Subscription Modal Banner
Weekly newsletter subscription
Get SingSaver’s top tips and deals, plus an exclusive free guide to investing, sent straight to your inbox.

I agree to the terms and conditions and agree to receive relevant marketing content according to the privacy policy.

Success Tick Icon
Congratulations on successfully joining Singsaver Newsletter

Group Travel Insurance: How It Stands Out From Other Plans

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 19 September, 2023

Individual travel plans cost more than group plans, but offer more customizability. Here are three things to consider when deciding between individual or group travel insurance

Best Travel Insurance: TIQ Travel Insurance | MSIG TravelEasy | Allianz Travel Insurance | Ergo TravelProtect | Singlife Travel Insurance | Sompo Travel Insurance | Tokio Marine Travel Insurance | Allied World Travel Insurance | Starr Travel Insurance | FWD Travel Insurance | AIG Travel Guard

Travel insurance policies are offered in two configurations – one for individuals, and one for groups or families. 

As you’d expect, individual travel insurance only covers one person, whereas group plans offer coverage to several persons at once. 

And in case you’re wondering, family plans are simply another name for group travel insurance. Some insurers don’t even require the insured persons to be related, but there are others who offer more family-oriented benefits and market them as family plans.

At their core, both individual plans and groups plans work the same way, offering the same scope of coverage and benefits. However, there are some crucial differences in the way both work, which can make choosing one over another not as straightforward as initially expected.

Let’s dive in for a closer look. 

Table of contents:


 

 

Read these next:
Travel Insurance Plans For Stolen/Lost Phones
Claim Up to S$1,000 on Camera Equipment With Travel Insurance
Top 3 Things Travel Insurance Should Cover (And How Much)
Best Types Of Travel Insurance Plans For Each Trip


Individual Travel Insurance Vs. Group Travel Insurance

Individual policy
Group policy
Higher cost per person
Lower cost per person 
Full policy limit available to each individual
All insured persons share one policy limit 
Offers more customizability, eg pre-existing conditions, adventure cover etc
Less flexibility, may not fit all group members 

Cost per person

Perhaps the strongest factor in group travel insurance’s favour is the potential for lower cost per person. This is due to insurers applying a bulk discount for group policies, or alternatively, allowing you to include family members at no extra charge. 

In this way, group insurance brings down the cost of insuring each person, often ending up cheaper than travel insurance plans for individuals. 

In comparison, individual travel insurance policies usually cost more per person than a group plan – even if the benefits and coverage are similar across both plans. 


Policy limit

The undeniable advantage of getting a single travel policy is the entire policy limit is available to each individual. That’s to say, if your plan offers S$300,000 in overseas hospital benefits, the entire sum is reserved to meet your needs. 

In a group policy, while each person may be entitled to a stipulated benefit, there is also an overall policy limit imposed. This can drastically reduce the benefit received by each person. This applies for mostly all coverages, including trip cancellation, emergency repatriation or medical evacuation, baggage delay and overseas medical expenses.

Here’s an example, purely for illustration:

Source: Direct Asia

 

The screenshot above shows Direct Asia’s Family Travel Plan’s benefits offered for overseas medical coverage and medical expenses upon returning to Singapore.

Notice that while the lowest tier of the plan offers up to S$150,000 coverage per adult or child, this is stymied by a limit of S$375,000 for the entire family. 

This is equivalent to 2.5x of the limit accorded to each person, which means that if three or more persons in your travel group requires medical attention, the maximum coverage available to each person shrinks to only a portion of the individual limit.

It’s important to stress that this doesn’t necessarily pose a problem, as not every traveller may require the same scope or type of treatment, even if multiple persons meet with injury. 

Still, it is worth noting that because of policy-wide limits, there is a higher potential of a gap in coverage when faced with extreme situations, and this risk increases when more persons are included in the group.

This can be somewhat ameliorated by choosing a higher-tier plan. For instance, going up one level in Direct Asia’s plan will bump up the family limit to S$500,000, allowing more breathing room. 

Another tip is to limit the number of persons included in each policy, splitting up the entire group over two or more policies as necessary. In the same vein, some insurers impose a maximum limit per group policy. 

 

 


Customisability 

Individual plans have got group plans beat for this one. 

Travel groups may comprise travellers with different needs, whether due to:

  • Age – older travellers may require higher coverage, compared to younger adults and children 
  • Health statuses – some travellers may require coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Schedules – some friends may want to extend their trip 
  • Preferences – not all may want to go bungee jumping 

As such, a single group travel plan may not be able to satisfy all travellers, and trying to fit everyone into a group policy may inadvertently create problems.

Choosing a plan based on common needs only will mean some group members could only be partially covered. Going the other direction and attempting to cover every activity and need may require the group to pay for coverage and benefits that are not necessary across the board, which means wasting money. 

These issues can be neatly avoided by simply going for individual travel policies that are tailored to each traveller’s needs and preferences. This way, every person pays only for the coverage they want. 

 

 


Family Group Travel Insurance Vs. Group Travel Insurance

Family travel insurance Group travel insurance 
Covers only immediate family members (i.e., legal spouse and children) Covers all named individuals
Separate limits for children and adults All insured individuals enjoy same level of benefits
May offer free child cover Charged on per-individual basis, but group discount may be offered

#1 Persons covered

The most important difference between family travel insurance and group travel insurance is the persons covered. 

As per its name, a family travel insurance plan only covers, well, family members. In most cases, only immediate family – legal spouse, and own children – are included. Some insurers, however, may only require the children to be insured to be related to one adult only. 

This also means that extended family members are excluded from family travel insurance plans. So, if you’re travelling with your grandparents, uncles and aunties, cousins, etc, they will require their own travel insurance policy. 

What about domestic helpers? Well, some insurers may offer free coverage for domestic helpers accompanying the family during the trip. If your chosen insurer does not offer this, a separate plan will need to be acquired for your helper. 

In contrast, a group insurance policy doesn't require any of the insured individuals to be related in any way whatsoever. They only need to be named, and fulfil the eligibility criteria – commonly, age and nationality. 

 

 

 

 


#2 Claims limits

It is common for family travel insurance plans to have different claims limits for adults and children, with the latter covered only for a portion of the sums assured provided to insured adults. 

Not only that, family travel insurance usually institutes an overall cap per family, which adds up to a lower sum than the individual benefits combined. 

For instance, a policy may offer personal accident coverage of S$10,000 per adult, and S$5,000 per child, with an overall cap of S$25,000 per family. This means that the policy essentially only offers full cover to two adults and one child, putting larger families at a disadvantage. 

Of course, travel insurance benefits aren’t meant to be split up like a chicken dinner. However, per-family limits can make it such that the benefits you do receive are insufficient for your needs. 

In contrast, group insurance plans do not have this limitation. All insured persons will have their own individual benefits and limits. 

This may be a more attractive option for some, so you should forego family plans and just sign everyone up for a group plan instead, right? 

Afterall, some group plans require a minimum age of 16, while family plans cover children up to age 18 or 23, for full-time students. This means you should be able to enrol your 17-year-old under a group policy – and thus gain full cover – correct?

Well, maybe. It is up to your insurer to decide if they will insure you and your immediate family under a group travel plan, instead of a family plan. 

Also, if your children do not meet the minimum qualifying age for a group plan, then you’ll have no choice but to go with a family plan instead. 


#3 Premiums charged

A prominent selling point of a family plan is that children are included for a lower cost, or sometimes completely for free. The idea is to let parents feel like they are getting good value for money. 

Group travel plans, in comparison, are charged on a per-individual basis, with the premium carefully calculated to cover the cost of insurance across all individuals in the policy. Another common practice is to offer a discount on single-traveller plans if multiple travellers sign up together. 

While both of these marketing tactics may seem different, they don’t actually matter very much in the grand scheme of things. 

What’s more important is getting sufficient coverage for every traveller, and benefits that are actually useful and necessary, at a reasonable premium.

A prominent selling point of a family plan is that children are included for a lower cost, or sometimes completely for free. The idea is to let parents feel like they are getting good value for money. 

Group travel plans, in comparison, are charged on a per-individual basis, with the premium carefully calculated to cover the cost of insurance across all individuals in the policy. Another common practice is to offer a discount on single-traveller plans if multiple travellers sign up together. 

While both of these marketing tactics may seem different, they don’t actually matter very much in the grand scheme of things. 

What’s more important is getting sufficient coverage for every traveller, and benefits that are actually useful and necessary, at a reasonable premium.


Ways To Save On Your Group Travel Insurance

Compare Quotes

This goes without saying — the best way to find the best price is to compare quotes from different insurers. Don't just purchase the first travel insurance you land on thinking it's affordable. You might just be able to find lower premiums for a better coverage if you shop around a little more.

Thankfully, you won't have to manually compare quotes yourself. SingSaver has this nifty tool that allows you to seamless compare premiums across insurers on the same page!

Do make use of promo codes too! Insurers are almost always offering attractive discounts to maximise savings on your travel insurance premiums!

 

Consider Annual Plans

If you have multiple trips lined up for a year, maybe choosing an annual plan might help to shave off some costs, though not all the time.

A general gauge on when an annual travel insurance would make sense is if you are travelling more than about 6 or 7 times within a year. Anything lower than that? Multiple single-trip travel insurance policies might be cheaper.

Do your research first before committing to a plan! If an annual travel insurance is cheaper then that's great! It also saves you the hassle of purchasing one before each of your trip.

 

 

See more: 
Best Annual Travel Insurance Plans In Singapore (2023)
Single Trip vs Annual: Which Travel Insurance Should You Get?


Which Travel Insurance Should You Choose?

Both individual and group travel plans have their benefits and drawbacks. 

A group policy can help you save money, but are better suited to highly homogenous travel groups. On the other hand, individual policies cost more, but offer a closer fit for each person travelling with you. 

We say, don’t sweat it. When in doubt, prioritise coverage over cost. The difference in premiums is likely to be minor, and ultimately not worth agonising over. 


Find Your Perfect Travel Insurance Plan

If you're travelling with a group, you might want to check out some of the best group travel insurance as it not only can help to reduce costs, but it can also reduce the hassle of purchasing a travel insurance plan for everyone in your group. 

Check out the best travel insurance plans in Singapore for your upcoming trip! 

Read these next:
Best Covid-19 Travel Insurance Plans (2023)
Best Travel Insurance for Travellers with Pre-Existing Conditions
Best Types Of Travel Insurance Plans For Each Trip
Here Are the Best Family Travel Insurance Plans in 2023
Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance Plans
Cheapest Travel Insurance Providers
Travel Insurance: Your Refund Rights for Flight Delays and Cancellations

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.

FINANCIAL TIP:

Use a personal loan to consolidate your outstanding debt at a lower interest rate!

Sign up for our newsletter for financial tips, tricks and exclusive information that can be personalised to your preferences!