7 ways to save on travel insurance in Singapore

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I have a love-hate relationship with travel insurance - it's the umbrella I know I should bring out, yet am always tempted to leave at home. Whether or not you should get travel insurance is up to you, but if you've already decided that you want it, there are actually several ways you can save money on it, such as travel insurance promotions. Some credit cards also cover you for free if you book your flights with the card.

7 WAYS TO SAVE ON TRAVEL INSURANCE IN SINGAPORE (2019)

Single-trip travel insurance in Singapore typically cost around $25+ for basic plans and up to $100+ for the most comprehensive ones. To aid you in your quest to stretch that holiday dollar, here are 7 money-saving hacks when it comes to shopping for travel insurance:

1. CHECK IF YOUR CREDIT CARD OFFERS COMPLIMENTARY TRAVEL INSURANCE.

Let's start with the free stuff first - complimentary travel insurance promotions when you charge your return flights to your credit card.

Most credits cards in Singapore offer free travel insurance coverage for cardholders. However, to qualify, you typically need to charge return air fares to your credit card.

Credit card Underwriter Free coverage Promotion
DBS Altitude Chubb Travel personal accident coverage only Promotion details Policy document
OCBC 365 & VOYAGE Great Eastern Travel personal accident, travel inconveniences and medical coverage 365 Card: Promotion details Policy document VOYAGE: Promotion details Policy document
Citibank (all cards) AIG Basic travel personal accident, travel inconveniences and medical coverage Promotion details Policy document Needs to be activated here
HSBC

Advance Visa Platinum, Visa Platinum or HSBC’s Revolution cards

AXA Personal accidental coverage Promotion details Policy document
HSBC (all cards) AXA Travel inconveniences coverage Promotion details Policy document
UOB PRVI Miles cards UOI Basic travel personal accident and travel inconveniences coverage Promotion details Policy document
Maybank (all cards) Etiqa Basic travel personal accident and travel inconveniences coverage Promotion details Policy document

Do note, however, that the coverage scope and amount is usually quite limited. The DBS Altitude free travel insurance coverage, for example, only covers personal accidents and not travel inconveniences (flight cancellations, baggage loss / delay, etc).

This is more for the #YOLO travellers who don't really care about getting insured, and see the coverage as a bonus.

2. SUSS OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE PROMOTIONS & PROMO CODES.

Insurer Promotion Validity
NTUC Income 40% off single-trip plans and free gift (excluding Enhanced PreX plans) From 16 May 2019
MSIG 60% off single-trip plans & 20% off annual plans Book by 31 May 2019
AXA Up to 46% off single-trip SmartTraveller plans 1 to 23 May 2019
POSB/DBS 60% off single-trip plans & 25% off annual plans 1 April to 30 June 2019
AIG Get $20 worth of Klook voucher when you purchase any Travel Guard Direct Single Trip 3 May to 30 June 2019
FWD 25% off with promo code TRAVEL25 20% off and $30 CapitaVoucher for annual travel premium that’s more than $200 Not stated
Aviva 35% off with promo code TRAVEL35 Not stated
OCBC 55% off single-trip plans 30% annual plans Book by 30 June 2019
Citibank No current promotions
Great Eastern 1-for-1 and 50% off Travel [email protected] single-trip plans with promo code 1FOR1 For 50%, off book by 31 Jan 2019. For 1-for-1, book by 31 Mar 2019. Free policy to be used between 1 Mar – 11 Dec 2019.
Etiqa No current promotions
UOB 35% off single-trip plans

 

50% off annual plans

1 July 2019
HL Assurance 50% off annual plans, $20 & $50 Agoda vvoucher, 10% off car rental Valid until 31 May
Chubb No current promotions
Amex 35% off single-trip plans 25% annual multi-trip plan offers Samsonite luggage with annual plans and 25% savings 21 May 2019
HSBC 30% off single-trip plans & 46% + $100 shopping voucher for annual plans 23 May 2019

If you prefer more comprehensive coverage, the free credit card coverage is not for you. You'll probably need to purchase a separate travel insurance plan - you can do so online, but always search for promo codes first. Here are the current discounts:

3. CONSIDER ANNUAL TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you travel more than 5 to 6 times a year, it may be more cost-efficient for you to opt for an annual plan. Single-trip premiums are always less value-for-money, but in order to get the bang for your buck you really do need to travel quite frequently.

4. BUY YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE IN A GROUP

Certain insurers offer added discounts for group policies. If you're travelling together and will be engaging in the same activities throughout, you'll probably be getting very similar travel insurance plans anyway - might as well combine it for greater savings.

5. READ THE T&CS, AND THEN RE-READ THEM AGAIN

Travel insurance is tricky because while every policy is somewhat similar, the differences lie in the nitty gritty details that can only be found in the depths of wordy T&Cs.

For example, always check that you're not paying extra to insure trip costs that are already refundable. For instance, if your flight is refundable and you already got a flight voucher for its cancellation, your insurer does not need to reimburse it.

Also, if you're getting opt-in coverage from an airline, make sure you read the T&Cs and agree with the level of coverage.

6. DOUBLE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL COVERAGE CLAUSES - YOU MIGHT NOT NEED THEM

Add-on coverage - like for winter sports, high value items, etc - are always chargeable, and increases the total price of your premium. So always double check to make sure you only pay for additional coverage that you need.

For instance, if you're going on a self-drive holiday, you might be thinking of adding on car rental coverage. But before doing that, check with your preferred car rental company - most of them come with some extent of insurance to cover their rentals, so if you're satisfied with that, you might not need to pay for your own.

7. LASTLY, GET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE AS SOON AS YOU BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS!

Buying your travel insurance as soon as you confirm your flights is great because you're immediately covered for any possible pre-trip hiccups. Examples include natural disasters, flight cancellations, etc.

Every minute you wait is a risk!

This article was first published in MoneySmart