Should I buy a travel insurance for my holiday trip or simply just rely on the free travel insurance from my multi-currency or bank credit card?
Travel insurance is just as important as your holiday itinerary planning. Having a travel insurance guards you from unforeseen circumstances during your holidays, and you can claim for monetary compensation if you’re met with travel inconveniences.
That’s why certain financial products like multi-currency cards or credit cards offer free travel insurance as an added product benefit, but did you know that the coverage is often not comprehensive?
Here’s a quick comparison between free travel insurance provided by a multi-currency card and an affordable travel insurance provided by a generic insurance provider:
|Generic Travel Insurance||Free Travel Insurance|
|Accidental Death & Disablement||S$200,000||S$100,000|
|Overseas Medical Expenses||Up to S$200,000||Up to S$200,000|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||Unlimited||No cover|
|Lost & Damaged Belongings||S$3,000||S$1,000|
|Flight Delay||Up to S$300||No cover|
|Travel Disruption||Up to $7,500||No cover|
|Missed Flights||S$300||No cover|
|Adventurous Sports||Up to $7,500||No cover|
Coverages like Emergency Medical Evacuation are usually excluded in free travel insurances, because costs can go as high as a million dollars to haul you out of a national park in Costa Rica. 😨
Commonly claimed coverages like Flight Delay, Travel Disruption, and Missed Flights are also excluded because well, they’re claimed too frequently among travellers. For thrill-seekers, Adventurous Sports are not covered either.
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If you’re not familiar with travel insurance: Fret not – here are the most important coverages you should look out for when buying travel insurance for your holiday:
1. Accidental Death & Disablement
You or your beneficiary (usually family members) will receive a sum of cash if you become disabled from an accident or you lose your life during your holiday.
Scenario: You get into car accident while on holiday and permanently lose your hearing in one ear.
Why is it important: Accidents can be dangerous and life changing, especially when you’re travelling to new places and engaging in new activities. Make sure your travel insurance has adequate coverage for accidental death and disablement.
2. Overseas Medical Expenses
Your overseas medical expenses (including dental) will be covered if you fall sick or get injured from an accident.
Scenario: You caught a bad cold on your second day of your 5-day Seoul trip and it developed into a fever.
Why is it important: Overseas medical expenses can be expensive, especially when you’re a foreigner. Having the right diagnosis and medication from a local doctor will help you recover faster and avoid ruining your well-deserved holiday!
3. Emergency Medical Evacuation
Your expenses for emergency evacuation such as airlifts to the nearest medical facility or medically equipped flights to send you home will be covered.
Scenario: You caught a life-threatening virus that local medical services could not treat and immediate treatment elsewhere is necessary.
Why is it important: When travelling to rural destinations that don’t have essential medical facilities, an emergency medical evacuation could very well decide your fate between life and death. Emergency medical evacuations are generally the most expensive and can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even a million!
4. Lost & Damaged Belongings
You will receive a fixed amount of cash for each high value item that’s lost overseas, including damaged or lost luggage.
Scenario: Your luggage broke and your laptop got stolen during your 4-day Taipei trip.
Why is it important: It sucks to misplace high value items like laptops or wallets while you’re on holiday. Plus, theft is not uncommon when you look like a tourist. It’s reassuring to know that money will be compensated when you really do lose these items.
5. Baggage Delay
You will receive cash compensation for delayed baggage.
Scenario: You arrive in Beijing for a 4-day holiday and realise that your baggage will only arrive after 24 hours.
Why is it important: It’s inconvenient when all your fresh clothes and travel essentials are stuck in your luggage somewhere. While you wait for your luggage to arrive, it’s nice to know that the delay would be compensated eventually.
6. Flight Delay
You will receive cash compensation for delayed flights.
Scenario: Your flight to a Bali resort getaway got delayed by 12 hours.
Why is it important: Frequent travellers know that flight delays can get extremely irritating, especially when you already have a really cool hotel waiting for you. Instead of waiting aimlessly, you can actually get paid for every certain hour block that your flight is delayed.
7. Travel Disruption
You will receive cash compensation for disruptions during your travel journey.
Scenario: You missed your connecting flight because the first flight was delayed due to bad weather conditions.
Why is it important: Anything can happen when travelling from place to place and travel journey disruptions are not uncommon (including trying to get on a flight that doesn’t exist!). Instead of worrying about missing scheduled flights or trains, having a coverage on Travel Disruption gives you a peace of mind when travelling.
8. Adventurous Sports
Like Accidental Death & Disablement coverage, you or your beneficiary (usually family members) will receive a sum of cash if you become disabled in an accident or you lose your life during an adventurous sports activity.
Scenario: You fall off an ATV and lost sight in one eye permanently.
Why is it important: If you’re participating in adventurous sports like snowboarding, diving, and mountain biking, it’s crucial that your travel insurance covers you adequately because you’re at higher risk of danger.
So… should I buy a travel insurance or rely on free travel insurance?
The most common travel inconveniences are usually Flight Delays, Missed Flights, and Travel Disruptions. Most of the time, these aren’t covered by free travel insurances that come with your multi-currency card or credit card.
Let’s not forget that the most expensive clause, Emergency Medical Evacuation, isn’t covered either.
Instead of praying that everything will go right on your well-deserved holiday, consider getting a full travel insurance from an insurance provider to protect yourself. Even the cheapest travel insurance plan covers a whole lot more than a free travel insurance!
Enjoy a worldwide fees-less travel experience!