For as little as a few bucks a day, a suitable travel insurance plan goes a long way in protecting yourself against unpleasant situations when you’re on holiday.
We get it, nobody wants to think of worst case scenarios, especially when you’re planning on taking a nice break from life, having fun and enjoying yourself. It’s three relaxing days in Bali, you think. What could possibly go wrong? To even think about insurance would be such a wet blanket, right?
Well, not really… Because if, and when, something does happen – sorry, but that’s life – you will wish you had planned for it. After all, travel insurance is only going to cost you as little as a few bucks a day. What you get in return is peace of mind and a whole lot of money saved from having to deal with unfortunate mishaps.
While there are those you can foresee – theft, missed or cancelled flights, and accidents – there are also are those that you never saw coming. Here are 6 examples.
#1: Your travel agency goes bankrupt and closes down
Holidays are usually big-ticket items, and travel plans can sometimes be made months in advance. Many Singaporeans choose to book tours and tickets through travel agencies because they often offer better package deals and more convenience.
But there is always a small risk that before you get a chance to go on that holiday, the tour agency may have run into financial problems or even ceased operating completely. Just look at the recent case of Zuji closing its doors.
While the more reputable agencies may hand out refunds to affected customers, there’s also a very real possibility that your bookings will not be honoured by the airlines or hotels, or that the agency had been fraudulent with your monies. Either way, it’s always a good idea to buy your own travel insurance policy to cover emergencies like these, such as unexpected trip cancellations or instances where a travel service provider becomes insolvent.
#2: You pop an eardrum while scuba diving…
… Or maybe you trip over a rock and sprain your ankle while hiking. These injuries may not sound major but they do require immediate attention and they happen more often than you know it. Would you know where the nearest medical facility is, and whether it offers 24/7 medical assistance?
It’s easy to underestimate relatively minor ailments – broken wrist, food poisoning, chipped tooth — but even these can cost up to thousands to treat when you’re abroad. This is where you’d be glad you have the foresight to get insured.
#3: Your expensive camera equipment is damaged during your trip
Pictures, or it didn’t happen. In this Instagram era, it’s all about the photos. Whether you’re going to the Grand Canyon or the St Regis Bali, whether you’re a sometime-photographer or a pro, a good camera is non-negotiable.
But here’s thing: Good cameras are not cheap. It also means one more big responsibility on your shoulder. What if it got damaged? What if you lose it? That is not a picture we like to paint. But hey, better safe than sorry.
Maybe this is not such a common thing, but did you know you can actually insure your gadgets? Look for a travel insurance policy that covers photography equipment. Do note that most insurance companies only have a small limit as part of their standard coverage. Find out from your insurance provider exactly what your policy covers and the extent of coverage. You don’t want to leave your new Leica and that spanking new wide-angle lens to chance.
#4: You’re on a road trip in Australia and you hit a kangaroo
Road trips are one of the best ways to explore a country you’ve never been to. Driving in unfamiliar territory can definitely be exciting, but it can also dangerous because you’re not familiar with the roads or environment.
Sometimes, it’s not even about the other drivers. In Australia, for example, it’s the kangaroos. You’ve probably heard stories of friends (or friends of friends) who have hit a roo! What would you do if it happened to you? Would you be able to pay for damages if it was a rental car? What about if you sustained an injury in the process and needed medical attention?
Moral of the story: Always be prepared.
#5: Your return flight is delayed, and your pet has to stay another night at the pet hotel
Even the best-laid plans can go awry. No matter how meticulous and foolproof you think your plan is, you just can’t control everything. Think delayed flights. Cancelled flights. You can’t come home for another day or two. The obvious problem is then you will need to fork out extra for accommodation and daily expenses.
But what if you also had pets back home that you’ve put up at a pet hotel, or hired a pet sitter for? If you had bought insurance, you will be able to claim these extra costs. The amount of coverage will, of course, be subjected to the type of plan.
#6: Civil unrest breaks out in a country and affects your travel plans
It’s a sad reality that civil unrest can break out almost anywhere at any time. Even if you’re not travelling to the country or countries affected, you may still be affected by any closure of their airspace.
As the recent conflict between India and Pakistan has shown, you don’t necessarily have to be travelling to either of these countries to have your plans affected or delayed. In particular, Singapore Airlines and Scoot flights between Singapore and Europe were affected by the conflict, and flights had to be delayed, rerouted, or cancelled.
Travel insurance plans sometimes have exclusions related to war and civil unrest, but these refer to injury or death resulting from such crises. Travel delays and flight cancellations (even if caused by civil unrest) will still be covered! AXA SMARTTRAVELLER has one of the highest coverage in the market for flight delays and loss or damage to belongings.
As they say, hindsight is always 20/20 – but that means that foresight isn’t always as clear. No one can ever fully anticipate what will and won’t go wrong on a trip.
So don’t leave things to chance. Always cover your overseas holidays with travel insurance, no matter how long or short your trip may be. With SingSaver, you can now browse through affordable insurance plans to shortlist the one that is suitable for your trip.
Disclaimer: Some of the scenarios depicted above are purely hypothetical. Benefits will vary depending on the travel insurance policy you should decide to purchase. Please check the terms and conditions of your policy to be fully aware of the benefits that are available to you.
By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having a croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.