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What You Need To Know About Your Personal Accident Insurance Policy When Travelling

Whether you can claim for mishaps that occur on your holiday depend on how well-prepared you are beforehand.


This article was written by Jackie Tan and first appeared on fundMyLife, the platform that connects financial planning questions to the right advisers.

Exploring the world is a wonderful thing. New sights, new sounds…but also new dangers. You might experience injuries, or even worse, die. Touch wood, touch wood. However, that’s where your insurance plans come in to provide that peace of mind be it for yourself or your family. In this article, fundMyLife lists the things to know about personal accidents during travel and the insurance plans that cover them.

# 1 Exclusions

As with all insurance plans, personal accident and travel insurance plans have exclusions.

Firstly, there are exclusions in several countries that have high risks of danger. If you experience personal accidents during travel in those regions, you will not get any payout. These countries have relatively higher risks of war or terrorism, such as, Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, and others.

We know that different parts of these countries have varying levels of safety. For example, you would visit Herat but not, say, Taliban-infested Kabul. However, insurance companies don’t see it that way and you will have to purchase insurance that provides war and terrorism cover if you plan to visit those areas that mainstream insurance companies normally excludes.

Secondly, plans have exclusions for relatively dangerous activities that are mentioned in the fine print. Travel plans typically do not usually cover activities such as bungee jumping, hiking or trekking above 3,500m above sea level, or diving deeper than 30m. If you intend to take part in such dangerous activities, it is important to buy insurance that specifically covers them.

# 2 Document, Document, Document

If you ever get into an accident overseas, don’t forget to document everything.

As the number of fraudulent claims increases over the years, it is increasingly important to prove that your accident happened. From medical reports to pictures of the scene of accident, it makes sense to keep as much evidence as you can.

While you might in distress and/or pain, it pays to take the extra effort and willpower to make sure you have black and white down. You wouldn’t want your case to be thrown out from a lack of documentation or proof.

# 3 Evacuations

Evacuations occur when there are no medical facilities in your current location that can provide the required treatment. You will then be transported to the nearest place where you can seek treatment. The nature of evacuations differ depending on your location, and consequently cost differently as well. For example, if you’re stuck in the mountains, a helicopter will fly you out. However, take note that the doctor in charge decides whether you get evacuation, and requires the agreement of the insurance company. In addition to evacuation, there is also repatriation where you return home to receive treatment.

How much does it cost? Evacuations can be surprisingly expensive, as it requires accompanying doctors, nurses, medical equipment and supplies, etc. According to a harrowing account of a family whose father experienced a heart attack while holidaying in Japan, the bill amounted to $250,000.

Make sure you have enough cover for emergency evacuations and repatriation. On another note, make sure you purchase plans that covers preexisting conditions if you have preexisting conditions. In the case of the father with heart attack, his travel insurance did not cover anything as he had a pre-existing heart condition.

# 4 Call Your Adviser When Things Get Bad

When things go south, you should call your financial advisers to see what options you have, assuming you purchased a travel insurance/personal accident plan from him or her. If you bought travel insurance directly from the insurance company, there should be an international 24/7 hotline for you to call. The reason for that is to ascertain what you can and cannot do in an emergency. For example, some plans have emergency evacuation covers that you can claim if you ever need to be flown.

Getting into a personal accident during travel is stressful and understandably you want to seek treatment as soon as possible. However, knowing what claimable treatment options you have will mean a difference between a peace of mind or an unexpectedly expensive trip.

If you haven’t yet found a trustworthy financial adviser who will be there for you when you experience personal accidents during travel, head on to our main site and get connected with our carefully selected pool of financial advisers!

 

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect you to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on your financial planning questions. 

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