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Travel insurance : what do you need to know?

04 Apr 2018

You are a frequent traveler or you just want to go on an trip for the weekend with your family? But you are wondering how to be properly covered to spend your holidays with peace of mind. We answer all of your questions about travel insurance in this article!

1) What is travel insurance and how is it different from my health insurance?

A travel insurance, as the name implies, covers you for the key risks linked to your travels. It does not only cover for your medical expense while traveling. It also covers you for travel inconveniences and insures your personal belongings for your trip. For example, it covers you for flight delays, loss of baggages, credit card frauds, etc… It can also cover you for the practice of some extreme sports.

Some coverages usually have a personal liability included. It means that you will be covered if you become legally liable for an accidental injury. You’re also insured for the death of any third party or an accidental damage of a third party’s property. The insurance will take care of compensation as well as the legal costs incurred for your defence.

In Singapore, there is usually no age restriction for travel insurance. However, you must be at least 18 years old to buy an individual adult cover. You can insure your kids under your policy but they must travel with at least one insured parent. For example, an underaged child that is going on holidays by himself cannot be covered by a travel insurance.

First of all, if you subscribe to a travel insurance, it will cover your medical expenses overseas. Not only in the case of an emergency and repatriation but also for other non-medical emergencies. Let’s take an example : you go diving in the Maldives and you catch an otitis. In that case, your medical expenses will be covered up to a certain amount.

In the case of Axa’s Smarttraveller, here is the list of what is taken into account:

Usually, insurance companies offer different types of coverages and the sum insured per insured person varies. Be sure to check your contract in order to be sufficiently covered for your needs. For example, Axa’s travel insurance offers two types of coverage plans: Essential and Comprehensive. The two main differences between these plans are the area of coverage, Asia or worldwide, and the limits of each benefits.

Some travel insurance have geographical restrictions. When you subscribe, make sure it includes the country(ies) you plan to visit. If we take the example of SmartTraveller from Axa, there are two types of geographical restrictions: global or regional.

Furthermore, these coverages have a time limitation. For example, with the annual travel insurance at UEX, you can not travel for more than 92 consecutive days. Take into account that your travel insurance could be used after your trip. For example, if you get sick while on holidays, your insurance will cover your post-trip medical expenses. This is subject to certain conditions and differs from one insurance policy to another. Read your policy for more information.

If you are living in Singapore (meaning if you have a FIN/NRIC number), you have to subscribe to a travel insurance from Singapore. In addition, the point of departure for your trip must be Singapore.

Furthermore, a travel insurance cannot be used as a health insurance in the country you’re living in. If you are currently living in Singapore, your travel insurance won’t cover you for any treatments within the Little Red Dot.

2) When should I take a travel insurance ?

There are several cases for which you should consider purchasing a travel insurance:

If your health insurance does not cover repatriation and emergency overseas hospitalisation, you should consider covering yourself. In case you injure yourself while traveling, your medical fees can easily be very expensive.

Another reason to buy a travel insurance is to cover your personal belongings or any trip-related issues. As a matter of fact, a travel insurance is the great way to be insured for the loss of luggage(s), travel documents, etc… You will also be covered for flight delays or cancellations. Furthermore, this insurance covers you if you need to cancel your trip under certain conditions.

Planning on going scuba-diving in the Maldives? Or rock-climbing at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur? Taking a travel insurance will cover you for accidents or illnesses related to the practice of extreme sports. It includes sports such as scuba diving, rock climbing, parachuting… The coverages are always subject to some conditions. For example, the sport must be organized by a licensed operator. Be careful some activities are also not covered.

3) How to get a travel insurance?

There are 2 different ways you can purchase a travel insurance:

When you buy your health insurance contract with UEX, you have the option to buy an annual travel insurance. This policy will cover you for each and every one of your trips. With UEX, you can buy this travel insurance option directly while subscribing to your health insurance contract. However, if you want to purchase an annual travel insurance independently from your health insurance, you also can! Check out AXA SmartTraveler to find out more.

Another option that exists is a single trip coverage. You can purchase an insurance for a specific period directly via AXA’s website. This coverage can be taken right before you start your trip. 

The choice between an annual coverage and a temporary coverage depends on how often you plan to travel. If you are going abroad regularly, the annual plan may be a good option. However, if you are not traveling that often, you should consider a single trip coverage when you plan a trip.


A travel insurance doesn’t only cover your health expenses, but also any inconveniences that may occur during your trip. If your personal health insurance doesn’t cover you for emergency repatriation/evacuation, you recommend you purchase a travel insurance covering these cases. It’s a good way to enjoy your holidays with peace of mind.

Now that you’re an expert in travel insurance, you can have a look at our tips to prepare your holidays safely.

To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand how your health insurance plans cover the healthcare costs, you can approach UEX’s happiness team byemail or by phone for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!

With UEX, you can obtain a quote for a health insurance contract customized to your needs and requirements – all in less than a minute!

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