Best Travel Insurance to Korea, With Coverage For Skiing and Rental Cars

Deborah Gan

Deborah Gan

Last updated 08 November, 2023

Check out the best travel insurance plans for your next trip to South Korea.

Planning your adventure in South Korea? Get ready to spend hours on end in Olive Young, feast on delectable Korean cuisine and admire the scenic landscapes. But amidst all the excitement, don't forget to secure your safety net: travel insurance. 

In this guide, we'll walk you through the top travel insurance options for your Korean escapade, making sure your trip is not just enjoyable but also stress-free. 

Whether you're a seasoned globetrotter or it's your first time in this country, the right travel insurance can be your best travel buddy, especially if you're planning on skiing! So, let's dive in and find the ideal plan for your trip to Korea!

Table of contents:


Important travel insurance coverage for Korea

Medical expenses

When planning your trip to South Korea, don't overlook the significance of medical expense coverage in your travel insurance. Unforeseen health issues can quickly turn your adventure into a nightmare. Though South Korea has a host of excellent healthcare facilities, medical expenses can be a concern for travellers. 

Medical expense coverage not only offers a peace of mind, but also ensures access to high-quality medical care, from doctor's visits to emergency evacuation. Whether you're shopping for skincare products, touring around the quaint island of Jeju, or feasting on local cuisine, having comprehensive medical coverage is a crucial part of a worry-free journey for you and your loved ones.


COVID-19 medical expenses

Given the ongoing global pandemic, it's still important to include COVID-19 medical expense coverage in your travel insurance.

Though South Korea has implemented stringent measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, and have proven effective, it's still important to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. 

COVID-19 medical expense coverage ensures that you are protected in case you contract the virus during your trip. It not only covers the cost of necessary medical treatment, testing, and quarantine expenses but also provides the ultimate peace of mind.


Flight delay or cancellation

Whether you've personally encountered flight delays or not, it's easy to imagine the stress and frustrations when your travel arrangements are unexpectedly disrupted. This becomes especially taxing when delays stretch for hours, or when the airline cannot confirm when you are able to hop on the next flight out.

Fortunately, with travel insurance, you gain a valuable safety net to address these travel disruptions. Whether it's missing out on a pre-booked activity or having to take extended leave because you’re unable to return to Singapore on time, travel insurance provides compensation and peace of mind.


Car rental excess

Insurer
Car rental excess coverage
AIG Travel Guard
Up to S$1,500
Allianz Travel Insurance
Up to S$3,000
MSIG TravelEasy
Up to S$1,500
FWD Travel Insurance
Up to S$1,000 (add-on)
Tiq Travel Insurance
Up to S$1,000 (add-on)
Starr TraveLead
Up to S$1,200
Singlife Travel Insurance
Up to S$2,500

Planning to drive in places like Jeju? It's important to verify whether your travel insurance includes coverage for car rental excess.

Surprisingly, rental cars typically come with limited insurance coverage. Car rental companies are obligated to provide only third-party liability insurance, which mainly covers claims arising from accidents involving your rental vehicle where individuals are injured.

Consequently, you are held responsible for all other types of loss or damage to the rented vehicle during the rental period. This could potentially leave you exposed to unexpected expenses if, for example, your car is rear-ended, vandalized, set on fire, stolen and misused, and so forth.

While you can opt to settle claims with the rental company using your regular car insurance policy (the one for the car you use in Singapore), doing so might lead to the loss of your No-Claims Discount (NCD) and could result in increased premiums during your next policy renewal.

Therefore, when embarking on a road trip, it's crucial to ensure that you have adequate coverage against loss or damage to your rental car. This entails considering additional benefits like:

  • Collision, loss, or damage waiver (although there may still be excess charges).
  • Coverage for windscreen, windows, and tire repairs or replacements.
  • Benefits for relocation and towing services.
  • Theft protection.
  • Different car rental companies offer various combinations of these (and other) benefits, so it's advisable to contact them directly for personalised guidance.

Winter sports

If you’re planning on going skiing or snowboarding at places like Gangwon-do and the outskirt regions of Seoul this winter, here are the respective winter sports coverage offered by the insurers.

Most of them cover for medical expenses if you become injured while engaging in winter sports, as well as sports equipment coverage if they are stolen, lost or damaged. Others also include coverage for missed bookings, piste closure and delays due to avalanches.However, some of them require you to purchase the add-on in order to be covered.

Insurer
Winter sports coverage
AIG Travel Guard
Covered for skiing

Up to S$2,000 for sporting equipment, sub-limit of S$500 per article
Allianz
Travel Insurance
Covered for skiing and snowboarding

Up to S$2,500 sporting equipment coverage and up to S$1,000 sporting equipment rental

Up to S$10,000 for sports coverage search and rescue

Up to S$1,500 for sports coverage
missed activity
MSIG TravelEasy
Covered for skiing, snowboarding, sledging, snowmobiling etc (Elite and Premier plan only)
FWD Travel Insurance
Covered for skiing and snowboarding

Sports equipment protector of up to S$2,000 (add-on)
Tiq Travel Insurance
Sports equipment protector of up to S$4,000 (add-on)
Starr TraveLead
Covered for skiing and snowboarding
Optional snow sports add-on
Up to S$500 snow equipment cover

Up to S$500 missed booking
Up to S$850 piste closure
Singlife Travel Insurance
Covered for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, snow rafting, sledging etc with winter sports cover
Optional winter sports cover
Up to S$250,000 emergency medical cover
Up to S$3,000 winter sports equipment cover, sub-limit of S$1,000 per article

Up to S$200 delay due to avalanche

Best travel insurance plans for travelling to Korea

Product

Medical expenses

COVID-19 medical expenses

Flight delay

Loss of baggage

Premiums*

Apply
AIG Travel Guard® Direct - Supreme
AIG Travel Guard® Direct - Supreme
Up to S$2,500,000
Up to S$250,000
S$100/6h
Up to S$3,000
Up to S$10,000
Sub-limit of up to S$500
From S$68
Allianz Travel Insurance Platinum Plan
Allianz Travel Insurance Platinum Plan
Up to S$1,000,000
Opt for COVID-19 add-on
Same coverage with medical expenses
Up to S$1,600
Ip to S$5,000
Sub-limit of up to S$500
From S$68
MSIG Premier Plan
MSIG Premier Plan
Up to S$1,000,000
Up to S$250,000
S$100/6h
Up to S$1,500
Up to S$7,500
Sub-limit of up to S$500
From S$76
FWD First
FWD First
Up to S$1,000,000
Available as a rider
Up to S$200,000
S$100/6h
Up to S$1,000
Up to S$7,500
Sub-limit of up to S$300
From S$34.02 + S$12.30 (COVID-19 cover) + S$4.49 (rental vehicle excess)
Tiq Travel Luxury
Tiq Travel Luxury
Up to S$1,000,000
Opt for COVID-19 as add-on
Up to S$500,000
S$50/3h
Up to S$500

From S$43 + S$23 (COVID-19) + S$0.88 (rental vehicle excess)

Starr TraveLead Gold Plan - Worldwide (Annual)
Starr TraveLead Gold Plan - Worldwide (Annual)
Up to S$1,000,000
Up to S$100,000
S$100/6h
Up to S$1,500
Up to S$7,500
Sub-limit of up to S$250
From S$40.80
MSIG Premier Plan
MSIG Premier Plan
Up to unlimited coverage
Up to S$200,000
S$100/6h
Up to S$2,000
Up to S$8,000
Sub-limit of up to S$700
From S$53.95

*Based on a 7-day trip to Korea


Best value-for-money: FWD Travel Insurance

FWD Travel Insurance stands out as a popular choice due to its affordability in premium rates, coupled with comprehensive coverage. FWD offers some of the most budget-friendly premiums available, with rates starting at just S$32.40 for a 7-day trip to South Korea without any add-ons.

When it comes to medical expenses abroad, FWD allows you to claim up to S$1,000,000, which is notably generous compared to many other insurance providers. Additionally, they offer claim limits of up to S$1,000 for flight delays and up to S$1,500 for rental vehicle excess, provided you plan to drive in Korea, although the latter is offered as an optional add-on.

However, one of the downsides to this policy is that the base plan does not include coverage for COVID-19. If you want COVID-19 coverage, you’ll have to pay an extra S$12.30 for the COVID-19 cover, which provides coverage up to S$200,000 for medical expenses related to COVID-19.

One advantageous feature that FWD introduced is the new "trip cancellation for any reason" add-on. For a modest cost of just S$4.85, this add-on provides coverage of up to S$6,000 in case you need to cancel, postpone, or cut short your trip for any reason. Do note that this option is applicable only if you purchase the add-on within 7 days from the initial trip deposit.

FWD also offers several other customisable add-ons, including Home Contents Cover, Sports Equipment Cover, and Pet Care, allowing you to tailor your insurance to your specific needs.

SingSaver's Exclusive FWD Promotion: Use the promo code FWDTRAVEL to get a 35% discount on Single Trip and 30% on Annual Trip plans! Valid till 28 May 2024. T&Cs apply. Also receive:

  • Complimentary lounge access during flight delays. Valid till 1 July 2024 8:59 am. 
 

Best for comprehensive coverage + winter sports: Singlife Travel Insurance

Singlife's travel insurance policy stands out as the top choice for comprehensive coverage, boasting an extensive array of coverage options and high claim limits.

Primarily, their Prestige plan offers unlimited coverage for medical expenses, making it the highest-tier choice. Additionally, they provide one of the most generous coverage limits for baggage loss, which can reach up to S$8,000 with a sub-limit of S$700 for each individual article. When it comes to COVID-19 coverage, Singlife offers a substantial amount of up to S$200,000, which is notably robust.

In addition to the standard coverage, Singlife is renowned for its unique and distinctive offerings, including protection for bridal accessories, coverage for unexpected rainfall during your travels, and the option for trip cancellation for any reason.

For those planning on engaging in winter sports while in Korea, Singlife provides an optional Winter Sports cover that encompasses a wide range of benefits. This coverage includes protection for accidental death and permanent disability up to S$250,000, emergency medical coverage up to S$50,000, coverage for the loss of winter sports equipment up to S$3,000, and coverage for the loss of deposit due to ski track or piste closure up to S$1,000, among other benefits.

Singlife Travel Insurance Promotion:

Single Trip: Enjoy a 25% discount when you use the promo code TRAVEL25 for Single Trip. Valid till 31 May 2024. T&Cs apply.

Annual Trip: Use promo code ANNUAL25 to get 25% off Annual Trip plans when you buy now. Valid till 31 May 2024. T&Cs apply. Also receive:

  • Complimentary lounge access during flight delays. Valid till 1 July 2024 8:59 am. 


Best for COVID-19 coverage: Tiq Travel Insurance

Despite the fact that COVID-19 vaccinations have reduced the severity of the virus, it is still advisable to invest in travel insurance that includes coverage for COVID-19. This is because COVID-19 remains a persistent health concern, and contracting it before your trip could have significant implications.

In such scenarios, having the option to cancel or reschedule your trip due to a COVID-19 diagnosis for yourself or your travel companions is invaluable.

Tiq's travel insurance provides peace of mind by offering extensive coverage for COVID-19. It includes benefits such as up to S$500,000 for COVID-19-related medical expenses, up to S$5,000 for trip cancellation and loss of deposit, and up to S$300 for hospitalization and home recovery benefits in Singapore upon your return.

SingSaver's Exclusive TIQ Travel Insurance Promotion: 

Single Trip: Use the promo code TIQSINGSAVER to get 40% off. Valid till 31 May 2024.

Annual Trip: Use the promo code TIQSINGSAVER to get 60% off your COVID-19 rider. Valid till 31 May 2024.

Also receive a Complimentary lounge access during flight delays. Valid till 1 July 2024 8:59 am. 

Key in the promo code under the coupon code section on the next page after selecting your destination and dates. The prices shown are before discounts.

Receive coverage for trip cancellations, medical expenses, and more when you purchase the COVID-19 Rider. T&Cs apply.


FAQs

Is travel insurance necessary when travelling to South Korea?

Travel insurance is not compulsory if you’re travelling to South Korea. However, it is a good idea to purchase one as it can safeguard you against any unexpected mishaps that may arise during your trip, such as falling ill, losing your baggage, and experiencing any flight delays.


What are the travel requirements when travelling to South Korea?

Singapore passport holders are not required to apply for visas for short-term entry into South Korea (less than 90 days). As for COVID-19 travel advisories, there aren’t any restrictions at the moment.


Is it compulsory to buy ski insurance if I am planning to ski?

No, it’s not compulsory to purchase travel insurance when you’re skiing. But of course, it provides you the peace of mind knowing that you’re covered for any medical expenses due to injuries or coverage if you happen to lose your ski equipment.


Do I need an international driving license when driving in Jeju?

If you’re planning on driving around in Jeju, you’ll need to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to do so. You’re also required to submit it when you are applying to rent a car there.

To apply for one, you can either apply online or do a walk-in.

Online application:

Apply at the Automobile Association of Singapore website. You will require the following:

  • Passport-sized photo
  • NRIC (front/back)
  • Singapore driving license (front/back)
  • Credit/debit card for online payment of application fee (S$20)

You will be charged a courier fee of $5.50 for online application, and it will take about 10 days for both the processing and courier delivery, so this may not be a viable option if you need it urgently. 

Walk-in:

Head down to the Automobile Association of Singapore at one of their 3 branches — Kung Chung Road, GB Point and Broadway Plaza. You can find the addresses here.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Get a queue number
  • Go to the kiosk and fill up your details for the application
  • Take your photo if you need one

Remember to bring your IC and driving license, and pay a S$20 application fee. You’ll be able to collect it on the spot.


When is the best time to visit South Korea?

The prime seasons for a South Korea visit are usually spring, spanning April to June, and autumn, from September through November. In these periods, you can expect sunny and dry days with pleasant average temperatures.

Try to avoid the summer period as it can get extremely hot and dry, while the winter months are usually very cold, where temperatures can go down to -10°C in Seoul.


Is South Korea safe to visit?

Yes, South Korea is relatively safe where crime rates are low. However, it is still advisable to always pay attention to your surroundings and keep your valuables close to you. 

Purchasing travel insurance can also give you the peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if your valuables are lost, stolen or damaged.

 

A mahjong addict with an undying love for dogs, Deborah is always on the hunt for cheap deals because she is always broke. That is why she is attempting to be more financially savvy to be.. less broke

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