

3. Travel insurance prices in Singapore

Travel insurance in Singapore is very price-sensitive, and sometimes insurers can compete to shave off even $1 from their premiums to make their policies more enticing (yay for us!).

travel-insurance-singapore-guide-prices

One way to get a cheaper plan is to see which insurers offer regional travel insurance. If you are only travelling to Thailand, for example, it is usually cheaper to get a policy that covers only SEA or ASEAN countries, rather than a worldwide coverage policy.

However, price is not the only factor—especially since cheap insurance policies often mean significantly less coverage. Buying travel insurance is not like buying a “warehouse sale” LV bag in Chatuchak Market. You don’t just shop around, look for the stall owner with the weakest bargaining skills, and haggle the price down as low as can get.

Look at other aspects of the policy when buying travel insurance. There are many other factors to consider—for example, how much coverage you’re eligible for, and how quickly your claims can be processed. Make sure that you don’t have to wait till the next blue moon before you can see the results of your claims.

Back to top

 

4. Which travel insurance to buy in Singapore?

Like anything else you purchase, the best travel insurance is what gives you the most value for money. Say you are only travelling to Thailand for a weekend shopping trip, for example. You’re probably travelling light and don’t need more than $3,000 coverage for loss of baggage, even if you can pay just $3 more for significantly more coverage. Save that $3 and treat yourself to all the Thai milk tea you can drink!

As we said earlier, you shouldn’t be so stingy and only buy the cheapest. The cheapest may have lots of terms and conditions when it comes to claims. For example, an insurer might not cover delayed luggage if it is only delayed returning to Singapore. If this is the only inconvenience you face in your entire trip, you might be understandably upset that it’s not claimable.

The important thing is to read the terms and conditions of your preferred policy carefully and make sure you’re not caught unawares. This is especially important when it comes to medical pre-existing conditions.

Back to top

 

5. Common mistakes when buying travel insurance

How many of us actually know how to go about buying a good travel insurance that is suitable for our needs? Here are five common mistakes to avoid when buying travel insurance:

  • Buying the most “convenient” travel insurance: Do you just buy the first travel insurance you see on Google? It is important to read the details of the coverage provided to see if they are adequate for your needs or to cover the risks of the destination you’re travelling to, eg. medical coverage and loss of personal belongings.
  • Buying travel insurance at the last minute: Do you often buy your travel insurance when waiting to board your flight or while making your way to the airport? Yes, better late than never. However, you should be aware that some of the benefits of the travel insurance are applicable (eg. natural disasters, airline strike, tour agency bankruptcy) if you buy travel insurance ahead of your trip.
  • Not buying travel insurance for the entire length of your trip: Should you purchase travel insurance only for the days you are actually overseas? No. You should include flights to and from your holiday destination. In the event of baggage delays, loss or damage, or overbooking of flights, you’d then be able to make a claim. For long haul trips, do remember to cater for the +1 or +2 days that it takes for your flight to reach Singapore.
  • Not reading your travel insurance policy: Not all travel insurances are created equal. In fact, the policy document and terms of coverage makes for rather interesting reading. Do go through the policy document for what’s included and excluded, claim limits, and what you gotta do in order to make a claim.
  • Assuming travel insurance is “one size fits all”: If your holiday includes adventurous elements like skydiving or scuba diving, check to ensure that the travel insurance you are considering covers these activities. MSIG TravelEasy Elite covers a whole range of activities, including sky diving, hot air ballon rides, and bungee jumping. Alternatively, check to ensure that adventurous activities are not excluded from the claims.
MSIG logo

Total Premium

S$40.50

55% OffTotal PremiumS$90
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Most Comprehensive
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$9055% Off
S$40.50
MoneySmart Exclusive:

[Score a Rolex, Apple iPhone, MVST Luggage & More! | MoneySmart Exclusive]
   
• For a limited time only, enjoy up to 55% off your policy premium
• Get an Eskimo Global 1GB eSIM with every policy purchased.
• Additionally, receive up to S$45 via PayNow OR 1 x Apple AirTag (worth S$45.40) and up to S$20 iShopChangi e-voucher with eligible premiums spent. 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 19 Jun 2024

Back to top

 

6. Will pre-existing conditions affect my travel insurance?

One of the biggest travel insurance stories in 2017 was when a Singaporean man had a heart attack in Tokyo and fell into a coma. The medical costs alone cost $120,000 and bringing him back to Singapore via medical evacuation would cost another $120,000.

Because the man had been diagnosed with heart failure in 2012, his insurer considered it a pre-existing condition and therefore no claim was possible. Currently, one insurer that covers pre-existing conditions is MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex travel insurance.

MSIG logo

Total Premium

S$70.50

Total Premium
Covers Pre-Existing Conditions
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$75,000
Trip Cancellation
S$5,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$3,000
Total Premium
S$70.50

travel-insurance-singapore-guide

Back to top

 

7. When should I buy travel insurance?

There are many, many things that can go wrong when you’re travelling. Half of these things could happen even before you leave the country!

Waiting to buy your travel insurance policy on the day you travel (or worse, after you’ve already crossed into international waters) puts you at risk for travel inconveniences big and small like delays or postponement.

A good travel insurance policy also covers you for your entire trip being cancelled unexpectedly.

You should buy a travel insurance online as soon as you’ve planned your trip. Getting your travel policy as early as possible does not make you “kiasu”. It makes you smart.

This is because you’ll want to maximise the coverage you can get from the policy. For example, if you haven’t bought a policy yet and the travel agency you’re booking with closes down a week before your travel, you won’t be able to claim anything. The same goes for flight delays and flight cancellations.

travel-insurance-singapore-guide-when-to-buy

There is no penalty for buying travel insurance earlier, except maybe missing out on promotions that often happen around the travel season. But what’s the point of saving a few dollars and risk losing hundreds due to cancelled flights and hotel deposits?

Back to top

 

8. Buy single trip or annual travel insurance?

In the past, it made more sense to buy single trip travel insurance plans when you leave Singapore. That’s because in the past, most people only travel once or twice a year. With the greater nomad and remote working culture… and travels over long weekend, though? It might actually be more convenient to buy an annual plan for your travel insurance.

A good gauge to determine whether to choose between a single trip plan and an annual plan is to ask yourself if you’re going to be travelling more than 3 times a year. And we’re not just talking about weekend getaways either!

Whether you’re just going across the Causeway or travelling further overseas for work, an annual plan definitely makes more sense to your wallet.

travel-insurance-singapore-guide-single-trip-vs-annual-plan

Depending on how often you travel and how far you travel, it might be worthwhile to consider buying annual travel insurance.

If you are a frequent traveller, you not only save money by buying an annual policy, but you’ll never have to spend time buying insurance every time you fly overseas. Of course, just like single trip travel insurance, you should still compare the various policies online before you commit.

Annual travel insurance has a flat premium and covers you for an entire year of travel. It usually costs about $200-$300 a year, so only buy it it you are a frequent traveller. That is, it only makes sense if you are going to travel overseas more than 7-8 times a year, at least.

Back to top

 

9. Why should I compare travel insurance before buying it?

Comparing allows you to choose the best travel insurance policy for your needs. You’ll be able to see at a glance what coverage policies have for various situations, such as medical costs, and compensation levels for lost, delayed and damaged baggage.

But of course, comparing travel insurance in Singapore allows you to see that the cheapest travel insurance policy may not be the best. This is because the cheaper policies usually have significantly less coverage, naturally. While that may be a good thing for some travellers – there’s no need to get a $1,000 coverage for lost luggage if you’re only bringing the bare minimum to a staycation in Bangkok, for example.


ALSO READ: Best Travel Insurance in Singapore: AIG vs AXA vs FWD vs NTUC


travel-insurance-singapore-guide-tips-must-knows

Back to top

Are you headed overseas? Compare the cheapest travel insurance here.