Consider this scenario: during the Christmas holidays, you decide to visit your family. Upon boarding the plane, you realize your baggage is missing. This could cause you to miss your flight. Such issues are common when traveling locally or internationally. One might ask, “What if my luggage gets lost? Will I be compensated?” This is where travel insurance comes into play. So, what exactly is travel insurance in the Philippines?
In this article, we’ll explore what is travel insurance, its significance, where to obtain it, the top choices available, and budget-friendly options. We’ll also delve into international travel insurance for Filipinos. By the end of this guide, you should be well-equipped to select the travel insurance that best suits your needs.
What is travel insurance?
As defined by Investopedia, travel insurance is a form of coverage that compensates for financial losses related to travel. These may include illnesses, injuries, accidents, flight or other transport delays, among other issues.
How important is travel insurance?
If you’re wondering if travel insurance is worth it, the answer is yes. Allianz stated three reasons why travel insurance is a must:
- Most of us can’t afford to lose our vacation investment. For instance, you pay $7,000 for a 25th anniversary Mediterranean cruise, but your mother falls ill the day before. The cruise line won’t refund due to their 14-day cancellation policy. Travel insurance could reimburse non-refundable costs if you cancel for a covered reason.
- Medical emergencies overseas can be incredibly expensive. Travel insurance with emergency medical benefits covers losses from medical and dental emergencies during your trip. It also covers transportation to the nearest medical facility and the cost of returning home after a covered injury or illness.
- You wouldn’t want minor mishaps to spoil your trip. Travel inconveniences can cause headaches during our vacation, but travel insurance can help alleviate these issues.
Where to get travel insurance in the Philippines?
If you’re a Filipino citizen interested in obtaining travel insurance, the following insurance companies offer these services:
- Axa Philippines
- Starr Insurance Philippines
- Pacific Cross Philippines
- Malayan Insurance
- Chubb Travel Insurance Philippines
- Etiqa Philippines
- BDO Insure (BDO Unibank)
- PAL Travel Insurance (Alliedbankers Insurance Corporation)
What are the best travel insurance options in the Philippines?
Grit PH made a list of travel insurance companies that offer different policies depending on your needs:
- World Nomads
World Nomads Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based travel insurance company founded in 1999, is favored by adventurous travelers worldwide.
Starting from $38, their policies cover emergency medical support, evacuation, trip cancellation, and even adventure sports.
Unique features oriented towards active nomads include dental treatment, prescribed medicines, daily hospital cash allowance, hospitalization, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, osteopathy, counseling after assault, and coverage during study, work, or volunteering.
- AXA iON – Smart Traveler
AXA iON, a service of AXA Philippines, offers worldwide travel insurance starting at Php 990.
The policy covers personal accidents, medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, travel inconveniences, personal belongings, and other benefits such as personal liability, hijacking, kidnapping, funeral and burial expenses.
- AIG Travel Guard
AIG Travel Guard is a global insurance solution for travelers, offering coverage for medical expenses, evacuation, repatriation, personal accidents, child guard, compassionate visits, baggage delay, trip cancellation or termination, personal effects, flight delay, loss of travel documents, and personal liability. Prices start at Php 400 for 1 to 4 days.
- Fortune General
Fortune General (FGen) offers revamped travel insurance services with more features, providing coverage for travels to Asia, Schengen (Europe), and the rest of the world, with prices starting at Php 900 for one week.
- Accidental benefit
- Medical expense and hospitalization
- Medical evac or repatriation
- Emergency Dental Care
- Repatriation of Family Member
- Repatriation of Mortal Remains
- Compassionate Emergency Visits
- Compassionate Emergency Return
- Care for Minor Children
- Flight Delay
- Missed connecting flight
- Trip diversion
- Strikes and aircraft hijacking
- Emergency trip cancellation
- Emergency trip termination
- Personal belongings and baggage
- Other services
- Pacific Cross
Pacific Cross is a global insurance provider with a focus on ASEAN countries. It offers a range of insurance products, starting at Php 500, covering in-patient and out-patient care, emergency treatments, recreational activities and sports, implants due to accidents, hospital income, funeral expenses, personal accident and liability, vehicle rental protection, and baggage delay.
- Malayan Travel Master
Malaysian Travel Master, a comprehensive international travel health insurance in the Philippines, offers competitive pricing starting at Php 375 for 4 days in ASEAN.
The policy covers personal accidents, emergency medical treatment (excluding pre-existing conditions), personal liability, recovery of travel expenses, travel inconvenience, and assistance benefits, along with value-added features.
- MAPFRE Philippines
MAPFRE Insular provides non-life insurance packages, focusing on motor vehicles, engineering, marine cargo, fire, and allied lines, surety, and microinsurance.
They also offer a travel insurance package that covers medical expenses, baggage delay, trip cancellation, personal liability, accidental death, permanent disability, and repatriation of mortal remains.
- FPG Insurance
Operating under the Zuellig Group of Companies, FPG Travel offers worldwide travel insurance starting at Php 450 for the Classic Plan (4 days).
The policy covers personal accidents, medical expenses, emergency dental care, medical evacuation and repatriation, return of a family member traveling with the insured, trip cancellation and curtailment, delayed departure, missed connecting flight, loss of travel documents and money, personal liability, and luggage delay.
- Standard Insurance
Standard Insurance offers worldwide service coverage with prices starting at Php 495 for an 8-day ASEAN package.
Their policy includes emergency medical and travel assistance, travel inconvenience benefits, personal liability benefit, and personal accident liability, with coverage of up to Php 500,000.
- Pioneer Insurance
Pioneer Life Inc, established in 1964 and fully Filipino-owned since 2003, offers worldwide service coverage for travel insurance. Prices start at Php 399 for ASEAN 4 days.
The policy covers emergency trip cancellation and termination, flight delay, missed connecting flight, hijack, and various baggage, personal effects, and money benefits.
What are the cheapest travel insurance options in the Philippines?
Although there’s insufficient data for insights on this matter, it’s crucial to prioritize comprehensive coverage over cost.
Strive for a balance between affordability and protection. Utilize comparison tools, and scrutinize the coverage details and prices of various insurers before making a decision.
Do I need travel insurance in the Philippines?
Although the Philippines has removed the need for foreigners to acquire travel insurance during their stay, other requirements stipulated in Resolution No. 168, Series of 2022 by the IATF, must still be met. Furthermore, a passport that is valid for at least six months, an onward or return ticket, and proof of relevant COVID-19 vaccinations are also required.
Do I need travel insurance?
David Leiter, publisher of The World Travel Guy blog, suggests it might be wise to purchase travel insurance with good coverage if you are:
- Embarking on an expensive trip with non-refundable costs
- Traveling internationally
- Visiting a remote location lacking easy access to medical care
Additionally, Eckhoff recommends considering travel insurance if you:
- Have a pre-existing medical condition, provided the policy caters to your needs
- Are visiting a country faced with political instability, natural disasters, or health risks
- Engage in high-risk activities, which increase the likelihood of injury or illness
Is travel insurance mandatory?
As stated by MarketWatch, travel insurance coverage is not mandatory. However, some countries require travel insurance to enter.
Can you get travel insurance at the airport?
According to Nerdwallet, you cannot purchase travel insurance at the airport. It is also not possible to buy it after you have boarded your cruise, decided not to attend a tour, or if your flight is so delayed that you miss your connection.
Travel insurance serves as a valuable protection for both domestic and international travel. It also covers unexpected medical expenses, and offers reimbursement for losses or additional costs due to incidents like stolen baggage or flight cancellations.
Various insurance companies like AXA, Starr, and Pacific Cross offer different travel insurance depending on your needs. Moreover, if you want to gain more understanding on international travel insurance in the Philippines, BDO Insure also offers International Travel Insurance with emergency medical treatment including COVID-19 coverage for international travels.
Keep in mind that it is important to prioritize coverage over cost when choosing the right travel insurance. When choosing the right travel insurance in the Philippines, consider value over cost, opt for multi-trip plans if you travel frequently, consider group or family insurance for group travel, check if you already have coverage through banks or airlines, and read the fine print for health exclusions.