December 2, 2020

GoBearTV Ep 16 | Travel Insurance Tales

Hello, GoBearTV viewers.

I’m Officer Z, and this is… BearWatch! In this episode of BearWatch, we’ll be sharing with you three tales where travel insurance meets crime.

My name is Lucky Heng, and I’m a travel insurance claims officer at Mou Dak Ding Insurance.

I have worked at MDD for five years now, and I’ve processed thousands of travel insurance claims.

One of them stood out as very memorable.

I was at work one day when I received a call from a customer.

Hello, MDD Insurance.

This is Lucky Heng speaking.

Eh, hello! When will my travel insurance claim be done ah? Can I have your name, sir? My name is Sam Seng Kia.

S-A-M S-E-N-G K-I-A.

OK Mr Sam.

I have your record.

Let me see.

A broken leg while travelling in Thailand.

Yes, your claim has been processed.

You’ll receive your cheque in the mail in two to three working days.

Yeah! Um, I, I mean, that’s good.

Thank you, Miss Heng! Suddenly, I froze.

I recognised that voice.

A while ago, I was a victim of credit card fraud over the phone.

And I knew from the way that Sam Seng Kia said ‘Miss Heng’ that he was the same person who had scammed me.

That voice … was unforgettable.

I had to find out more about this Sam Seng Kia, so I went on the Internet and managed to find his social media profile.

I saw that he had posted his holiday pictures online.

But… …there wasn’t a broken leg in sight! He was happily enjoying himself when he was supposed to be injured.

I escalated the issue with my superiors and we voided his claims and blacklisted him.

Later, we found that he had also tried to file claims for his fake injury with eight other insurers.

The police were brought in, and they discovered Sam Seng Kia was a serial fraudster.

Later, he was found guilty of everything from travel insurance fraud, to motor insurance fraud, to credit card fraud and love scams.

He even cheated in his IPPT! I’m very glad that he’s behind bars now.

A fraudulent travel insurance claim will be rejected and you could find yourself blacklisted from your insurer.

And remember! Insurers do have the right to report fraud to the police.

So if you want to pull a fast one, you might find yourself with a heavy fine or jail sentence.

I’m Mary Lim-Tay, and I’m a full time tai-tai.

And I’m the president of Singapore— Hah? I haven’t finished talking lah.

I’m the president of Singapore’s Nasi Padang Association, Fatimah Ayob.

Orh.

Fatimah and I have been best friends since our days growing up in Kampong Kucing Kurap back in the ’60s.

Ya, and we both love Korean dramas and culture.

So one day, I said to Mary lah, Eh, Mary, Mary.

You wanna, you know, let’s go on a girls’ trip to Korea lah.

You know, we can eat bibimbap and then see all the cute Korean guys! – Eee! Oppa!- Oppa! Soon after, we went to this travel agency, K-POP Travel.

A friend of a friend told me that this agency specialised in tours to Korea.

Without delay, we booked and paid for a 7 day 6 night tour to Seoul and Busan.

In the weeks after, we were so excited for our trip.

We were literally counting down the days, no, eh no, no, the number of seconds to Korea.

Ya, but then things took a bad, bad turn.

I was having tea one day, when— Tea? Where? Uh, haha.

I’m such a high-class tai-tai, of course at a hotel lah.

Ohhh.

.

.

Anyway, while having tea, I saw the most horrible news on my phone.

K-POP Travel had folded! And the owner ran away! Hello? Eh, Fatimah, we need to go the K-POP Travel agency now! So both of us rushed to the travel agency and found the place closed.

A sign pasted on the shutters just said “Closed Forever”.

The shock was too much to bear.

I just passed out! Eh, Fatimah? Fatimah! After I came to, we called up lah, our travel insurer.

Ya, we were put in touch with our travel insurance claims officer.

But then, we weren’t prepared for what she had to say.

I’m sorry, but the insurance policy you bought was our Budget Plan.

It doesn’t cover travel agency insolvency.

Eh? Fatimah? Fatimah! Each of us lost nearly two thousand dollars.

If only we bought the right travel insurance plan.

Now, the only thing Korean that we can enjoy.

.

.

.

.

.

are these.

Halal.

If you have bookings with a travel agency that closes down suddenly, you should take these following steps.

Contact the agency to find out the status of your bookings, or to get refunds.

If this fails, contact your travel insurer to make a claim.

If you don’t have travel insurance, approach the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) or the Small Claims Tribunal.

Also, learn from Mary and Fatimah.

Make sure you get travel insurance with the right coverage for your trip.

And read the fine print! My name is Firman Pratama, and I’m an avid traveller.

I’ve visited over seventy countries and seen many wonderful and beautiful sights.

The Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, I’ve seen them all.

Last month, I visited Penang for the fiftieth time.

I go there often to have my fix of the city’s delicious cuisine.

It’s kind of a routine for me.

But this trip turned out to be anything but routine.

I was walking down one of Penang’s alleys, taking pictures with my camera when suddenly, someone grabbed it out of my hands! I was robbed! The robber was too fast for me to catch up with him.

I knew my camera was gone forever.

But then I remembered, I bought travel insurance.

All I need to do is file a claim to cover the loss of my camera.

Simple! So I happily carried on with my trip, and I filed my claim the moment I returned to Singapore.

A week later, I received a letter from my insurer.

My claim was rejected! This can’t be! I couldn’t believe this was happening.

My camera cost me so much money.

I immediately called up my travel insurer.

Miss Heng, why has my claim not been approved? I’m sorry Mr Firman, but you didn’t provide me with a police report and a receipt for your camera.

I can’t approve your claim without proof.

I’m such a @#$&! Of course the insurer needed proof.

But I totally forgot to make a police report in Penang.

And I threw away the receipt for my camera ages ago.

This meant that my travel insurance claim habis (finished)! This was a really hard lesson to learn.

Don’t forget to back your travel insurance claim with proof! Here are some quick tips to make sure you don’t end up like Mr Firman.

File a police report if you have been a victim of crime.

Keep receipts and records, such as serial numbers, of valuable belongings.

Keep receipts and bills for medical treatment you receive.

Obtain letters from your transport provider to corroborate travel delay or damaged and lost luggage.

That’s all the time we have.

If you liked this episode of GoBearTV, be sure to give us a thumbs up and subscribe.

Till next time, see ya!.

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