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Are you wondering when is the best time to buy a travel insurance plan? Are you confused whether to buy it before your trip or right after departing? Ideally, you can buy 30-60 days before your trip. You can also shop around by comparing travel insurance plans with GoBear to find better offers than the ones bundled with air tickets. Below are Papa Bear’s recommendations to maximise your insurance benefits.

Buy it before you need it - Most insurers suggest that comprehensive plans that include medical cover should be bought early on. It is not advisable for you to buy a cover right after you identify the need for medical attention. Buy ahead of time and provide full protection for your trip.

Same time as first payment is made – Right when you pay the flight fees, you should also purchase the cover which makes it easier for you to compute the total charges.

Close to the first payment – Your budget may have been set to pay for the flight alone but once your booking is done, try your best to buy your travel insurance plan right away

Making a claim is not as complex as it sounds. Insurers have set clear guidelines for claiming refunds on charges and fees incurred during your travel that are covered by the policy. Remember, a claim is supposed to lighten the burden from baggage loss or cancelled holiday trip. Getting it acknowledged and approved is as helpful as reading the easy steps in claiming travel insurance refund below: 

Beat the time limit

Insurers have set a time limit to notify them about your claim. Contacting them within thirty days after the incident is advised since there are other procedures to undergo and authorities to be involved. 

Fill out the claims forms right

Provide accurate details when filling out the claims form from your insurer. Know what you are claiming for, there are different procedures that for the covers involved. Claiming for medical expense may need a process unique from claiming for trip cancellation. 

Prepare your photos and documents

These are all considered as evidence for the claim. A picture of tampered passport due to accidents or receipts from a hospital where you have undergone treatment will support the validity of your claim. It may also help to get a letter from your airline stating the circumstance that may have led to the interruption of your travel. 

Submit your claim within the allotted period

Submit your claim and get an acknowledgment receipt for it. Provide enough time for your insurer to review your submission. If you think it’s been a while and response is not on the way, contact your insurer and find out what causes the delay. They may need other supporting documents to pursue the process. 

Prepare for an appeal

The insurer may have judged the circumstance differently and you need to make an appeal for consideration of your claim. Try hard to search for other information and proof to make your claims better. 

Travel insurance policies vary from one insurer to another. It helps to compare insurers with GoBear to land in the hands of reliable insurance companies that sort out the complexities of the claims process. 

Travel insurance is strewn with words which ordinary people might not be familiar with. You might not have time to Google it so here is a list of insurance jargons to help you understand the complex insurance world. Some insurance companies may define a few terms slightly different so it helps to read your insurance policy carefully before buying. 

Baggage

Refers to any item worn, carried or used by the traveller during his trip. Depending on the policy of the insurer, baggage cover will be set to a predefined value. 

Baggage Delay

The event when your baggage is redirected to another location or when it arrives later than expected. 

Cancellation 

This is a situation when the scheduled trip was terminated due to unforeseen circumstance. It may involve calamities or injury and illness on the part of the policy holder. 

Children at No Additional Cost 

Children who are below 17 years old and related to the primary insured will be covered by insurance without paying additional fees. 

Claim

A request for payment of reimbursement of expenses incurred by the insured in situations recognised by the policy. 

Cooling Off Period

The period between the date when the insurer acknowledges your claim and 14 days after that. If there is no travel during this time, the insured person can expect full refund. 

Coverage Period

The duration of insurance plan which typically starts from your departure for travel until you return to your home country. 

Medical Evacuation

When the insured is transported to a medical facility for treatment and back to his home country as needed. 

Repatriation

Refers to the obligation of the insurer to send the traveller home if the travel itinerary is stopped due to illness or injury as covered by the policy. 

Terrorism

The act of violence or threat resulting from a person’s desire to gain control or overthrow the government 

Knowing what type of traveller you are can help in choosing the right kind of travel insurance plan that works best for your needs. Moreover, a traveller’s habits and activities can have a huge impact on insurance plan choice. 

Some common types of travellers include:

Solo Travellers - People who travel alone for the entire trip are called solo travellers. They embark on a journey without the company of friends and family. Usually, they make acquaintances in every destination but leave and arrive home solitarily. 

Family Travellers - These are the type of travellers who explore different destinations with their family with the most reliable travel insurance in Singapore. Whether they are with their parents or siblings, family travellers head to their next destination as one. 

Long-Term Travellers - They are not staying out for less than a month. Long-term tourists actually plan out up to 90 days of travel usually hopping from one destination to another. Most of these tourists intend to get immersed on the culture and tradition of the place as they live the same way as locals do. 

Business Travellers - These are people who travel with expenses paid by their company. Modern business travellers are composed of millennials sent by their company for business meetings and other corporate functions like trainings and seminars. 

Thrill Seekers - These refer to people who travel for fun, adventure sports, leisure and entertainment. They either go for independent international trips whether to enjoy the best offers in the world or just to experience a unique kind of exploration. 

Travel insurance is deemed important because not everything always goes as planned. Here are a few of the many reasons why you need to get protected when travelling overseas: 

Becoming easy prey

When you go to a foreign land, you become a potential target for pickpockets and people with not-so-pleasant intentions. Travel increases the chances for you to lose your wallet or any of your gadgets. You might even misplace your passport and other travel documents. 

Unexpected health risks or Accidental Risks

Getting out of your comfort zone is more challenging to your health than staying within the coziness of your home. You could get injured by falling luggage while on your way to Canada or by a train getting derailed in India. Travelling gets you exposed to elements that might trigger some serious concerns. Great destinations may not have the same quality medication and care compared to what are offered in your home country. Travel insurance can save you from unexpected medical expense and even repatriation charges should you get involved in emergency medical or accidental situations needing assistance. 

Problems back home

A family member may have fallen seriously ill that compels you to go back or cancel your trip. This is where flight cancellation or trip curtailment cover works best. You might have wanted to take that trip but situations at home can hinder you so it pays to get an insurance plan that takes care of refund or rebooking fees. 

Terrorist threats

Political and social instability has led to terror threats and travel alerts. Paris, for instance, claims rebounding tourism considering terrorist attacks a few days before their presidential elections. Another concern is the prevalence of crime and violence. Most known destinations are experiencing growth in violent crimes which has been a worldwide concern for tourists. In April 2017, Australian travellers were kidnapped and robbed in Guatemala while a Toronto woman and her American beau went missing after enjoying some good burgers and drinksat Belize’s Crocodile Cove. Problematic locations are being identified by the government to release travel advisories for travellers. 

The Singaporean passport is hailed as one of the world’s most powerful in terms of visa-free scores, equally powerful as the German passport. This opens your freedom to explore 122 destinations without a visa this year. However, greater freedom comes with larger risks. An insurance plan will alleviate your possibility of awful experiences entailed with the trip. 

Isn’t it great to travel with power and protection at the same time? Hop on to that great Bali getaway or that breathtaking Australian Blue Mountain tour with peace of mind by getting a quote for a travel insurance plan. 

Traveling always involves uncertainty. You don’t know when your immigration documents might be misplaced leaving you stranded overseas or if your airline will mishandle your baggage. According to Investopedia, travel insurance is any product designed to cover the costs and losses, and reduce the risk associated with unexpected events you might incur while travelling. 

Flight cover can help ensure that you never have to spend more on your trip for mishaps which can help wash away anxieties and worries. Getting protection against baggage loss, accident, delayed flights, terror attacks and even loss of travel documents by comparing plans with GoBear’s unbiased comparison tool will do the trick.

A travel insurance may cover the high costs that can be incurred from any unforeseen circumstances such as luggage loss, cancellation of your trip, serious illness, accidents, etc. It provides you with peace of mind and pocket.

For specific advise you should always liaise with an insurance company or broker (which we are not) but in general it's recommendable to check certain needs and expectations you have before taking a decision such as:

  1. Do you travel alone or with your family? How frequently do you travel?
  2. Which country are you travelling to? Do they have access to good hospitals, medical facilities? Will you be travelling to more remote areas where there could be malaria, natural disasters, etc.?
  3. Are you travelling for pleasure or business?
  4. What sort of activities will you be undertaking? Skiing? Diving? Adventure?
  5. What is your budget?
  6. What are your expectations? Do you only require personal accident and medical expenses benefits, or do you also need coverage for repatriation, delayed departure, trip cancellation, loss of baggage or travel documents, etc.

The most common types of travel insurance provided by trusted insurers are:

Single trip - A short-term plan that covers a specific trip usually commencing from, and returning to, Singapore. It refers to a policy that covers a traveller for single return trip. This is ideal for those who are not planning to travel frequently in a year.

Annual cover - This plan covers you or whomever you have insured on the plan for a year. It covers trips starting and ending in Singapore. This means you can travel within a region for up to 90 days per trip. However, you might want to check offers with your insurer because price depends on destination. In some cases, insurance coverage for trips in two or more Asian countries is cheaper with single trips compared to annual cover packages.

Individual plan - It covers just you or just one other person. This applies if you are buying the plan for someone else!

Family plan - Travel is more fun with family! This plan covers you, your husband or wife, and your kids. Some providers limit the amount of family members who can be on this plan.

Group Plan – If you are traveling in a group of five people or more, you can consider buying group travel insurance plan. This provides almost the same benefits as offered in individual plans yet at lower cost.

For most travellers, choosing the type of insurance plan might be a difficult one but knowing your destination and activities that go with the trip can help a lot in deciding.

It is important to understand that the coverage score is not a subjective score on how “good” a product is. The coverage score is a purely mathematically generated score (which GoBear has no manual input into) of a financial services product calculated and generated via an algorithm based on the coverage amounts of each of the top-5 most searched for features/benefits of a product relative to those of other insurance products of, and from, other providers. In order to derive this information, GoBear gathers all available market/public data on all products available in the market. We then include this data in our database and derive the minimum, maximum and median of the said top-5 features and benefits and set “from-to” ranges from 0-5 points – checking for even spreads during and at the end of the process.

For example, with regard to travel insurance products, the top-5 features/benefits on which the coverage score would be calculated would typically include:

  • Personal accident
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost bags and belongings
  • Cancelled trip
  • Emergency medical evacuation

Based on the above, a score is then assigned to the product's coverage for every one of the top-5 features/benefits out of a maximum of 5. The average of the 5 coverages is taken to give a score out of 10. The score assigned is completely based on the respective coverage amount and no other factor(s). All products are assessed using the same methodology and coverage ratings making sure that the scoring is uniform, unbiased across all products and providers.