ST Forum writer warns Singaporeans to be vigilant in checking the fine print in travel insurance

By April 3, 2019Current

TL;DR – Better to be safe than sorry.

Travelling soon with your most powerful passport in the world?

Then you might want to make sure you double- and triple-check the fine print of your travel insurance.

Straits Times forum writer Ms Sylvia Lee Swee Pheng recently discovered the importance of checking the fine print of travel insurance after getting her claim rejected repeatedly, and urges everyone else to do so.

In her letter, she wrote:

I want to caution readers to be more vigilant in checking the fine print of their travel insurance, so they are not misled like I was.

I recently fell while in Cambodia, which resulted in bruising on my ribs, wrist and bottom area. As I was able to move well, I did not think of consulting a doctor until arriving in Singapore the following day.

The diagnosis was a rib fracture. But despite the comprehensive travel insurance I had, and my agent’s best efforts to assist, my claim was repeatedly rejected.

The reason: I did not see a doctor within three hours of landing in Singapore.

I find this baffling.

A small fracture, for example, requires an X-ray (and by extension, a scheduled specialist appointment) to diagnose.

Even with Singapore’s robust healthcare infrastructure, a wait at the accident and emergency department can easily take more than three hours.

Additionally, most people are unable to accurately determine the extent of their injuries, and therefore know how urgently they might require medical attention. For example, I did not think the bruise was urgent enough to rush directly from the airport to the hospital.

My doctor also advised me that symptoms of small fractures may take longer than a day to fully manifest.

Perhaps a seven-day window is the fairer, more reasonable option?

With Singaporeans travelling more frequently, I’d urge all policy holders not to be deceived by words like “comprehensive coverage”, and exercise due diligence.

The devil is always in the details.

Sylvia Lee Swee Pheng (Ms)

Welp, I guess it is extremely important to have the habit of checking fine prints, not just for travel insurance, but for all agreements and contracts.

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Joey Wee

Author Joey Wee

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