Tan Chei Huey

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Travel Insurance – Why It Is So Important and So Easily Overlooked

I travel regularly between KL and Singapore. My family is based there while my business and my clients are based in Singapore.

So it is with great sadness when I read the news about the victims of the bus crash that included 3 Singaporeans.

Working in Singapore for the past 10 years, I regularly take the bus from JB Larkin station to travel to KL. The fares from Johor Bahru’s Larkin is far cheaper at RM30-RM40 when compared if I was to take the bus directly from Singapore. When my finances improved, I began to take the bus from Singapore for convenience and comfort.

What also changed for me was that I began to buy travel insurance even for this short trips back. The reason was simple – I saw so many accidents. Even if I was only going to KL for just a day trip (returned back to Singapore in the evening), I still bought travel insurance.

Eventually I bought travel insurance with yearly premiums so as to save the hassle since I was travelling back and forth about twice per month.

We are used to buying travel insurance for flights and major overseas trips. But we forget to buy travel insurance when we go for short trips like to Johor or Malacca.

Let me share with you the procedures for claiming for travel insurance.

Claiming Travel Insurance

Usually there is a hotline to call to arrange for transport back to Singapore. Check with your insurance company.

Travel insurance will take care of this cost which can run up to between $80K to $200K. Depending on the patient’s condition, a private jet equipped with advanced medical equipment and trained medical staff will be engaged to fly back to Singapore for medical treatment.

If any treatment was given in the foreign country’s hospital, these costs will have to be borne first. You might have to pay using your credit card. Keep the official receipts carefully as this will be used for reimbursement from the travel insurance company.

Let’s say you got into an accident or lost your valuables (eg laptop) in Johor Bahru while you went shopping. If you have travel insurance, you can actually claim for this loss for up to $2,000. The amount you can receive is highly dependent on the coverage. Do check with your insurance company.

Money can always be earned. Transfer all potential risks to an insurance company at just a small cost. The peace of mind is priceless and you can focus on your trip with no worries.

Don’t fall into the trap of optimism bias – a cognitive bias that causes a person to believe that they are less at risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others.

It is very human to be optimistic but it is also a fallacy. Please remember while your life is your own, your family members who are close to you are also impacted in the event of a misfortune.

Cheaper Travel Insurance = Much Less Coverage

Another sad case: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/amputee-dies-in-jordan-day-before-his-flight-home

In this case, the insurance coverage was not enough to cover the costs which escalated to beyond $200K. For this type of umrah trips, the specific insurance provided has only a small coverage.

Premiums for such insurance is usually very small and cheaper. Do be careful and be aware of the coverage amounts.

Hence, it is recommended to buy more comprehensive travel insurance that provide greater cover.

Check Your Travel Insurance Coverage

A comprehensive list of benefits for travel insurance should be read and examined carefully.
The above table is coverage provided by AXA Smart Traveller.

Sobering Conclusion

For the Singaporeans who died, there were also others injured. It is heart-wrenching to read this letter and find out a young man who is not only injured, but lost his loved ones.

If you still wish to contribute, you can go here: https://give.asia/movement/help_for_family_of_muhd_hilmi_bin_mohd_syed

Updated: 1 March 2017

There is a current promotion going on where you can purchase YEARLY travel insurance at 40{260c08e698fa3fee1203f2f74c397965749e4e3870d80e92ad28191ffda38ea4} discount. If you travel frequently, especially to nearby neighboring cities like Johor Bahru or Malacca, I highly recommend you get travel insurance.

Stay protected while you travel. Click here to sign up. This promotion is valid till 10 March 2017.

Get your travel insurance quote by clicking the button below.

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Tan Chei Huey

Tan Chei Huey is a Singapore-based financial advisor who has been helping clients to build up their retirement nest egg and securing financial protection for their health.

Articles: 22

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