SINGAPORE: Foreign visitors to Singapore can now buy inbound travel insurance coverage for COVID-19-related costs incurred in Singapore, the Changi Airport Group (CAG) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said on Wednesday (Nov 18).
The announcement was made on behalf of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences.
“Inbound insurance coverage has been identified as a key enabler to facilitate the resumption of travel to Singapore,” CAG and STB said.
"In line with the Emerging Stronger Taskforce Alliance for Action's focus on public-private partnerships, CAG, STB and the General Insurance Association of Singapore led an expression of interest exercise to reach out to interested private sector insurers to provide such coverage."
Responding to the expression of interest, three insurance companies - AIG Asia Pacific Insurance, Chubb Insurance Singapore and HL Assurance - developed products that provide at least S$30,000 in coverage for medical treatment and hospitalisation costs related to COVID-19.
“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,” CAG and STB said.
“Inbound foreign travellers entering Singapore via the various Safe Travel Lanes are required to bear the full cost of medical treatment, tests and isolation, should they be suspected of being infected with COVID-19, or require medical treatment for COVID-19 while in Singapore.”
Premiums start at S$5.35 inclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and available plan limits range from S$30,000 to S$250,000.
Policies from AIG and HL Assurance are already on sale, while Chubb’s plans will be available from Nov 27. Plans can be purchased via the insurers' websites.
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CAG CEO Mr Lee Seow Hiang, who is the co-lead of the alliance, said that it took about three months to develop and launch the insurance plans.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
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Mr Ho Kai Weng, chief executive of the General Insurance Association of Singapore, said that the insurance products would provide reassurance for foreign travellers as Singapore’s borders reopen.
“With the gradual resumption of travel and the reopening of borders, having robust travel insurance options in place is integral to ensuring a successful and sustainable revival of inbound travel to Singapore,” he said.
“The general insurance sector is committed to providing travellers visiting Singapore the protection they need to travel here with confidence.”
Mr Keith Tan, chief executive of STB, said COVID-19 insurance coverage was 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,” he said.
In September, the Emerging Stronger Taskforce Alliance for Action on Enabling Safe and Innovative Visitor Experiences announced that it would be testing a prototype for safe trade shows and exhibitions in addition to safe itineraries for those attending such events.
“The new insurance products will complement this earlier work in resuming safe travel,” CAG and STB said.