Travel Insurance can have many loopholes and in many cases, a lot of problems with what they do and don’t cover. It is always key to read every single part of your travel insurance in the event that it is needed. There is one big problem for those who are travelling in or out of countries in the Southeast Asian area.
Below are some tips on checking your insurance and if you are covered.
What Does Your Travel Insurance Cover?
This question all comes down to what company you have decided to purchase travel insurance with. Each company is different and will cover you for things some others won’t cover you for. It is all about planning ahead, looking for the travel insurance that covers things that may occur.
In the case of needing to make a claim, it could cause you a loss if you haven’t thoroughly checked the travel insurance you decided to purchase. It may be the case that you need to cut the trip short or cancel it completely, it may just be delayed flights but if your selected insurance doesn’t cover that, you will be out of pocket.
On top of all this, make sure you purchase your travel insurance at the same time as your pay for the trip, or as soon as possible. If you have a trip and then buy travel insurance after the announcement of possible problems, your insurance may not fully cover you.
How to Purchase the Right Insurance
Purchasing the right travel insurance comes down to planning ahead. Each policy will cover things that other wont. Some might cover bad weather, some might not, its taking the time to read through and not just picking the first to pop up. In the case of haze, which is a big problem for those travelling to and from Singapore and surrounding countries, you will want to check that your selected insurance covers possible flight cancellations and delays.
One of the best ways to check you are getting the right insurance is to use a variety of websites, write down what they cover, all the important bits and then compare them. There are many insurance sites, for example, Car Insurance who will give you a free quote and cater to specific insurance needs.
What is Haze?
In simple, haze is smoke, dust and other particles that can cause the sky to look clouded. Singapore is one of the most affected countries and you can see the severity by just searching ‘Singapore Haze’ on the internet.
Haze can be caused by many things, but it mainly comes from vehicle pollution, forest fires and in some cases, ploughing fields in dry weather. Not only does this affect the people living in countries with haze, but it affects anyone travelling to or from that location. Haze can get that bad in certain locations that it causes huge delays and in some cases, flights are cancelled until it clears up enough to see.
Why Wouldn’t Your Travel Insurance Cover Haze?
You have purchased travel insurance, but you have been delayed due to haze. Your travel insurance informs you that you are not covered for haze related incidents. However, you are covered in the case of storms, hurricanes, earthquakes and even floods. The reason for this; these incidents are seen by the insurer as unpredictable so they need to be covered.
On the other hand, people travelling into Southeast Asia know there is fog and it can cause delays in flights. Therefore, travel insurance companies won’t cover haze as its highly likely to cause problems. At the end of the day, insurance companies need to make money, so they can’t cover every single possible incident. Not only that, but many companies see haze as a man-made problem, which in most cases, isn’t included in the small print.
Do Any Companies Cover Haze?
When looking for companies that cover haze, you actually want to find an insurer in that particular country. Singapore for example, have a few insurance companies that will cover you in the case of delays or cancellations due to haze or related causes. So, don’t just look at insurance companies from your country, check the companies that are located in the travel destination as they are more likely to cover haze.
The big question… Which companies actually cover you in the instance your flight is delayed/cancelled due to haze? There are in fact a few companies that will cover haze such as; HLAS and NTUC Income.
Be cautious though, because some Singapore insurance companies have stated that they do NOT cover haze related claims.This is due to them seeing haze and haze related problems as a man-made problem and therefore, shouldn’t be classed as a weather problem.
What to Do If Your Flight Is Cancelled/Delayed Due to Haze
The first thing to do is to ask your airline information on the delay or cancellation. In most cases, they will display a message or announce that the flight is delayed/cancelled and the reason.
In the case of delay, you will want to check when your flight is next scheduled for. Your airline can’t predict when the haze will clear enough for a safe flight, however, they will try and give a time for the next flight if possible. After this, you will want to check your travel insurance. If yours covers haze related incidents, read the small print. Some insurers may have a set allowance that they can give you for a certain delay. For example, you may receive S$200 for every 6 hours of delay.
In the case of cancellation, you will want to do the same as above. Speak to your airline, they may be able to place you on another flight. You will also want to speak to your travel insurer or read your documents. They may be able to allocate you a new flight or reimburse you for any loss in having to get a new flight or getting extra accommodation.
Overall, shopping for travel insurance can be a painful task. You have to take into consideration that there are multiple things that may need to be covered. The main one is haze but you will also want to check what else is covered.
Haze itself can actually cause medical problems for many people as they will be breathing in the haze filled air. Therefore, you may also want to have medical cover. Again, it is all down to what you need and what you believe you will need cover for. No one can guarantee that you will have no delays or problems while on your trip, so plan ahead, read the small print and pick with care.