The closure of Misa Travel last week shocked many and left many travellers in the lurch. The sudden closure of travel agencies in Singapore is not uncommon though. Customers were taken aback by the abrupt closure when big travel agencies such as Five Stars Tours closed down back in 2014, S Travel and Sky Travel & Tours closed down last year.
How do I protect myself from a trip cancellation?
It is important for travellers to purchase a travel insurance before embarking on their overseas trip no matter how short or “low-risk” it seems. This is not only applicable to the closure of travel agencies, but potentially other situations such as trip delays/cancellations due to natural disaster or loss of baggage. It is common for many to think that travel packages from reputable travel agencies can prevent them from trip cancellations due to insolvency of the agency. However, from the recent closures of travel agencies this is certainly not the case.
For those who are using a travel agency, it is recommended that you choose a policy that insures against the insolvency of a travel agent. Make sure that you purchase your insurance once you have bought your travel package as most policies only allows claims if you book your insurance before the closure of the travel agency and at least a week before your trip is bound for departure.
Here are some policies that provides coverage for insolvency of travel agencies.
|Type of insurance||Coverage limit for insolvency of travel agency (SGD)|
|Tokio Marine TM Explora Classic||7,500|
|Liberty Insurance TourCare Plus Standard||5,000|
|AXA Smart Traveller Essential||3,000|
|NTUCIncome Standard Classic||2,000|
|AIG Travel Guard Classic||1,000|
|Aviva Travel Lite||1,000|
What some might not know is that by purchasing your travel insurance early, you get to enjoy the full benefits of the policy. By doing so, you are able to insure yourself against unforeseen circumstances that might cause you to miss out on your holidays such as unexpected illness before you embark on your trip and cancellation protection. Be sure to read the fine prints of your insurance policy and ensure that your policy covers you from the purchase of your insurance policy and not the start of your trip.
Besides focussing on the price of your travel insurance, be sure that it is relevant to you and has the coverage that you need. If you are planning to travel during this June holidays, make sure you are well insured. You would not want to risk your thousand-dollar holiday over tens of dollars.