Travelling is the third most popular past-time of Singaporeans, right behind queuing and complaining. According to a 2015 Expedia survey, almost 50 per cent of Singaporeans take up to two vacations a year and around 27 per cent of Singaporeans take at least four vacations in a year!
Singaporeans Are Vacation-Deprived. Can You Believe It?
The need to escape out of Singapore appears to be evergrowing.
Expedia found that 70.8 per cent of Singaporeans continue to find themselves vacation-deprived. This puts us in the top three of vacation-deprived nation globally (another accolade that we can “proudly” claim).
Personally, travelling is also one of our favourite past-times as it allows us to get a much-needed break from the hectic work life.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Buy Travel Insurance?
There is, however, one small problem – when is the last time you bought travel insurance?
Despite our tendency to travel, about 45% of Singaporeans do not buy travel insurance when we travel overseas. Even for those of us who have bought travel insurance, how many of us really understand what we bought and the benefits that come with our travel insurance policy?
Of course, when nothing happens (touch wood), nobody really bothers to look at their travel insurance documents. But in the event of an unfortunate incident, people would start panicking, scrambling for their travel insurance documents and they would eventually realize that they have been under protected all along.
It’s Time To Change People’s Mindset About Travel Insurance
Since it appears that there is a pervasive lack of understanding of how travel insurance works, it is time to change that. After all, education is in our blood – insurance literacy being our foremost concern.
Step By Step Guide To Reading And Understanding Benefits From Travel Insurance
The first complaint that most people have with travel insurance is the information overload.
A typical travel insurance has 20-30 sections that you have to read through. Each section refers to a clause that allows you to receive an insurance payout from your travel insurer if the condition is fulfilled. And here’s where the complication kicks in, for each clause, there is a black-and-white definition stated by your travel insurer to explain what it means.
It is definitely painful to read through each and every clause and to make things worse, the definition of these policy conditions are not uniform amongst the travel policies.
As if things aren’t complicated enough!
What Are Your Biggest Risks During Travel?
Here’s one simple and effective way that allows you to avoid having to read through every single fine print: Instead of reading through every single clause, consider what are the biggest risks that you are most afraid of when travelling overseas.
Is it a possible terrorist attack on the city, given the rise in terrorism over the years?
Or is it the fear that your travel agency is going to become insolvent, just like Five Stars Tours that shut down abruptly?
And if you are not going to rent a car, why bother comparing the benefit?
Once you have established your biggest risks, focus on reading the clauses that respond to those risks. This will reduce the time you need to understand the benefit of your travel insurance by up to 80 per cent.
Picking Top 5 Risks to Compare
As a general rule of thumb, picking out 3 to 5 risks should be enough to cover most of your fears.
We find personal accidents, death/disability, medical treatment overseas and emergency medical situations as our biggest risks. After all, these are events that can really alter your life if you are not well-covered by your travel insurance. While travel delays and baggage losses claims are more likely to occur, those are just minor inconveniences that we should not be overly concerned about.
How To Compare Travel Insurance Benefits The Right Way?
As shrewd Singaporeans, we have to do our due diligence in comparing travel insurances to make sure that we get the most value-for-money deal. With so many clauses to compare, how do you ensure that your choice of travel insurance is the most value-for-money?
Metric For Smart Consumers: Benefit Per Premium Paid
Let us introduce this metric to you: Benefit per premium paid.
Instead of just looking at the payout of each clause, you gauge the plan by the abovementioned metric. Simplistically, the benefit per premium paid is a metric that shows you how much value you are getting out of the premium that you are paying.
With this, it gives you a common metric that allows you to compare across different travel insurance plans.
Leverage On Insurance Comparison Sites
To make the comparison process more efficient, leverage on travel insurance comparison sites like Insurance Market.
You can use the figures provided to do a quick-and-dirty calculation before zooming into the details for the travel insurance.
Compare these 3-5 top risks across a few travel insurances that you have selected using the benefit per premium paid metric. Unfortunately, there may not a clear winner in comparing travel insurance in this manner. In order to confuse smart consumers that know how to use the benefit per premium paid metric, travel insurers will not allow their product to be completely overshadowed by its competitors’ product.
So, here’s the next trick you need to know. Among the top risks that you have identified, you need to have a clear ranking among them. If there isn’t a clear winner in your comparison, go with the travel insurance that has a better benefit per premium paid ratio for your higher priority risks.
Pressed For Time Before Flying Off? How To Buy The Right Travel Insurance in Minutes
This could happen to any of us, especially when work pressure is piling up before our vacation. If you do not have time, forget about your top-5 risks. You need to turn your attention to the top risk: Death.
Death is a risk that most of us are concerned about just because it affects those who you love the most. That is why that is the most powerful metric that you want to compare and buy quickly.
If you do not have any dependents, go to your 2nd top priority and compare that quickly.
Make Smarter Choices On Your Travel Insurance Starting Today
Now that you have the ultimate guide to making a smarter choice for your travel insurance, don’t let this knowledge go to waste. Take advantage of it the next time you embark on a trip out of Singapore.
And why not also share this piece of precious knowledge with your friends and relatives, especially those who travel often!
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.