The next time you pack your bags and get ready to go, you may want to consider including Travel Insurance as part of your vacation package deal.
Yes, this is an extra expense, but nothing compares to the feeling of knowing that you can recover your expenses for the travel should you incur a loss, say for baggage lost or flight delay. Also, if in case emergencies happen during and even before your travel takes place, both domestic and international, you are protected.
This is another article for our 1Pisofare Guides and Useful Travel Tips Series. Our team hopes that sharing about the benefits of travel insurance gives our mga ka – Piso Fare readers and community members idea and better appreciation on why availing of travel insurance is a good thing.
HOW TO GET TRAVEL INSURANCE?
A Travel Insurance can be purchased and arranged the same time you are booking for flights. Most airlines offer travel insurance as an “add-on” during booking.
- Philippine Airlines offers travel insurance thru PNB General Insurers.
- Cebu Pacific Air has a tie-up with Malayan Insurance for their Travelsure offer.
- Air Asia has their Tune Protect Travel.
Some airlines allow their confirmed passengers to still add travel insurance up to 4 hours before flight departure through their respective manage booking sections.
Now, what if you don’t want to get the travel insurance directly offered by the airline, can you buy elsewhere, like go to another company for your travel insurance? The answer is Yes.
Example: You can go to any SM Business Center and buy travel insurance from them. This mall chain offers Insure ME which stands for Insurance Made Easy. This travel insurance offering is a tie-up among The SM Stores, BDO Insurance Brokers, Inc., and Pioneer Insurance.
You can also go to your trusted travel agency and secure your travel insurance from them.
Other popular insurance companies for travel insurance includes Blue Cross (Pacific Cross) Travel Safe, BPI and their Travel Care Insurance, AXA Philippines Smart Traveller product, and many more options in the insurance market. *You can also buy discounted travel insurance rates during travel expos and events.
*Some insurance companies offer their travel insurance products via online buying like AXA Philippines.
TRAVEL INSURANCE BENEFITS
The travel insurance policies vary between a single trip and multiple trips for a set period of time. You can say that you are already covered for accidents in your Life Insurance Plan, but there are other coverages a Travel Insurance provides that the former cannot supply.
The usual major coverage that a travel insurance can provide you with are: Expenses for Medical Treatments, Cancellation of Trip, Delayed and/or Missing Luggage, Accidents and any other incidences that can incur you a loss on the specified travel.
The policies in your insurance for travel can have either a low or high coverage rate for medical expenses, and this is depending on your destination, like in the case of western countries like the US where medical bills are extremely high. Also, the exact coverage per travel insurance will depend on the conditions mentioned or included in the policy.
However, to give you an overview here is a concise rundown of what you can expect in most travel insurance plans. **Plans differs so make sure to read all the fine prints about the policy you will be taking.
Medical Expense Coverage
This is in case of accidents, injuries, sickness and the like. This usually covers a service that will arrange your transportation to the nearest medical facility where you are. So, in case for example you are in Tokyo, Japan, enjoying the rich Japanese culture, and while roaming the streets you accidentally get hit-and-run by a reckless driver, you can count on the medical expense coverage in your travel insurance to cover the major expenses.
Cancellation and Delay Coverage
A lot of instances may be considered under cancellation of a trip. In case of a complete cancellation of the travel or for trips cut short, the traveller can avail of the cancellation coverage of the travel insurance. Again, this is all depending on what is stipulated and included in the policy, as well as conditions and exceptions. The traveller will be entitled to a coverage of all unused costs for the travel, accommodations, charges that are prepaid and additional costs to the travel.
Some of the main examples that can cause a cancellation of a trip are death of a traveller, death or grave illness in the immediate family of the traveller, government prohibition against the destination in cases of calamity or security reasons, call to duty for people in law enforcement, hijacking, and the like.
Let’s say, Julia already has a booked trip to Europe 2 weeks ahead of time and a death in her immediate family occurred the week prior to the trip, and the travel insurance she bought includes coverage for this contingency, then her prepaid expenses for this trip will be covered. However, if Julia is already in Europe and she is informed of the death in the family and her trip is cut short, what will be covered are the unused expenses.
Delays, on the other hand, if say during the time in which a flight is delayed or postponed because of aircraft maintenance reasons on the part of the airline, rescheduling and delayed flights because of extreme weather conditions, are good examples where the travel insurance can cover the expenses.
Simply put, if for example Ben’s flight to Korea was delayed or cancelled due to a severe weather forecast, if he availed of travel insurance prior to the weather development, the insurance company will cover the additional expenses for the re-booking and all other fees that may be incurred pertaining to that flight. Some plans even covers reimbursement for hotels already booked in conjunction with the trip.
Another common instance that is usually part of the coverage is cases in which luggage/s may be delayed due to getting misplaced. It also includes lost and damaged luggage/s. So, in the event that your luggage is delayed and you have several things in it that you would need for a particular function, the coverage in the travel insurance will include the expenses to replace those items.
The above examples are general and frequent instances a traveller may encounter. You can check out travel insurance plans online by searching for providers in your area. This is also being sold by airlines, cruise lines and travel agencies.
A travel insurance policy can cover more than one instance of a loss that you may incur in your travel. Again, you may think that this could just end up as an additional expense, but if you would think to reconsider, this isn’t really money lost. This is protection for you against any financial loss you may encounter prior to or during the travel.
TRAVEL INSURANCE RATES in the PHILIPPINES
Let’s have concrete example from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air coverage for their basic travel insurance and the rates.
Cebu Pacific Air Travel Insurance Plan Coverage and Rate
The Basic Protection offered by Cebu Pacific TravelSure gives you these benefits:
- Trip Cancellation curtailment up to P50,000
- Loss of Baggage up to P50,000
- Personal accident insurance up to PHP1,000,000
- Medical Expenses (Accident and Sickness) coverage is applicable to round-trip tickets only.
Then, you can upgrade the basic protection to include Baggage Protect, Fly Me Next, Year-Round Protect.
*Full coverage details from Cebu Pacific / Malayan Insurance.
How much is a BASIC PROTECTION coverage of Cebu Pacific? Depends on the destination and if one-way or round trip. We tested for round trip Manila to Taipei to Manila flight and the cost of travel insurance in Cebu Pac is P400 per passenger for Basic Protection. While their Fly Me Next offer travel insurance rate cost P800.
We also tested for one-way Manila to Taipei Basic Protect fee is P300, while Fly Me Next fee is P500.
Philippine Airlines Travel Insurance Plan Coverage and Rate
PAL Travel Insurance gives you the following benefits, subject to the full terms and conditions of the Group Policy covering their plans.
Coverage for medical expenses due to accident or sickness during your trip.
24-Hour Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance
Protection for non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is cancelled
Payment for delayed flights and for lost or damaged baggage
Travel accident protection
What is the rate for Philippine Airlines insurance coverage? This depends on your destination and if you want coverage for one-way flight or round trip. 1Pisofare team tested for a round trip flight and vacation in an Asian destination for January 2018, the cost of travel insurance from PAL is $22, about P1,123.
See what the plan covers here:
Again, let us reiterate, different plans, different coverage. Ka Piso Fare Friends, please make sure to read all details before you pay for your travel insurance.
If you need to ask whether it is really important to include travel insurance on your future trips, the immediate answer is yes. “You Only Live Once”, as most travellers would agree, so you might as well travel carefree.
Get a travel insurance for your next flights.
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