Are Travel Aggregators Secure? Harder to Claim From?—Your Questions About Travel Aggregators, Answered.

travel-aggregators-questions-answered
Image: Tenor / kendxall

Ah, Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda… Names that almost roll off the tongue when we think about jet-setting to a new destination or planning that dream vacation. Most of us have probably browsed wistfully through their enticing offers. Many of us get swept away by promises of exciting, far-flung locations—the perfect setting for your next holiday, and at affordable prices to boot. But some of us curtail the fantasy to wonder: How do these platforms work anyway? Are they legit?

These platforms are called travel aggregators—digital powerhouses that compile vast amounts of travel-related data from multiple sources to give users the most competitive prices and options at their fingertips. Think of them as the ultimate middlemen (or women) of the travel industry—streamlining your choices, filtering out the noise, and ensuring you snag that jaw-dropping deal without trawling through a zillion websites.

But, like any industry heroes, myths and legends have cropped up around them. Some say it’s more difficult to make a travel insurance claim from a travel aggregator. Others wonder if aggregators are only for budget travellers, or if they offer any customer support. 

What’s the truth behind travel aggregators? Let’s answer your questions.

 

Your Questions About Travel Aggregators, Answered.

  1. Is it harder to claim from a travel aggregator?
  2. Can you customise your trip?
  3. Do travel aggregators only offer deals on flights?
  4. Do aggregators only offer budget options?
  5. Is booking directly always better? You know, loyalty points and whatnot.
  6. Do travel aggregators offer customer support?
  7. Are aggregators really secure?
  8. So, should I use a travel aggregator?

 

1. Is it harder to claim from a travel aggregator?

Think claiming through aggregators is going to be a nightmare? Think again!

A common belief is that claiming from an aggregator is more complex than dealing with an insurer directly. This is a myth. 

Travel aggregators work with reputable insurance providers. Once you purchase your insurance policy, you’re just as covered as if you had purchased it directly from an insurer. If something does go wrong, you’ll follow the same process as you would with an insurer. These claim processes are streamlined, and come with clear guidelines to guide you through the process. The result? Your experience will be as hassle-free as possible, and you can realise your dream vacation with easy peasy peace of mind. Not to mention, travel aggregators also come with customer support should you ever feel you need more help (we’ll get into that later)!

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

For example, let’s say you purchase travel insurance from MSIG via MoneySmart. You scoot off to your holiday without a hitch, and everything is playing out as you thought it would…until at your next pitstop, you discover your wallet’s been pickpocketed. This is what your travel insurance claim process would look like:

  1. Report the theft to MSIG. In the event of a travel or medical emergencies overseas, you can call the MSIG Assist 24-hour hotline at +65 6323 8288. Have the policyholder’s name and ID/FIN number or policy number when doing so.
  2. Make a police report within 24 hours at the place you lost your wallet. You should also request for a copy of the report—you’ll need this for your claim submission.
  3. Submit your claim online via MSIG’s claim form, providing information such as the policyholder’s name and policy number. So yes, you should keep a copy of your travel insurance policy when you travel for easy access to such information. Remember to submit your claim within 30 days.
  4. Wait for your claims payment. MSIG will generally make the transfer via FAST or PayNow within 2-3 weeks after receiving the necessary information and supporting documents. Do note this may take longer during peak travel periods.
msig-online-travel-cliam-form
MSIG’s travel online claim form (Image: MSIG)

 

2. Can you customise your trip?

Some may argue that aggregators provide rigid packages without room for customisation. The truth? Many aggregators allow travellers to tailor their trips according to specific preferences, from choosing individual flights and hotels to selecting unique rental cars. Your trip, your rules!

Did you know you can even customise your travel insurance? For example, does your idea of a holiday involve a luxury cruise ship and endless days at sea sipping margaritas against the ocean sunset? There’s cruise vacation protection for that. For all you adrenaline junkies out there, are you going skydiving? Rock climbing? Scuba diving? You can choose to add outdoor or extreme sports coverage to your travel insurance plan. So when you’re jumping out of that plane on your next skydive or whizzing down those slippery ski slopes, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected. 

Starr logo

Total Premium

S$36.66

50% OffTotal PremiumS$73.32
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Best Value Plan
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$73.3250% Off
S$36.66
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

One really customisable travel insurance we like is Starr travel insurance. All plans come with medical coverage, but from there, you can choose whether you’d like to add trip coverage (e.g. document loss, flight disruptions) and/or baggage coverage. You pay for only what you add. On top of these, there’s also add-ons for golf protection, scuba diving, cruise vacations, and snow sports. Talk about personalised!

starr-travel-insurance-trip-baggage-coverage
Starr travel insurance lets you personalise your plan. (Image: Starr)
starr-travel-insurance-add-ons-gold-cruise-scuba-diving-snow-sports
Starr travel insurance add-ons include protection for golf , cruises, scuba diving, and snow sports

 

3. Do travel aggregators only offer deals on flights?

Ah, the myth that just won’t quit. Sure, travel aggregators excel at booking flights, but did you know they offer so much more? You can also book hotels, rental cars, cruises, all-inclusive vacation packages and more all in one place. It’s like having your own personal travel agent for all your travel needs, without the fees.

Right here on the MoneySmart platform, you can browse and compare a wide range of travel insurance plans to protect not just your flight, but the entire trip overseas. Travel insurance plans from DirectAsia can cover you for trip disruptions, medical expenses (including COVID-19), rental vehicle excess, and even treatment from a Chinese medical practitioner!


Pro tip: Speaking of deals and discounts, we’re giving away over $35,000 worth of attractive gifts in our Wowza Travel Bonanza lucky draw!

travel-insurance-lucky-draw-moneysmart
Get your travel insurance with us today from as low as $10.80, and stand a chance to win prizes like a 15” MacBook Air and 2D1N stay in a Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa Luxury Room.


 

4. Do aggregators only offer budget options?

Okay, we can see why you might ask this question. After all, a primary function of travel aggregators is to let you compare your options easily across various providers, right? 

Truth is, aggregators cover a wide range of options. While it’s true that travel aggregators offer budget-friendly options, they by no means limit themselves to them. Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or have cash to splash, aggregators present a plethora of choices ranging from economy flights to ritzy five-star suites. They’re for the Chanel-adorned luxury-seeker as much as they are for the backpacker budget traveller.

This is true even for travel insurance. For example, looking at FWD travel insurance, coverage can range from $200,000 overseas medical coverage at $24/week to $1,000,000 overseas medical coverage at $42/week. The middle ground is the FWD Business plan, with $500,000 overseas medical coverage and up to $10,000 for trip cancellation at just over $30/week.

FWD logo

Total Premium

S$37.85

25% OffTotal PremiumS$50.47
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Trip Cancellation Add-on
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$500,000
Trip Cancellation
S$10,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$5,000
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$50.4725% Off
S$37.85
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

 

5. Is booking directly always better? You know, loyalty points and whatnot.

We hear you. Who doesn’t love that feeling of redeeming loyalty points for a huge discount? But while loyalty rewards for booking directly with airlines or hotels can be a perk, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s always the cheaper option. You’re more MoneySmart than that!

Travel aggregators often negotiate deals and discounts that give you even better rates. With their ability to negotiate bulk deals, they can offer discounts that can’t be found elsewhere, and that ultimately save you money. Not to mention the ease of being able to compare prices across various platforms without the headache of switching between a million different tabs!

Let’s say you’re an adrenaline junkie and are planning a crazy trip with bungee jumping, skydiving, a hot air balloon ride, and more. You’re definitely going to need extreme sports coverage, and you want extensive medical coverage too—just in case, right?

On MoneySmart, you can make use of our travel insurance comparison tool to specify these requirements and view prices and coverage amounts from different travel insurance plans at one glance. You’ll see that one good option is the MSIG TravelEasy Premier plan, which covers up to $1,000,000 in overseas medical expenses and includes coverage for bungee jumping, hiking, hot air balloon rides, scuba diving, skydiving, and snow sports. That’s pretty impressive for under $70 per week—less than $10 a day!

MSIG logo

Total Premium

S$56.92

55% OffTotal PremiumS$126.50
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Most Comprehensive
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$1,000,000
Trip Cancellation
S$15,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$7,500
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$126.5055% Off
S$56.92
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

 

6. Do travel aggregators offer customer support?

Being left in the lurch when a booking goes awry is a terrible, anxiety-inducing experience. I know firsthand the frustration of pressing 1 for English, only to be met with a dead dial tone. You surmise that their customer support is down, perhaps indefinitely (this most recently happened to me when I overpaid my credit card bill. Sobs.).

The good news is that travel aggregators have your back, with many (especially leading aggregators) providing excellent customer support. They can help you with any changes or cancellations, whether you need to tweak your booking or face a last-minute hiccup. 

Travel aggregators are also a valuable point of contact for any issues that may arise during your travels. Most travel insurance policies purchased through an aggregator include 24/7 customer service hotlines in case of emergencies.

For example, FWD travel insurance has a 24-hour hotline for accident and roadside, home or overseas travel assistance: +65 6322 2072. If it isn’t an emergency, you can also opt to call +65 6820 8888, or email them at [email protected]. You can even ask them to call you at a date and time you specify via the FWD Contact Us page, and if all else fails, make an appointment online to visit their office at Suntec Tower Four. When it comes to customer service, it doesn’t get much more comprehensive than that.

FWD logo

Total Premium

S$47.30

25% OffTotal PremiumS$63.07
MoneySmart Exclusive
ROLEX GRAND DRAW | Trip Cancellation Add-on
Med. Coverage (Overseas)
S$1,000,000
Trip Cancellation
S$15,000
Loss/Damage of Baggage
S$7,500
Total Premium
Total PremiumS$63.0725% Off
S$47.30
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

 

7. Are aggregators really secure?

Listen, we get it. Security concerns are at an all-time high, and rightfully so. However, travelling shouldn’t mean putting your personal and financial information at risk. Reputable travel aggregators prioritise user safety by using secure payment systems and encryption to protect your data. They’re just as secure as airlines and hotels, so you can rest easy knowing your information is protected.

Transparency is also key when it comes to safeguarding your personal data. For instance, Starr’s privacy policy lays out clearly the purposes for which personal data is collected, used or disclosed, how it’s collected and transferred and what types of personal data are collected.

It also gives you the option to request for withdrawal of consent, access and correction of your data by writing to their Data Privacy Officer at 138 Market Street, #16-04, Capitagreen, Singapore 048946. If you suspect the security of your personal data with Starr has been compromised, you can also contact Starr to alert them.

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

 

8. So, should I use a travel aggregator?

The short answer is yes. Why would you say no to lower prices, customisable options, excellent customer support, and secure payment processes? Travel aggregators are a game-changer for planning anything from budget-friendly trips to all-in luxury vacations. Don’t hesitate to give them a try and see just what deals and savings you can find. Your next big adventure awaits!

 

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