Student Exchange Insurance Plans: Should I Add-On To My School's Insurance?
Regardless of what your friends tell you, it’s compulsory to get travel insurance for your school exchange programme or overseas internship.
We simply cannot emphasise the importance of travel insurance enough.
Think of it this way: You’re going to be away from home for a long while. And you’re excited to finally be able to escape your mom’s incessant nagging and have all the fun you want in a foreign land…
BUT REALITY CHECK.
You have to learn how to take care of yourself when things aren’t so smooth sailing – like what if your washing machine is down?
Or worse. What if you get food poisoning? Or somehow sprain your back after going skydiving? Where do you go? And how will you afford all that treatment?
And these are just some reasons WHY you should insure yourself for your school overseas exchange programme or overseas internship. Can you imagine losing your laptop or missing your flight? ?
Benefits To Consider When Choosing An Insurance Plan For Overseas Exchange
We asked for quotations* based on 6 months overseas exchange in Toronto, Canada, and here’s what we got:
|Price||Major Events |
(E.g. Accidental Death, TPD)
|Medical Expenses/ Bills||Loss/ Damage of Belongings||Exam Delay Cover||Leisure Activities||Personal Travel Coverage||Study Interruptions|
|SUTD||Ask for quotation||S$250,000||S$300,000||Yes||No||No||No||No|
*Figures are rounded up to the nearest dollar
1. Basic Coverage That You MUST Have
|Coverage Type||More Details on Coverage|
|Covers MAJOR events||• Death
• Permanent and Total Disablement (TPD)
• Emergency Medical Evacuation (To transport your body back to SG)
|Covers medical expenses||• Hospital bills
• General Practitioner (GP) bills
• Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) bills, and etc
Medical bills refer to all the bills that you might incur from doctor visits for anything from fever, flu, to food poisoning, and etc.
This is the typical insurance package that comes with your school’s existing coverage. And it only covers the basic benefits like death coverage and medical bills coverage – all the must-haves.
2. Additional Coverage That Is GOOD TO Have
Here’s a list of other benefits which you might want to consider depending on say… How likely you are to lose your laptop… Or even if you’re planning to take day trips out during the weekend to nearby cities and towns to explore.
|Coverage Type||More Details On Coverage|
|Loss or damage of your valuables||Get to claim for loss or damage of your valuables (e.g. your laptop etc.)|
|Exam delay cover*||If your exams have been rescheduled beyond your control and clashes with your travel plans, then you will be covered for the costs that you might incur as a result of having to change your travel plans! Cool aye?!|
|Coverage for leisure activities*||Leisure activities such as scuba-diving, sky diving, extreme sports etc.|
|Personal travel coverage||If you are planning to travel to other places around the city you're at for your exchange programme|
|Study interruptions||If you are unable to continue with the exchange programme due to situations where you need to be hospitalised|
Insurers like STA and Income Singapore offer some of these additional benefits as an add-on to the insurance coverage that your school provides you with. If any of these perks caught your eye, maybe that’s where you could start your research from.
*Note: Not offered by Income Singapore.
Do I Really Need To Get Insurance If I Go On Overseas Exchange Or Internship?
According to the various schools’ websites, it is compulsory for all students to have a travel insurance plan in force before being able to travel for official school purposes.
So Am I Already Covered Or Do I Need To Get Insurance On My Own?
Assuming that you’re going on a 6 months overseas exchange in Toronto, Canada, here’s a look at the premiums you’d have to pay if you’re a student at the following schools:
|School's Insurance Provider||Premiums Quoted (S$)|
|NUS Student Travel Insurance||Already covered|
|SMU Student Travel Insurance||Already covered|
|SIT Group Travel Insurance||Already covered|
|SUTD Travel Insurance||Have to ask for quotation|
For most schools, you would fall under the ‘Already Covered‘ category. In other words, you are covered under the school’s Group Insurance as long as you are officially travelling with the school.
However, for students of NTU, SUTD, SIM, and SUSS, you have to opt-in with the school’s insurance provider or look for one on your own.
FYI to all SIM students: SIM GE has insurance coverage for all their students but it does not cover you when you are out of Singapore for more than 90 days.
|Things to note:|
|1||You may be required to purchase additional insurance if it is required by your host university|
|2||For personal trips within your exchange – request for coverage extension for personal deviation beyond 60 days or get additional insurance coverage for your personal trips.
(For schools that already covers their students who are travelling officially under the school's programme)
Student Exchange Insurance Plans In The Market
If you’re looking for something with more extensive coverage as compared to what your school has offered, there are only a handful of places where you are able to look at. Again, the following quotations are based on 6 months overseas exchange in Toronto, Canada:
|Insurance Provider||Premium Quoted|
|Income Singapore - Overseas Student Protection Plan||S$538|
|STA Travel - Student Travel Insurance||S$337|
|MSIG - Global Study Insurance||S$524.30|
|DBS Bank / POSB Bank - Chubb Overseas Student Protect||S$516.80|
So What’s The Diff Between Travel Insurance And Student Exchange Insurance?
Student exchange-type travel insurances usually have very student-specific benefits such as Exam Delay Cover, which you wouldn’t need if you’re just travelling for leisure.
So if you already have an Annual Travel Insurance and are going for overseas exchange or an internship, you might want to:
- Check if there is any trip specific coverage that is lacking in your current plan
- Opt-in for additional benefits as listed above, that you think you’ll need for your student life and needs in a foreign land