From The Straits Times    |

PHOTO Prasit Rodphan

Travel Insurance covers you for:
• Trip cancellation
• Travel delay and missed connections
• Baggage delay and loss
• Loss of money, personal belongings and
travel documents
• Hospitalisation and medical reimbursement
• Emergency medical evacuation
• Repatriation and repatriation of mortal remains • Hijacking, kidnapping and hostage situations
• Accidental death and disability

However, it does not cover you for:
• Pre-existing medical conditions
• Pregnancy-related conditions
• Venereal diseases, AIDS-related illnesses
• Misuse of alcohol and drugs
• When the travel purpose is to seek medical treatment abroad
• When you travel against your
doctor’s advice
• Extreme or adventure sports without a licensed guide
• Natural disasters
• War risks
• Exposure to nuclear risks and radiation
• Suicide or self-inflicted injury

We asked the experts from Great Eastern and NTUC Income:

When should I buy insurance?
As soon as you confirm your travel plans. If you need to cancel your trip due to a serious injury or illness, the policy will reimburse you for what you have paid to travel agencies, airlines and hotels that you are unable to get a refund from.

Should I buy more than one insurance policy?
If you are able to claim the full amount from one policy, you are not entitled to claim from another. Some credit cards provide free minimal travel coverage. If you go for these, you may want to get another insurance policy to provide coverage for the areas that are not insured.

Can I claim for medical expenses after I’ve returned from a trip?
Yes, if you fall sick within five days of returning from your trip. Even though this is hard to prove, the insurance company usually pays.

For traditional Chinese medicine treatment claims, is there a registered list of practitioners that I can visit?

Practitioners are required to be licensed by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board. Refer to content/hprof/tcmpb/en.html for registered TCM practitioners. For overseas TCM practitioners, check the different policies for what they cover and what they do not, as clauses vary.

If I cancel my trip, what reasons are acceptable for claim?
If you cancel your trip within 30 days before departure, these reasons are acceptable:

• Death of your relative or travel companion • Serious injury or illness
• Unexpected strike or civil commotion at the planned destination
• Serious damage of your home due to a natural disaster a week before departure
• Your travel agency goes bankrupt
• You are summoned to appear in court as a witness

If you buy your insurance after news of a natural disaster or unrest at your destination breaks, you are unable to make a claim for cancelling your trip.

If I’ve lost my belongings overseas, what documents do I need to produce to make my claim?
A police report made in the country you visited. You can claim for items that were stolen from you or those which were lost in a natural disaster.

What does the term “rental vehicle excess” mean?
When renting vehicles abroad, rental companies require you to buy insurance. Should you get into an accident, their insurance company will pay up to a certain amount. The excess will be borne by your insurance company.

If you need extra coverage, you can consider these riders as well.
• Home Protection Protects your home from burglary while you’re away. From NTUC Income, UOI, Great Eastern and Citibank.
• Pet Hotel If you can’t return by your scheduled date, the extra charges incurred at the pet hotel, where you left your pet, will be paid for. From DirectAsia.
• Credit Card Protection Protects you against fraudulent use of your credit card. From UOI.
• Mind Your Child In the event of accident or death, the travel expenses of immediate family members or friends who need to travel to the destination to attend to unaccompanied children will be paid for. From AIG Chartis, UOI, DBS and Aviva.
• Golf Protection Protects against the loss or damage of golf equipment. From AIG Chartis, DBS and Aviva.
• Ski Protection Covers the loss or damage of ski equipment, misplaced or stolen ski passes, and unused expenses due to injury or illness. An example of an “unused expense” is the remaining portion of a holiday package you are unable to enjoy due to your skiing injury. From Citibank (premium policies only).

This story was first published in Simply Her April 2012.