Most Singaporeans assume nothing will go wrong on vacation – or that if it does, our travel insurance will take care of it. Most of the time, the “disasters” we have in mind are lost luggage, cancelled flights, or smelly coach buses. Not many realise how expensive a medical emergency gets. In most developed countries, health care programmes subsidise anywhere from 50 – 70 per cent of medical costs. In Singapore, for example, schemes like MediSave subsidise as much as 80 per cent from hospitalisation bills. If you’re a tourist however, you won’t get any of those subsidies.
In a country like the United States, a single day of hospitalisation (private hospital) currently costs between S$2,500 to S$3,100. This does not factor the costs of medication, surgery, the ambulance ride, consultations, etc. In the event of critical emergencies (e.g. you need to be medically evacuated to a hospital by air, during a skiing injury), even travel insurance of S$50,000 can be wiped out many times over. For this reason, wiser travellers are alright with the idea of buying more than one travel insurance policy. It’s especially worth considering if you engage in sporting activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing, etc.