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Student Exchange Insurance Plans: Should I Add-On To My School’s Insurance?

2 min read

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.

Why?

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?

I Have No Idea What I Am Doing
Source: @thedryginger | Instagram

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:

  BasicAdditional
PriceMajor Events
(E.g. Accidental Death, TPD)
Medical Expenses/ BillsLoss/ Damage of BelongingsExam Delay CoverLeisure ActivitiesPersonal Travel CoverageStudy Interruptions
NUSN.A.S$250,000S$250,000
($50 excess/visit)
YesNoNoNoNo
NTUS$257S$250,000S$275,000YesNoNoYesNo
SMUN.A.S$50,000S$250,000YesNoNoNoNo
SITN.A.S$250,000S$250,000YesNoNoNoNo
SUTDAsk for quotationS$250,000S$300,000YesNoNoNoNo
Income SingaporeS$538S$200,000S$1,500
(S$100 excess/ visit)
YesNoYesYesYes
STAS$337S$200,000S$200,000YesYesYesYesNo
MSIGS$525S$150,000S$50,000YesNoYesYesYes
DBS/POSBS$517S$200,000S$20,000YesNoYesYesYes

*Figures are rounded up to the nearest dollar

1. Basic Coverage That You MUST Have

 Coverage TypeMore Details on Coverage
1Covers MAJOR events• Death
• Permanent and Total Disablement (TPD)
• Emergency Medical Evacuation (To transport your body back to SG)
2Covers 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.

diver

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 TypeMore Details On Coverage
1Loss or damage of your valuablesGet to claim for loss or damage of your valuables (e.g. your laptop etc.)
2Exam delay coverIf 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?!
3Coverage for leisure activitiesLeisure activities such as scuba-diving, sky diving, extreme sports etc.
4Personal travel coverageIf you are planning to travel to other places around the city you're at for your exchange programme
5Study interruptionsIf you are unable to continue with the exchange programme due to situations where you need to be hospitalised

STA and NTUC Income do offer some of these additional benefits as an add-on to the insurance coverage that your school provides you with. If some of these perks caught your eye, maybe that’s where you could start your research from.

thinking batman
Source: GIPHY

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 ProviderPremiums Quoted (S$)
NUS Student Travel InsuranceAlready covered
NTU TravelSureS$257
SMU Student Travel InsuranceAlready covered
SIT Group Travel InsuranceAlready covered
SUTD Travel InsuranceHave 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:
1You may be required to purchase additional insurance if it is required by your host university
2For 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)

canada

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 ProviderPremium Quoted
Income Singapore - Overseas Student Protection PlanS$538
STA Travel - Student Travel InsuranceS$337
MSIG - Global Study InsuranceS$524.30
DBS Bank / POSB Bank - Chubb Overseas Student ProtectS$516.80
seedly student exchange insurance meme
Source: knowyourmeme

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

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