Travel insurance: Do you still need COVID-19 coverage?

SINGAPORE: The year-end holidays are just around the corner. Many of us are planning to travel overseas again after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many countries are welcoming back visitors after easing or lifting their COVID-19 entry restrictions.

But at the same time, new COVID-19 variants have been popping up across the globe. And this is why insurers are advising holiday makers to make sure they get the right coverage when choosing a travel insurance plan.

IS COVID-19 COVERAGE IMPORTANT?

A travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage is necessary, said Mr Alan Wong, a financial service director at Prudential and an authorized agent of AIG Singapore

He added that the possibility of contracting COVID-19 before and during one’s travel is still high and such coverage will take care of most of the costs related to medical expenses, travel cancellation, travel postponement, travel curtailment and overseas COVID-19 diagnosis quarantine allowance .

Ms Winnie Loh, founder and director of Ad Maiora, an insurance agency, agreed that COVID-19 coverage is important. She also noted that the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in many countries.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN TERMS OF COVID-19 COVERAGE?

Mr Wong recommended that travelers look out for the limit of COVID-19 coverage in their travel insurance policies to check to see if it’s sufficient to cover the cancellation cost of one’s air tickets, accommodation and itinerary.

“For example, airfare costs S$3,000 and accommodation costs S$2,000 but the trip cancellation limit is only S$2,500. Thus only part of the cost is covered,” he explained.

Mr Chandramogan, an executive senior financial planner with Great Eastern Singapore, also said it is important to find out the sub-limits of the benefits included in the travel insurance plan.

“There could be a case where a person could be down due to COVID-19 and might need to cancel, postpone the trip or suffer some travel disruption either before, during or after the trip,” he said.

“For such situations, insurance companies will reimburse based on the sub-limit of (the) plan for expenses incurred during these situations.”

The destination should also play a part when deciding on a plan, he added.

He said: “For example, in the US, medical costs can be crazy and depending on the type of hospital and number of days, you might incur quite a hefty amount.”

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