Scoot adds COVID-19 coverage to Scootsurance travel insurance policy

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Scootsurance will now cover COVID-19 related insurance claims, but the policy wording means it's not a green light to travel yet.

Back in August 2018, Scoot tied up with AXA to launch a customised travel insurance plan known as Scootsurance. 

scootsurance
Don’t want Scootsurance? Be prepared for some passive aggressive chiding

This provides fairly standard protection for trip interruptions and cancellations, travel delays, medical expenses and accidents etc. As an added bonus, customers who pay for Scoot bookings with KrisFlyer miles will be able to recover the value if their trip is cancelled for a covered reason (AXA does not normally cover the loss of frequent flyer points; only Aviva, Chubb and Sompo do).

👎 I do suspect, however, that you’ll only be reimbursed at a paltry rate of 0.95 cents per mile, based on the value Scoot gives when you pay for itineraries with KrisFlyer miles

Scootsurance has now expanded its coverage to include events related to COVID-19, but with some fairly strict terms and conditions. tl;dr: it won’t cover travel against prevailing government advisories, and it won’t cover the cost of your SHN either. 

Scootsurance now offers COVID-19 coverage

When booking a Scoot flight, you’ll see some new wording under the Scootsurance section- “now enhanced with COVID-19 benefits!” 

If you hover your mouse over the relevant sections in the booking screen, you’ll see the following:

  • Trip cancellation/curtailment: Your irrecoverable air fare and accommodation will be reimbursed up to the Max Limit Payable as per Schedule of Benefits if you have to cancel/curtail your trip in the event that you are infected with Covid-19
  • Overseas hospitalization/quarantine allowance: Receive a daily cash benefit if you are hospitalized/quarantined due to Covid-19. Benefit limit for hospitalization and quarantine differs
  • Overseas medical expenses: Enjoy your trip to the fullest knowing that you will be covered for overseas medical expenses incurred due to an accidental bodily injury or sickness; including Covid-19 up to the Max Limit Payable as per Schedule of Benefits
  • Medical evacuation/ repatriation: You can count on us in the event that you are in an emergency medical situation and need to be moved to another location to receive urgent treatment or to be repatriated back to Singapore
  • 24/7 emergency medical assistance hotline: We are here for you round-the-clock! You can call the AXA Assistance hotline at (65) 6322 2075 in the event that you are in an emergency medical situation
  • 24/7 travel assistance hotline: You can call the AXA Assistance hotline at (65) 6322 2075 in the event you require medical consultation over the phone

Scootsurance COVID-19 coverage limits and exclusions

Neither the policy wording nor benefits summary explicitly address COVID-19, but inside you’ll find a schedule of benefits relating to events directly arising from a pandemic:

Coverage for incidents arising due to pandemic
CoverageLimit (Return Trip)Limit (One-Way Trip)
Medical Expenses whilst Overseas S$10,000N/A
Overseas Hospitalisation  Allowance S$50 per day, up to S$1,000N/A
Overseas Quarantine AllowanceS$100 per day, up to S$1,000N/A
Emergency Medical Evacuation & RepatriationIncludedN/A
Repatriation of Mortal Remains Back to SingaporeIncludedN/A
Trip CancellationS$800, with S$100 excessS$800, with S$100 excess
Trip Curtailment / RearrangementS$800, with S$100 excessN/A

This seems like a test case of how travel insurers will progressively incorporate COVID-19 coverage into their plans. It’s not like they have much of a choice anyway- COVID-19 is likely here to stay for the long run, and the only way people will be willing to travel is if their insurance provides some sort of coverage for it. 

It’s toes-in-the-water stuff for the moment. The coverage limits for pandemic-related events are notably lower than general events, as the table below shows:

 General If pandemic-related
Medical Expenses whilst OverseasS$10,000-50,000S$10,000
Overseas Hospitalisation  Allowance S$200 per day, up to S$4,000S$50 per day, up to S$1,000
Trip CancellationS$800S$800, with S$100 excess
Trip Curtailment / RearrangementS$800S$800, with S$100 excess

Moreover, the policy wording explicitly states that no payment will be made for pandemic-related claims in respect of:

Your travel to a country, specific area or event when the Singapore government or regulatory authority in a country to/from which you are travelling has advised against non-essential or all travel;

So in other words, the new-and-improved Scootsurance is not carte blanche to go out and book a flight anywhere right now (except New Zealand/Brunei, but (1) Scoot doesn’t fly there, and (2) they no swipe us back), so long as the Singapore government’s travel advisory remains in effect.

💉 The policy wording also says that no pandemic-related claims will be paid if you fail to get the recommended vaccines prior to your trip. Sorry, anti-vaxxers.

Do also note that this Scootsurance policy will not cover the cost of your mandatory SHN upon return to Singapore, should you arrive from a country where this is in effect. You’ll be on the hook for the S$2,000 SHN cost (and if you’re lucky, might get the Park Hotel Alexandra), plus $200 for COVID-19 testing. 

No SHN required7-day SHN
(at place of residence)
14-day SHN
(at dedicated facility)
  • Brunei
  • New Zealand
  • Australia (ex. Victoria)
  • Macao
  • Mainland China
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia
  • Australia (Victoria)
  • All others

So given all the exclusions, what’s the expanded Scootsurance good for?

I imagine much of this is forward-looking. With Phase 3 likely to happen soon, we may see limited leisure travel corridors open with other countries that have brought infections under control.

While it stands to reason that the risk of catching COVID-19 while traveling to such places will be low, the inclusion of coverage will simply give travelers extra peace of mind. It also means that payouts are likely to be rare (barring some unforeseen resurgence), so the additional risk to AXA must have been deemed acceptable. 

Scootsurance is basically saying “look, we know that COVID-19 isn’t just going to disappear, so if you travel to a country in good faith and not in disregard of any government advisory and something happens to you, we’ll have your back.”

And that’s pretty much what travel insurance is about, isn’t it? 

Conclusion

Once again, Scootsurance should not be seen as an excuse to jet off for a holiday right now. It won’t cover you if you travel against a prevailing government advisory, nor will it cover the cost of your SHN and testing upon return. 

That said, it’s good to see travel insurers starting to provide COVID-19 coverage of some sort. While the limits are low and wording strict for now, this is likely to be loosened over time as the pandemic is brought under control. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Adam

Would it cover if you fly there under Reciprocal Green Lane or Periodic Commuting Arrangement, since these are government approved arrangements?

Ady

The pandemic/Covid coverage doesn’t seem to be enough to cover the minimum requirement of SGD 20,000 Covid coverage for entry into Bali.

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