NTUC Income adds Covid-19 insurance coverage for overseas travel

The Covid-19 benefits are automatically included in single-trip insurance plans purchased from Nov 26, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

(THE BUSINESS TIMES) - NTUC Income customers who buy its travel insurance will now receive Covid-19 coverage as well, for medical-related expenses while overseas.

Outbound travellers, departing Singapore, who are covered by Income's single-trip insurance will be protected for the first 90 days of each trip for Covid-19 related hospitalisation expenses of up to US$100,000 (S$133,900) while abroad.

They will also be covered for costs incurred for medical evacuation or repatriation of up to US$100,000, if necessary.

These Covid-19 benefits are automatically included in single-trip insurance plans purchased from Thursday (Nov 26) - including plans covering pre-existing conditions - and also for travel dates starting Thursday.

However, the Covid-19 benefits will be excluded from travel insurance for trips to countries that the World Health Organization deems as high risk for Covid-19 at the point of purchase.

Policyholders with existing annual travel insurance plans from Income can contact the insurer to find out about getting covered by these benefits for upcoming travel.

Fabian Ng, Income's general manager for consumer business, said that there are some individuals who will need to travel for necessary business-related and other essential matters, even as overseas travel is still restricted in general.

"Nevertheless, we urge everyone to take all necessary precautions when planning your travels as there are countries that are seeing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases or are still experiencing a high number of infections," Mr Ng added.

The Business Times (BT) reported last month that most travel insurance products do not cover Covid-19 related claims, although market leaders including Income had been reviewing some of their offerings.

Income told BT at the time that it may develop a product to cover inbound travellers to Singapore. On Thursday, an Income spokesperson said in response to BT's queries that the insurer is, at the moment, focusing on providing suitable Covid-19 cover for Singapore-based residents so that they can travel overseas with a greater peace of mind.

AXA Insurance currently offers Covid-19 travel cover for Scoot passengers on flights departing Singapore, and will soon be making such coverage available to all travellers regardless of the airline they fly, Julien Callard, its managing director, retail & health, told The Straits Times on Thursday.

Last week, Changi Airport Group and the Singapore Tourism Board announced that three insurance companies had each developed Covid-19 travel insurance plans for foreign visitors entering Singapore.

The three - AIG Asia Pacific Insurance, Chubb Insurance Singapore and HL Assurance - are providing at least S$30,000 in coverage for Covid-19 related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs for inbound travellers to the city-state.

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