1 in 3 S'poreans forgo travel insurance for short trips

1 in 3 S'poreans forgo travel insurance for short trips
Many flights were delayed or cancelled when the volcano erupted in Bali.
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans may be avid travellers, going overseas twice a year on average, but it seems that many of them skip one step of booking a holiday - buying travel insurance.

In a survey conducted by AIG Insurance between April 17 and 30 this year, it was found that one in three Singaporeans did not think travel insurance was necessary for short trips lasting less than three days or to nearby countries.

The survey also indicated that 83 per cent of respondents would not spend more than 5 per cent of their holiday budget on insurance, and less than half (42 per cent) would only buy insurance when there was a sale.

This comes despite AIG paying over $40,000 worth of travel claims made worldwide on a daily basis. Moreover, there were more than 4,000 claims made by customers who travelled to Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia in the last 12 months.

Medical expenses account for the majority of travel insurance claims (41 per cent) and are often the most expensive. This is followed by loss or damage of baggage (28 per cent), travel delays (17 per cent) and baggage delays (13 per cent).

"Trips to nearby countries do not necessarily present fewer risks and inconveniences," said Ms Anita Tan, head of AIG Travel.

"The risk exposure is the same regardless of the distance travelled - from cancelled flights to significant events such as natural disasters."

Travel insurance would provide peace of mind for travellers in an emergency, said Ms Tan. Delays and accidents would be easier to manage, and there would be less to worry about, even in a bad situation.

andrewg@sph.com.sg

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