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How to buy travel insurance

Before you close your suitcase, pack a travel insurance policy, too. Here's what to look out for.

Young Parents Team
magyoungparents@sph.com.sg

Family holidays are already so expensive. Why bother with travel insurance? While some parents think of it as another cost that they would happily skip, it may be wiser to pay before you play. Anna Chen, an insurance specialist with Providend, a fee-only independent financial adviser and investment manager, offers tips on how to buy the right policy.

  • Buy in bulk If you travel frequently as a family, consider an annual family plan that gives you the flexibility to arrange last-minute trips without having to worry about insurance. Even if you buy a single-trip plan, make sure you cover everyone who’s going (even babies).

  • Protect the kids It’s important for parents travelling with young kids to get adequate medical expense coverage, as children tend to get sick more often than adults because of their low immunity. And getting medical attention in a foreign country can be costly. Some policies offer post-trip (for illnesses or injuries suffered during the journey) medical coverage. If you’re the only adult travelling with your children, consider a Child Guard or Protector Benefit, which kicks in if you’re unable to be with them (for example, if you’re hospitalised) and arrangements need to be made for them to be accompanied or sent home.
     
  • Prioritise your needs Travel policies also cover a host of things, from emergency assistance and trip cancellation to loss of baggage. Choose one that adequately covers events that you’re most concerned about and choose the level of benefits that you’re comfortable with. Anna emphasises it’s important to do your research and compare policies. Read the fine print and ask your insurer questions.

  • Cover the unusual If you intend to indulge in scuba diving, for example, you’d need a policy that specifically covers related claims (under certain conditions) for this activity.

  • Plan early Buy your policy at least seven to 14 days before your trip, as some plans have restrictions on certain claimable events.

  • Know the claims Get familiar with their procedures if you don’t have an agent to help.

Related story: How to pack the perfect travel first aid kit 


(Photo: Dreamstime)

 

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