Etiqa is the insurance arm of Maybank Group. They are the first in Singapore to offer inflight insurance to travellers, and it’s FREE. It includes up to $50,000 in personal accident coverage. An optional $4 top-up will give you coverage up to $300 for a flight delay.
What does Etiqa’s Inflight Insurance Cover?
Etiqa offers 4 ePROTECT Travel plans, from Inflight coverage to more comprehensive coverage. Of the 4 plans available, only the Inflight plan is free. And the Inflight plan only covers Personal Accidents in the form of Inflight Accidental Death.
The free plan does not cover Medical Expenses Incurred Overseas, Liability Benefits, Travel Assistance Benefits, or Travel Inconvenience Benefits.
You can, however, opt to include a benefit for a flight delay. This benefit will give you up to $300 ($50 per 3 hrs) for a flight delay. Currently, most travel insurance plans will only allow you to claim for a flight delays of 6 to 12 hours.
Who is Eligible?
All Singapore citizens, Singapore PRs, or Foreigners with a valid Work Pass, Student Pass, Dependant’s Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass who are at least 18 years old are eligible. Another thing to note is that the free plan will not appear if you apply under a “Family” or “Group” plan. It is only applicable to “Individual” plans.
Here are links to Etiqa’s ePROTECT Travel Insurance Brochure and to the Policy T&Cs.
Reasons Why You Should Consider This
According to a study conducted by the Singapore Tourism Board, about 1 in 10 (10%) have never purchased a travel insurance policy. This study showed that (1) short-trip duration and (2) perceived “low-risk” destinations are the top two reasons they cite for not buying travel insurance.
For those individuals, Etiqa‘s free Inflight plan can at least offer some bare minimal coverage. It might also encourage them to consider more comprehensive coverage, which is one reason why Etiqa is offering this “freemium” insurance plan.
Sometimes people are very skeptical of “freemiums”, thinking that a company will overcharge for or aggressively upsell additional services/coverage. But I’ve compared the price of Etiqa’s Basic, Economy, and Business ePROTECT Travel plans, and their prices with respect to coverage are very comparable to other insurers.
Using an insurance aggregated search engine (like the one you’ll find at MoneySmart), here are my travel insurance plan options for a 3-day trip to Thailand. Please note that there were over 30 options and I’m only displaying the first 4, in order of price.
My Experience and Confession
While I love living in Singapore, my move here from the States was a nightmare. And to be honest, I didn’t know about travel insurance. I didn’t know that one-way travel insurance was even possible. So I travelled here without it.
In moving here, I also transported my dog, who took a separate flight (from me) because pets cannot take long-haul flights. So my dog went to Amsterdam and then to Singapore.
My flight from the US involved a transfer at Hong Kong. There was a 2-hour window for me to take the connecting flight, which was the last flight from Hong Kong to Singapore for that day.
But my flight from the US to Hong Kong was delayed by several hours. This caused me to miss the last connecting flight from Hong Kong to Singapore.
Normally, a flight delay would only be a minor inconvenience. Except that in this case, I had to stay overnight in Hong Kong, and then take an early morning flight the next day, which I was not expecting.
This also meant that my poor dog would arrive before me. Since I wouldn’t be there to “receive him”, he would have to wait for me (crated) in the airport cargo centre, instead of at the Changi AVA holding facility where he can at least walk around. This made me feel very bad and anxious. I cried when I saw him.
Now, would having insurance solve this problem? No, this was just an unfortunate series of events. But had I paid $4 to have flight delay coverage, I would have gotten at least some money to cover the cost of extra expenses and inconveniences due to the delay.
And these claims could have been made on the spot. Etiqa uses real-time flight information through their flight monitoring system, so I would have been able to submit the claim immediately.
Once the claim is approved, I would have also been paid instantaneous via PayNow or FAST bank transfer.
Do I now buy travel insurance every time I travel overseas? Absolutely! Has my dog forgiven me? I think so.