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    Aug 15, 2016

    More getting travel insurance in risky times

    MORE travellers are buying travel insurance amid greater awareness and rising concerns about safety, say industry players.

    Insurance company AIG Singapore, for instance, has seen "double-digit growth" in travel insurance in the last two years.

    "This is due to a number of factors, including high mobility among Singaporeans who are travelling overseas more frequently, as well as greater awareness about the importance of travel insurance among consumers to cover unforeseen events and costly medical expenses," said AIG Singapore vice-president and head of group personal insurance Ignatius Chng.

    Travel agency ASA Holidays has also seen a growing interest in travel insurance, which it offers via an external party, said director Shannon Hee.

    Visitors at the weekend's National Association of Travel Agents Singapore travel fair, for instance, were buying such insurance as part of their travel packages.

    "Generally, everyone right now tends to get travel insurance, especially with the concerns about terror attacks, natural disasters, even health matters such as the Zika virus," she said.

    Travel insurance is particularly popular with families, she added: "They want to make sure everyone is safe and secure."

    Jane Chang, head of marketing communications at Chan Brothers Travel, said 80 per cent of its customers opt for travel insurance.

    "The decision to purchase travel insurance is not dictated by destination but more so prudence as Singaporeans become savvier travellers over the years," she noted.

    A survey commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), released yesterday, found that nine in 10 travellers were aware of travel insurance and 93 per cent had bought such coverage before.

    A short trip was the most common reason for not buying insurance.

    A separate AIG Singapore survey last year also found that about a third of Singaporeans believe that travel insurance is not necessary for short holidays of less than three days, or trips to nearby countries.

    The STB survey also found that out of over 400 respondents, about half were not aware of travel agent insolvency coverage, which protects customers if the travel agent, through which they booked a holiday, goes bust.