Not all travellers are the same. Some of us are happy to get lost in towns with names we can’t pronounce, the rest of us freak out when the tour bus is 10 minutes late. To make sure everyone feels safe on the trip, it’s best to vary our travel insurance types.
1. Best insurance for solo travellers
Here’s an ugly truth: solo travellers are favoured targets among the criminal element. And now, thanks to movies like Crazy Rich Asians, a lot of said criminals may be under the impression that Singaporeans are all high value targets (don’t bother explaining to kidnappers you had to eat yong tau foo for two months to afford your trip, they won’t understand).
Get a policy that can provide for kidnap and hostage situations, this is also an optional benefit you can add on.
2. Best insurance for group and family travellers
Travel insurers may give you lower premiums if you buy insurance for big groups. Think of it as a “bulk-buy discount”.
Now we can’t tell you for sure which insurer is the best, at any one time – the rates constantly change, based on how insurers use different algorithms, or seek to capture market share.
So the next best thing we can do is tell you the median price. As of 2018, most travel insurance policies for groups cost between $50 to $85 per person. Based on that, you can compare the benefits between different policies, and pick the ones with rates that are within (or below) this amount.
Note that if you travel with a tour group, the default insurance is often already at a group rate – it can be more expensive to choose a different insurer of your own.
3. Best insurance for expecting mothers
Travelling while pregnant is complicated. Before we even get into travel insurance, you should know about the 28-week limit.
Expecting mothers who are more than 28 weeks into pregnancy must provide the following, before they can fly:
- Fit-to-travel document, signed by your doctor
- Medical certificate stating the number of weeks of pregnancy
- Medical certificate stating estimated date of delivery
Your insurer may also require some of these documents – request for them in soft copy so you can easily email them later.
You’ll need to present these documents at the check-in counter, and all documents must be dated within 10 days of the flight.
Pick an insurance policy that cover expecting mothers, for up to $8,000 in pregnancy related costs.
4. Best insurance for senior travellers
Senior travellers tend to incur higher premiums, because their age carries greater health risks. That’s surprising to us, since it seems like they’ve survived a lot that we haven’t (yet).
Unfortunately, not only are premiums higher for senior travellers, but the maximum pay out for medical costs also tend to be lower.
Speak to a travel agent or financial adviser about good-value policies which best cater to seniors.
5. Best insurance for those with pre-existing conditions
A pre-existing condition is a health condition you had before you bought the insurance policy. Common examples of pre-existing conditions are:
- High blood pressure
Almost all insurance policies don’t provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. You can still be insured, you just won’t get a pay out for anything related to your condition.
For example, if you’re asthmatic and you break a leg on vacation, your travel insurance will still pay out; but it won’t pay out if you get an asthma attack and need to be hospitalised.
This type of coverage is worth considering if your pre-existing condition isn’t well controlled (e.g. you know that your asthma doesn’t go away without a hospital visit).
6. Best insurance for travellers who will be driving
Some of the best trips are road trips, and we don’t just mean a drive up to Malaysia. Who hasn’t dreamed of a road trip along the fabled Route 66 in the US, or thought of cruising on the famous autobahn in Germany?
You’ll need a rental car to do that – and while these cars come with their own insurance, you still need to contend with the excess. Having a good Rental Vehicle Excess Cover will limit or completely remove the amount of excess payable to the car rental company in case you have an accident driving abroad.
You can refer to our ultimate guide to travel insurance to find out more.
7. Best insurance for golfers and athletes headed for competitions
Sometimes, you absolutely have to travel with your sports equipment. Case in point: when you’re travelling for a golf tournament, or going competitive skiing. You’ll need your own, customised equipment to perform at your best.
The problem is, most travel insurance policies won’t provide sufficient coverage. A small payout for insurance is absolutely worth it when it comes to protecting your treasured equipment that you paid thousands of dollars for. Make sure your policy covers your equipment and gear, usually you can add on such coverage.
8. Best insurance for thrill-seekers
If you’re into sports like sky diving, deep sea diving, or competitive racing, standard travel insurance policies may not cut it. For example, many travel policies don’t cover bungee jumping, or hiking for a distance of more than three kilometres.
Other activities that are usually not covered include:
- Competitive motor racing
- BASE jumping
- White water rafting on rivers of grade four or above (according to the International Scale of River Difficulty)
Nonetheless, there are some travel policies that can cover these. Sometimes, this will involve buying additional protection for these activities. If you’re participating in these activities with a travel agent or specialised sports company, check of the agent or company has a specialised insurance plan (and avoid going if they don’t!)
9. Best travel insurance for students
If you’re a student studying abroad, it can be pricey to keep buying travel insurance each time you fly.
The first thing to consider is annual travel insurance – this covers you on all your trips for the entire year. Assuming you travel at least four times a year, this is much more cost effective than buying repeated, single-trip insurance.
Another advantage to annual travel insurance is that it’s often worldwide, regardless of where you travel. You may not want to fly back to Singapore for every single holiday – so if you decide to vacation in, say, Spain or Morocco over the summer break, you’re also covered under the same policy.
Alternately, you can look out for specialised insurance plans which cater to the needs of overseas students.
Since we’re on the topic..
AXA SmartTraveller offers above-market coverage limits for medical expenses, personal accidents, trip cancellations and loss or damage to your possessions.
For the adventure-lovers out there, we’ve got you covered if you’re planning to go scuba-diving, mountaineering, skiing and marathons, among other recreational activities organised by licensed operators.
Lastly, we have a 24-hour in-house emergency response team and provide unlimited coverage on emergency medical evacuation - so you know we’ve got your back should you face the worst while away from home.