Travel Insurance Lessons : Baggage delays, flight diversions and food poisoning

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Travel Insurance Lessons in Singapore

Are you prepared if things that could go wrong do go wrong?

Whether it’s a short or long trip you’re planning, always buy travel insurance. The following are real-life lessons our team at SingSaver has experienced. As you can tell, travel mishaps can and will happen, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Rohith Murthy, Founder and Country Manager

What happened:

During the March 2019 school holidays, I brought my wife and three young children for a holiday to Wellington, New Zealand. We boarded our flight on the same evening as the tragic Christchurch mosque shootings. Just before I left the office for the airport, my colleagues reminded me to buy travel insurance. Luckily I did just that. There was a flight diversion to Melbourne (instead of Wellington) and upon landing, my spouse and child were denied entry into Australia as they didn’t have a valid entry visa. To make matters worse, there was a 12-hour delay before we could board our connecting flight to Wellington. Luckily, the airline arranged for temporary hotel accommodation for my family but we wasted around one full day being stuck in transit.

Amount claimed:

I filed a travel insurance claim for travel delay with MSIG and 8 weeks later, I received a $500 cheque in the mail. MSIG was really helpful as I was actually stuck during the claim process, since I was unable to get the airline’s confirmation regarding the reason for the flight delay.

Learning:

You have to be prepared for emergencies beyond your control. New Zealand is a relatively stable and peaceful country, and I wasn’t about to do anything too adventurous during my family holiday, so I initially didn’t think I would need a travel insurance policy. From this experience, I also learnt about the range of travel insurance benefits and coverage — like Terrorism or Loss of Frequent Flyer points redemption.


Travel Insurance Lessons from SingSaver
It takes a village to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Note the luggage on top of the van.

Jeffrey Oon, Head of Content 

What happened:

In December 2016, my wife and I were part of a six-member trekking holiday to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This was our flight itinerary to and fro: Singapore > Bangkok > Nairobi > Moshi (Kilimanjaro International Airport).

On our return flight back to Singapore, two luggage pieces went missing in transit between Nairobi and Bangkok. We filed a report at the customs office at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and flew back to Singapore. One week later, our luggage was finally tracked, recovered and sent back to us in Singapore. 

Amount claimed:

We filed an overseas delayed luggage travel claim against our AIG annual travel insurance policy. After 2 weeks, we received S$2,400 in total claims  (S$1,200 for each luggage item). 

Learning:

Always buy travel insurance policy especially when there are multiple transit stops before your final destination. Baggage handling at airports in developing countries is not as modern or sophisticated as Changi Airport, so mishaps do happen. 


Nurazwan Hasan, Broking Staff

What happened:

I love to travel around the region on a shoestring budget. I’m all about street food and hanging with the locals. It was 2015, and I was 27 years old. I was in Bangkok, and on my last night there, I went to Khao San Road and ate Pad Thai from one of the street vendors. 

Back in Singapore, I immediately felt sick and suffered from fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. I went to my nearby clinic and paid $80 for consultation as I was too weak to go to the nearest panel clinic. I filed an electronic claim with the MSIG travel policy which I bought for about $20 dollars before my holiday. The following week, I received a cheque in the mail and treated myself to a nice dinner.

Amount claimed:

S$80

Learning:

Although it was a small claim, I realised thereafter that travel insurance would give me the peace of mind that if I ever needed medical attention overseas or when I was back to Singapore, the cost would never be an issue. 


Megan Edlin, Partnerships Manager 

What happened:

My partner and I had planned a trip to London and Paris in July 2018 and purchased travel insurance with our flights. Unfortunately, a family relative passed away in the United States a week before our trip, so we had to fly home to the US and decided to postpone our trip to September 2018. We called the airline and managed to reschedule our flight dates.

During our trip in September, my phone got stolen in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris! We filed a police report planning to claim the loss against our travel insurance policy. But when I called to claim, the claims department said our travel insurance coverage was only for the original flight dates.

I emailed the airline to try and help with the claims process but it was a dead end and that didn’t help.

Amount claimed:

$0

Learning:

Check the fine print if your travel insurance policy covers changes to your original flight dates and anything untoward that happens on that trip, even when booked with the same airline. 


Cassandra Wee, Head of Insurance

What happened:

In March 2014, I bought air tickets for a big family holiday trip to Taiwan that I planned to take in December. When I bought the airline tickets, I opted in for the accompanying travel insurance that comes with it (out of convenience).

A month later, in April, my mother passed on suddenly. After settling the funeral arrangements and dealing with the grief, I made a claim on travel insurance (to cancel the flight ticket in my mother’s name). However, I was unable to claim any cancellation charges because the trip was more than 3 months away. 

Amount claimed:

$0. However, I found out later that I could claim for the administrative cost for the change of tickets (change of name to another person).

Learning:

You can never plan or predict when mishaps will happen. Buying travel insurance policy provides additional protection when things don’t go to plan. But DO read the fine print and always compare plans depending on what type of trip you are taking and with whom


Check out the best travel insurance for you on our comparison site!

Getting travel insurance means finding a plan suitable for your trip– that depends on what you’ll be doing, who you’ll be doing them with as well as the extent of coverage of the travel insurance plan.

Be sure to read the fine print and familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions for filing claims, so you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind and without reservations on any adventures you’re about to start!

But wait! Before you go…

Apply for the right credit card or travel insurance this month of September on SingSaver to help you save on your next holiday. The right credit card earns you more miles or cashback when booking flights, hotels and spending overseas while the right travel insurance plan helps protect your holiday and gives you peace of mind. Every approved application earns you a chance to win $1,000 cash in our weekly lucky draw. 4 weeks, 4 chances to win!

What to read next:

6 Times You Wish You Had Bought Travel Insurance
Did You Know These 5 Things Can Be Covered With Travel Insurance?
Why Multiple Travel Insurance Policies Can Be Better Than A Single Group Policy
10 Travel Bucket List Experiences That You Should Buy Travel Insurance For
7 Steps for Faster Travel Insurance Claims