Travel Insurance role in the new normal
COVID-19 has left an indelible mark in our lives eversince it started. Especially in the way we move and travel to different places. Global lockdown measures have brought the world almost to a standstill. As cities start to reopen, there are plenty of speculation, especially where travel is concerned. Some of the world’s airlines have filed for bankruptcy, due to travel limitations and of course loss of income as a business. With so many uncertainties revolving around travel, there’s one thing you can be clear on, that is securing and knowing the role of travel insurance in the new normal.
Things to know about the role of travel insurance in the new normal
The pandemic exclusion
COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March 2020. Most standard travel insurance policies have a pandemic exclusion, which means that any claims arising from the coronavirus will not be covered. Check your policy wording and get clarification from your insurer if you are unsure.
If you have an annual travel insurance plan or if you purchased your single trip policy before the cut-off date of the coronavirus pandemic, you are still covered up to a certain extent. This may sound vague but that’s because there are a few factors to note and various potential scenarios. When in doubt, check with your travel insurer.
Example 1: You have decided to cancel your upcoming trip that results in cancellation fees or loss of deposit, then depending on your policy benefits, you can make claims for this.
Example 2: You have decided to travel in spite of travel restrictions and knowledge of COVID-19 being a pandemic (refer to previous point), but claims arising due to COVID-19 will not be covered.
Change of travel dates
With limited flights departing from Singapore, you may need to change your travel dates (again), and make corresponding updates for your travel insurance. The good news is most insurers are flexible when it comes to changing travel dates for your policy but you need to do so before the policy start date. It’d be wise to consider the ease of change process when choosing your travel insurer.
About cancellation and refund
In general, you need to cancel before your policy commences (aka the travel start date in your policy) for any chance of refund. Always refer to your policy wording for more details.
Some travel insurers are not offering travel insurance at the moment. Due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions imposed by the government of Singapore and other governments around the world, all non-essential travel should be avoided. Hence, the temporary suspension of the sale of new travel insurance policies.
Proper planning is more important than ever
If you are still going ahead with your travel plans, ensure that you have proper coverage (see above points). Also, you should monitor your flight regularly before departure. Contact your airline to check if there’re such as a medical clearance that you’ll need to meet before travel.
Be sure to check the entry requirements of your transit location(s), and intended destination. For those who are planning to enter Malaysia, you have to be prepared to pay for cost of mandatory quarantine. While this may sound like a no-brainer, it is good to find out if you are still able to access your accommodation and buy food. Better be safe than sorry.
Is it safe to travel again?
We wish it is safe to travel but until travel restrictions and further official advice are given, it is best to stay safe at home.
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