Travel insurance coverage with novel features

Mr Bhatia says FWD offers Singapore's first fully mobile quote, purchase and claims service. Mr Low says the Liberty China Card is accepted at quality hospitals in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. AIG customers travelling abroad can turn to its global as
AIG customers travelling abroad can turn to its global assistance centres 24/7, says Mr Chng.
Mr Bhatia says FWD offers Singapore's first fully mobile quote, purchase and claims service. Mr Low says the Liberty China Card is accepted at quality hospitals in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. AIG customers travelling abroad can turn to its global as
Mr Bhatia says FWD offers Singapore's first fully mobile quote, purchase and claims service.
Mr Bhatia says FWD offers Singapore's first fully mobile quote, purchase and claims service. Mr Low says the Liberty China Card is accepted at quality hospitals in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. AIG customers travelling abroad can turn to its global as
Mr Low says the Liberty China Card is accepted at quality hospitals in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

AIG SINGAPORE

The insurer says it is the only major travel insurance provider here with its own assistance services worldwide. It has eight strategically located global assistance centres, with 1,000 multilingual staff ready to help 24/7.

"Since there is no third party involved, our customers are assured of quality service and a seamless claims process," said Mr Ignatius Chng, AIG Asia Pacific's vice-president of personal insurance.

He noted that this is particularly important during unforeseen events such as natural disasters.

During the Nepal quake in April last year, many students and leisure and business travellers were affected. Mr Chng said: "AIG swiftly deployed a crisis management team to coordinate rescue efforts, assess policyholders' medical needs, make food and supply drops to remote locations, and arrange evacuations out of the country."

 
 
 

Its Travel Guard plan provides cover for accidental injury, follow-up treatment in Singapore, emergency medical evacuation, travel delays and damage to personal belongings as a result of an act of terrorism. It does not, however, cover full terrorism, which includes the use of nuclear, chemical and/or biological weapons.

FWD INSURANCE

A new kid on the block, FWD Insurance has done away with lengthy forms. Instead, it offers a simple website application that provides a quote for travel insurance in 10 seconds - the fastest in Singapore.

Another first is that FWD travel insurance policyholders have the option of submitting travel and baggage delay claims using WhatsApp. So if your flight is delayed, you can take a photo of your boarding pass and send it to FWD on WhatsApp, and the insurer will process your claim.

FWD Singapore chief executive Abhishek Bhatia said: "FWD is Singapore's first fully mobile quote, purchase and claims service."

The insurer has no limit on medical evacuation and repatriation for any level of cover.

It also provides full coverage for haze-related flight delays or cancellations.

For those keen on adventure sports, FWD does not exclude them as long as the activity is carried out under supervision by the operator and the person uses proper equipment.

Do note that FWD's travel plans cover terrorism but not full terrorism.

LIBERTY INSURANCE

The company's Liberty China Card provides the insured with access to a network of high-quality and accredited hospitals in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Mr Derek Low, the company's executive vice-president for personal lines, said: "With this card, the hospital admission deposit will be waived at designated hospitals in these areas."

The insurer offers double indemnity under its personal accident cover if the death or permanent disablement was caused by a road accident.

It also offers full terrorism cover for all its travel plans.

NTUC INCOME

Income said it is the first and only insurer here to offer a suite of travel plans that cover pre-existing medical conditions.

"Our basic Enhanced PreX plan, besides offering the standard benefits of travel insurance policies, provides coverage for overseas medical expenses and evacuation caused by pre-existing medical conditions," said Ms Annie Chua, NTUC Income's vice-president and head of personal lines.

"These are hefty bills that are not covered in other travel plans. Superior and Prestige PreX plans have additional benefits covering trip cancellation, postponement and curtailment due to pre-existing medical conditions."

Income's travel insurance policies also cover all travel delays that arise through no fault of its customers.

"For example, if flights are delayed because of the airlines' security and operational requirements, we consider that to be outside passengers' control. As a result, we will pay the claim under the policy's terms and conditions. We understand that such a feature is not standard across all travel insurers," noted Ms Chua.

Income offers full terrorism cover for all its travel plans.

SOMPO

The coverage offered by Sompo is among the highest provided in the event that a licensed tour operator suffers a financial collapse.

Recently, the insurer introduced a new benefit called "alternative accommodation arrangement".

"With a growing trend of travellers going for online booking of vacation rental accommodation through sites such as Airbnb, we see a need to cover those whose pre-booked accommodation is cancelled unexpectedly after the trip has commenced," said Ms Koh Yen Yen, who is chief distribution officer at Sompo Insurance Singapore.

"This new benefit, which pays up to $100, helps defray the cost of finding other accommodation."

As Japan is a favourite travel destination for Singaporeans, Sompo now offers a Go Japan! Plan.

"We are the only insurer to create a plan specifically for those heading to the Land of the Rising Sun. Go Japan! policyholders enjoy up to $500,000 in medical expenses coverage, with cashless payment at some 740 clinics and hospitals in Japan, and free translation services over the phone," Ms Koh said.

Sompo's TravelJoy offers coverage for full terrorism (except under its basic Vital plan) and leisure sports such as skiing.

Lorna Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 27, 2016, with the headline 'Travel coverage with novel features'. Print Edition | Subscribe