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08 Mar 2016

Take the Bite out of your Holiday


Take the bite out of your holiday_travel insurance

They may be small but their bites can be deadly.

According to The World Health Organisation (WHO), mosquito bites take away more than a million lives each year. Although there is currently no evidence that the Zika virus can cause death, it has been linked to birth defects in pregnant women.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine. Those affected by the Zika virus will develop fever, skin rashes, body aches and red eyes that can last anywhere from two to seven days.

If you are frequent traveller, do pay heed if you develop a fever after your trip. Seek medical attention immediately. Generally, your travel insurance would require you to see a doctor within a certain period of time for your medical expenses back home to be valid.

Since the Zika virus has not spread widely in Asia, would it affect your travel insurance? Yes, because travel insurance is there to cover you for unforeseen risks, not known events. In February 2016, WHO declared the Zika virus a global health emergency. Singapore's Ministry of Health has also issued an advisory.

In that case, where does that leave you should your insurer choose not to cover this 'known event'? For one, you may not be offered cancellation or postponement benefits.

Policies like MSIG's TravelEasy Elite and Premier plans will however pay for the additional travel fare and accommodation charges incurred if you need  to alter your plans during your journey due to a sudden Zika virus outbreak not known to exist in that country. It will also cover you for the medical treatment for the Zika virus if you contract it during your trip.

At the end of the day, you have to weigh the costs of cancelling your travel plans and the risks of getting bitten! We say, it's not worth it!