AIA Covid-19 travel insurance review: Price, promotion, claims (2022)

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AIA may be one of the big insurance companies in Singapore, but AIA’s travel insurance plans have yet to become everyone’s go-to before jetting off on their latest holidays.

Unlike many of their competitors (even the massive brand names like NTUC IncomeFWD, or AIG), AIA has not really upped its travel insurance game to appeal to modern travellers that are now extremely savvy with price comparisons while waiting out for all sorts of promotions.

As you’ll see in this article, AIA travel insurance still has some way to go before they can jostle their way into the upper echelons of the best travel insurance rankings.

1. AIA Covid-19 travel insurance price

AIA’s travel insurance is called AIA Around The World Plus (II) and it comes in three plan tiers:

  • Classic
  • Deluxe
  • Premier

The plans can either be either a single-trip plan or an annual pas. What’s the difference between single trip and annual travel insurance? If you drive up to Malaysia often or fly out to see your girlfriend or boyfriend every few weeks, get the annual pass. If you’re just going to Bangkok for a five-day trip and dream of travelling more, just buy the single-trip first.

The price of your AIA travel insurance largely depends on the country you’re travelling to. AIA has divided their premiums into:

  • Asean (cheapest): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam
  • Asia: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Mongolia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, and all countries listed in Asean
  • Worldwide (most expensive): Any countries outside Singapore

Here’s a summary table of AIA’s travel insurance coverage & premiums:

AIA Around the World Plus (II) Classic Deluxe Premier
Price (Asean) $37.30/week $53.50/week $76.65/week
Price (Asia) $55.45/week $73.60/week $105.90/week
Price (Worldwide) $75.60/week $92.80/week $123/week
Medical expenses (Overseas) $200,000 $500,000 $2,000,000
Emergency medical evacuation $500,000 Unlimited Unlimited
Personal accident (death, dismemberment, burn) $150,000 $200,000 $500,000
Overseas travel delay ($100 every 6 hours) $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Trip cancellation (death, illness, natural disaster) $5,000 $10,000 $15,000
Baggage delay ($200 every 6 hours) $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Baggage loss/damage $3,000 $5,000 $8,000
Extreme sports & general sports No No No

At $37 to $123 per week, AIA’s travel insurance is priced similarly to Sompo’s travel insurance ($52 to $132) and Great Eastern travel insurance ($65 to $118). Other super useful coverage that you will get from the AIA Around the World Plus (II) travel insurance plan includes allowance for pet hotel, pregnancy-related medical expenses, credit card fraud, and compassionate hospital visits:

  • Flight diversion ($100/6 hours): Too real, I’ve been diverted to Haneda instead of Narita in Japan before. Had to disembark, take all luggages, walk all over, and take buses to Narita.
  • Flight overbooking ($100/6 hours): United Airlines?
  • Missed connecting flight: $200 to $500
  • Travel agent closed down: $1,000 to $5,000
  • Jewellery coverage: $100 to $1,000 if your jewellery gets robbed, stolen
  • Credit card fraud ($1,000): Get this especially if you’re going to pickpocket hotspots like Paris where your wallet will always disappear in a jiffy.
  • Kidnap and hostage: $250/day, $3,000 to $10,000
  • Personal liability: $1,000,000
  • Compassionate hospital visit: $5,000 to $15,000 to get a relative or friend to visit you if you’re hospitalised overseas alone
  • Child protector: $3,000 to $10,000 to get a relative or friend to accompany your child back to Singapore when you’re hospitalised overseas alone
  • Women’s overseas medical expenses: $2,000 to $8,000 if you get pregnancy-related sickness abroad and get medical treatment
  • Complementary medical reimbursement: $100 to $500 if you come home to Singapore and get any follow-up medical treatment (within 30 days)
  • Post-trip medical expenses in Singapore: $2,000 to $10,000 if you got ill overseas, and you get medical treatment in Singapore within 30 days
  • Pet care: $50/6 hours, max $250 to $500 if your flight to Singapore is delayed and you’re late to fetch your pet from pet hotel

AIA’s travel insurance plan has also got one of the clearest and most user-friendly brochures.

2. AIA travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage

Covid-19 coverage is automatically included in all AIA travel insurance plans.

AIA Travel Insurance (Covid-19) Classic Deluxe Premier
Overseas Medical Expenses $80,000 $120,000 $150,000
Quarantine Allowance $50/day, max 14 days $80/day, max 14 days $100/day, max 14 days
Hospitalisation Allowance
Emergency Medical Evacuation $80,000 $120,000 $150,000
Repatriation $80,000 $120,000 $150,000
Pre-Departure Trip Cancellation/ Postponement $1,500 $2,500 $4,000
Trip Curtailment $2,500 $5,000 $7,500
Automatic Extension of Cover Up to 30 days Up to 30 days Up to 30 days

 If you got Covid-19, your trip was disrupted, and your airline refunds your tickets in credits, your hotel refunds your bookings in their hotel credits, you cannot claim from your AIA travel insurance plan. That’s great if you return to, say, Seoul every year.

But really bad if you don’t want the credits. You might want to hit your hotel or airline with an email to check on their Covid-19 refund policy beforehand. Singapore Airlines, for example, allows refunds if you booked a refundable fare ticket directly from SIA within their refund policy dates. Sometimes, you may also be charged a refund fee.

Children above 12 years old must be legally fully vaccinated to be covered by the plan.

3. AIA travel insurance: Disadvantages

  • Children & Seniors: Children under 19 years old and elderly above 70 years old will have lower coverage
  • Length of Holiday: 182 days per trip for Single Trip plan, 90 days per trip for Annual Multi-Trip plan
  • Waiting Period: You must book your AIA travel insurance plan at least 3 days prior to your trip else you won’t be covered for any trip cancellations, postponement.
  • Extreme Sports: Not covered
  • Pre-existing Conditions: Not covered
  • Air Miles & Hotel Reward Points: You cannot claim for your air, bus, cruise tickets etc. if you use air miles or reward points to claim those tickets.
  • Medical Treatment in Singapore: If you decide to come home to seek medical treatment, you must do it within two days upon arrival.
  • Home Country: If you’re making a single trip back to your home country for more than 30 days, medical expenses will only be claimable up to 20 per cent of the benefit amount. If you’re on an annual multiple trip plan? No cover.

ALSO READ: Great Eastern travel insurance review: Covid-19, promo, premiums

4. Does AIA travel insurance cover extreme sports?

AIA’s travel insurance does not cover all extreme sports and sports in general. Its exclusions are very sketchy and ambiguous, e.g. saying they don’t cover ultra-marathons, but don’t mention if they cover marathons. They say they don’t cover unpatrolled skiing, but don’t mention if they cover normal patrolled resort skiing.

How to know if bouldering, usual hot air balloon rides are covered? Rule of thumb, travel insurers like AIA typically cover recreational activities that are open to public and can be done with a licensed tour operator, guide, and instructor.

Extreme Sports & General Sports AIA travel insurance
Ultra-Marathons, Biathlons, Triathlons No
Marathons Not stated
Expeditions No
Private hunting trips No
Off-Piste Skiing (unpatrolled skiis) No
Normal Alpine Skiing (patrolled) Not stated
Private White Rafting No for grade 4 & above
Ocean yatching/ Potholing No
Scuba Diving Yes (with PADI cert, qualified instructor, max 30m)
Motorcycle Yes (with valid local license, wear helmet all times)
Mountaineering/ Outdoor rock climbing Yes (below 3,000m)

5. AIA travel insurance: Claims

Before you purchase ANY travel insurance, one thing you must consider is the ease of claim. How complicated is the claims process? Got success stories from other clients before? Are they notoriously iffy and stingy about your documents and receipts?

A quick search on forums such a Reddit showed that your AIA travel insurance claims process largely depends on the AIA insurance agent you’re buying from. According to the AIA claims website, the claims process is somewhat dated: you need to download the AIA claims form, collect all the necessary supporting documents, and contact your AIA agent to help you with submission.

Otherwise, you can email all the documents to AIA directly at sg.eCare@aia.com. The catch here, is obviously, that you will have to keep checking in with AIA to check on the application status and understand which claims were not eligible and… perhaps try to appeal.

AIA Emergency Hotline: If you’re overseas and ran into an emergency, call +65 6338 6200 (24/7).

AIA Hotline: If you’re overseas, call +65 6248 8000 from 8.45am to 5.30pm on weekdays. Otherwise, the AIA general hotline is 1800 248 8000.

6. AIA travel insurance promotion

There are no ongoing AIA travel insurance promotions for the AIA Around the World Plus (II) plan.

However, AIA is offering a free “mini” travel insurance plan called the AIA Supercharge Travel Cover that is valid from April 29 to June 30, 2022 (travel before Dec 31, 22). You’ll need to be a Singapore resident, between 18 to 65 years old, fully vaccinated, and provide your details for AIA’s marketing use. There are only three coverage you will get:

  • Pre-Trip Tele-ART test at discounted rate of $9
  • Covid-19 Medical Expenses Overseas: Max $1,000
  • Covid-19 Quarantine Allowance Overseas: $50/day, up to five days
  • Covid-19 Death: $10,000

Not bad since it’s free, especially if you’re on an extreme shoestring budget and are not able to shell out $110+ for a comprehensive Covid-19 travel insurance.

7. AIA travel insurance review

AIA does offer some of the highest compensation limits for loss of personal items and damage to your belongings – up to $800 per item or set – so if insuring your iPad Pro, Chanel bag, and matching Rimowa luggage set is important to you, this is the plan for you.

All the usual travel-related coverage: emergency evacuation, repatriation, natural disaster-caused trip cancellation, flight delay etc. are pretty decent and will pay all your necessary bills.

However, AIA’s Covid-19 travel insurance gives you high coverage for medical expenses, medical evacuation, and pretty decent quarantine allowance of $50 to $100/day. However, if you get Covid-19 before your trip, note that the coverage is very low from $1,500 to $4,000.

Another thing you should note is the fact that you must buy all AIA travel insurance via AIA agents.

ALSO READ: StarHub launches travel insurance and doubles your roaming data

This article was first published in MoneySmart.