FOREIGN visitors entering Singapore will now be able to buy inbound travel insurance coverage for Covid-19 related costs incurred in Singapore.
Three insurers - AIG Asia Pacific Insurance, Chubb Insurance Singapore and HL Assurance - have developed travel insurance plans which provide at least S$30,000 in coverage for Covid-19 related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by Changi Airport Group (CAG) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) on behalf of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences.
The alliance noted that inbound foreign travellers entering Singapore via the various safe travel lanes are required to bear the full cost of medical treatment, tests and isolation if they are suspected of being infected with Covid-19, or require medical treatment for Covid-19 while in Singapore.
A minimum of S$30,000 in coverage is recommended by the Ministry of Health, based on Covid-19 bill sizes at private hospitals, which is where inbound travellers typically receive care for Covid-19, according to the statement.
"We have been actively engaging the insurance community since August this year, through an expression of interest exercise, to develop inbound travel insurance products as Singapore progressively reopens," said Lee Seow Hiang, CAG's chief executive officer and co-lead of the alliance.
"We noticed such products were not available in the market, and wanted to encourage insurers to develop such products and offer them to travellers at a reasonable price."
Premiums for these inbound travel insurance plans start from S$5.35. AIG's and HL Assurance's plans are available now, while Chubb will start sales later this month.
Checks by BT on AIG's website for its "Singapore Travel Assist" indicated the policy only covers expenses for Covid-19 related losses, such as sums insured for up to S$250,000 in emergency medical expenses if one tests positive for Covid-19.
Insurance premiums vary based on age, residence and length of stay. A 30-year old male residing in Malaysia who enters Singapore in the first week of December would incur premiums of S$12.29, while a female with the same profile would pay S$8.21.
Over at ChangiAssure, underwritten by HL Assurance, a Covid insurance "superior" plan offered up to S$100,000 of coverage for hospitalisation or expenses at a quarantine facility and also provided non-coronavirus coverage for matters such as loss of baggage, travel delays and accidental death and disability. The pricing was indicated as S$147.75 for a week-long stay.
Said Keith Tan, STB's chief executive: "As we gradually reopen for safe travel, Covid-19 insurance coverage is a key enabler to rebuild traveller confidence and provide peace of mind.
"We are heartened that the public and private sectors have come together to provide solutions, and we look forward to more collaborations that will help Singapore lead the way as a safe, trusted and innovative destination."
STB announced separately on Tuesday that it inked a three-year memorandum of understanding with Trip.com Group to jointly market Singapore as the destination of choice for travellers and to enhance visitors' experience in Singapore.
STB and Trip.com Group will also customise and promote a range of travel products, itineraries and experiences tailored to different types of travellers. In addition, they will exchange insights on key traveller segments and regional travel trends with industry stakeholders in Singapore and key markets.
James Liang, co-founder and chairman of Trip.com Group, said: "As international travel resumes, we believe Singapore will be the first port-of-call for many international visitors and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with STB to develop and grow Singapore's standing as one of the top tourist destinations over the next few years."