Travel Insurance Add-ons: Which Ones are Worth Your Money?

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 23 November, 2022

From car rental excess to ticket cancellations and pet sitting, here are six travel insurance add-ons that can help you avoid extra charges.

Travel insurance policies come with a myriad selection of add-ons to address the varied needs of different travellers.

These add-ons extend your coverage or provide additional benefits that may not otherwise be offered in the base plan, but which ones you should get will pretty much depend on the nature of your trip.

Here are six travel insurance add-ons to consider.

For the road-tripper: Rental vehicle excess cover

Vehicles you rent for overseas road trips come with some basic insurance coverage, usually more to satisfy legal requirements than anything else.

That is why you will be subjected to an excess charge should the rental car get damaged while in your possession – even though your rental fee already includes an insurance fee!

What’s worse is that rental car excess isn’t cheap – often going up to a few thousand dollars. To save yourself from having to pay the excess (as if getting into an accident while on holiday wasn’t enough of a bummer) you can make use of rental vehicle excess cover.

This travel insurance add-on works exactly as advertised; it covers you if you have to pay a rental car excess. Be aware that the amount covered may not be 100%, so you could potentially still be on the hook for some additional expenses.

If your travel insurance company doesn’t offer 100% rental car excess cover (or not at all), you can also consider independent rental car insurance companies like rentalcover.com. These providers offer a slew of additional benefits on top of rental vehicle excess cover, which may be helpful during your trip.

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For the content creator: Top-up cover for laptop or tablet

One of the basic inclusions of travel insurance is lost luggage benefits, which offer compensation for the loss of personal belongings. Laptops and tablets are included, but there is often a sub-limit on these items.

The problem arises when the sub-limit is not high enough to cover the cost of your computer. This can be an issue if you are travelling with a high-end laptop because you need to edit your travel vlogs during your trip.

Plus, it is likely that you will also be bringing a bevvy of other equipment like cameras and ring lights, which means you may be looking at a substantial financial loss if your luggage goes missing.

You can lessen the potential fallout by topping up your coverage for your laptop or tablet; doing so will allow you to more fully cover the costs of a replacement unit.

For the thrill-seeker: Adventure activity cover, sports equipment cover

Travel insurance does not cover activities that are deemed to pose an increased risk of injury. These are commonly known as hazardous activities, and may include even seemingly innocuous activities such as hot-air balloon rides.

What counts as a hazardous activity varies between insurers, but some common examples are scuba diving, BASE jumping, hang gliding, race car driving, flying a plane, horseback riding, bungee jumping, parasailing, and off-roading.

If you are planning to partake in high-risk recreational activities or sports during your trip, you should add adventure activity cover to your travel plan. This will allow your travel plan to cover you for injury or loss suffered as a result of a high-risk activity.

Another important add-on is a sports equipment protector. This will provide reimbursement for the loss or damage of sporting equipment like golf clubs, scuba diving wetsuits, bicycles and surfboard – whether your own or those that you rent.

For the concertgoer: Ticket cancellation benefit

Many popular holiday activities require tickets to be booked in advance, but if something goes wrong and, say, your concert gets cancelled, or you fall ill and can’t visit the theme park, you may not always be able to get a refund.

Hence, if your holiday includes many ticketed attractions and events, you may want to ensure your travel plan includes a ticket cancellation benefit. This will provide you with some compensation should you become unable to use the tickets you have already bought.

Note that most travel plans have one single limit for cancellations, and this may not be sufficient to cover the sum total of all your prepaid tickets (especially if you are splurging on front-row seats or VIP queues).

If that’s the case, try seeing if the concert organiser or attraction operator offers a separate cancellation insurance you can add to your ticket, so you can attain fuller coverage.

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For the cruise goer: Cruise cancellation cover

Cruises are more finicky than other types of vacations, as COVID-19 has amply demonstrated.

Because you and your fellow passengers are all trapped on board a cruise ship, there’s no way for you to carry on your vacation if something goes wrong. Compare that to a land-based vacation, where you can easily switch to an alternative venue.

If your holiday would entail a cruise, it might be a good idea to add cruise cancellation cover to your travel insurance policy. That way, if your cruise get cut short or cancelled, you can proceed with the rest of your holiday without fretting about having wasted money.

For the pet owner: Pet sitting benefit

Those who own pets will have to hire a pet sitter or send them to a pet care facility for the duration of their holiday. This can be surprisingly costly, especially if your pet requires special care, such as a specific diet or certain health procedures.

And should you be delayed in returning home due to medical reasons, you will have to leave your pet with the sitter for longer than expected, which means paying additional pet care charges.

This can be defrayed with a pet-sitting benefit, which offers reimbursement for each day you are late in retrieving your pet.

Pet care reimbursement may not be the most generous (S$50 per 24 hours is typical), but hey, every little bit helps.

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.