10 Best Travel Insurance Companies & Plans in the Philippines

Last Updated on – Mar 3, 2020 @ 7:41 pm

He finally pulled it off—a quick weekend getaway in Kuala Lumpur to give his frayed nerves the much-needed rest they deserve.

Exploring the majestic rock formation inside Batu Caves was the first item in his itinerary. As he was climbing up the steps of this popular Malaysian destination, he notices the monkeys roaming around.

He goes near one to tries to pet it. As he reaches for its head, the monkey jumps, grabs his hand and bites it.

Ouch!

After wiping off the blood from his palm, he looks for a guide who takes him to the nearest hospital for a rabies shot. He was advised to take antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and pain medicine for the next few days.

Doctors told him he had nothing to worry, he can continue on with his trip the same day.

But even if his trip was off to a bad start, he was still thankful for one thing:

His travel insurance paid for all medical expenses.

Who was the guy? Dunno, really.

But it was an actual testimonial posted by one of the customers of a travel insurance company which we’ll check out later.

The lesson?

Don’t touch ‘em monkeys.

Also, travel insurance is valuable whenever these kinds of things happen.

Because while we’re all hopeful that the trip will go smoothly and according to plan, sometimes, sh*t happens.

And it’s not only tourist-biting monkeys were talking about here.

Travel insurance can also provide protection for your gear/belongings, pay for trip cancellations, problems with baggage, emergency medical situations, and more.

So read on to learn everything you need to know about travel insurance. It’s a small price to pay to get protection and peace of mind for your whole trip.

Related: 79 Visa-Free Countries (+eVisa & VOA) for Philippine Passport Holders

What is a Travel Insurance?

It’s a contract or arrangement with an insurer to guarantee some form of compensation for a specified loss, illness, accident, damage, interruption, and others during your travels.

Put simply, it provides you with coverage for unexpected situations whether traveling domestically or abroad.

How Travel Insurance works?

Like regular insurance, it works by paying a fee to buy a policy. The policy is essentially the contract that states the types of reimbursements or refunds that your insurance can pay for.

For example, say you have a business trip to Spain. Three days before your flight, you experience chest pains and decide to get a checked by a doctor. He concludes that you contracted pneumonia through some form of bacteria.

You were advised to cancel the trip. Will you get reimbursed for travel expenses you already paid like tickets and accommodation?

Yes—if you have travel insurance.

Depending on the type of policy you purchased, expenses incurred for the trip will be reimbursed by your insurance company.

What does a Travel Insurance Cover?

Travel insurance can reimburse you on the following expenses:

  • Canceled trips
  • Medical emergencies
  • Lost baggage
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Legal costs (for unexpected incidents you didn’t cause)
  • Protection of property (gear and possessions) and more.

Types of Travel insurance

While you’ll see different types of travel insurance policies out there, the two main types are Vacation Plan and Travel Medical Plan.

1. Vacation Plan Insurance

This type of travel insurance is considered to be the widest in terms of coverage. Most sub-types fall under this category. Package plan, trip cancellation, trip insurance, and the generic, “travel insurance” are considered as types of vacation plan insurance.

What coverage does vacation plan insurance provide? Here are some of the most common items covered:

  • Interrupted/Cancelled Trips
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Lost/Delayed Baggage
  • Gear protection
  • 24/7 Assistance

You’ll notice that medical emergencies are still included under Vacation Plan insurance. This is because some all-in-one policies also include it on the coverage.

However, if you only seek to have medical coverage when traveling and feel like you won’t need the rest, then the next type of travel insurance is what you should get.

2. Travel Medical Plan

Your health insurance provider usually provides only partial or zero coverage when traveling.

A travel medical plan ensures you have adequate medical assistance should the need arise when you’re away from your home country.

  • Medical Expenses
  • Emergency Evacuations

Why you need Travel Insurance?

The answer will vary from one person to another. Essentially, however, you’re paying for peace of mind. It’s protection for your pockets.

Same reason why you get a car insurance or life insurance: It helps sidestep any headaches caused by unforeseen expenses during your travels.

Think about it: Say the guy who got bit with the monkey earlier didn’t have insurance. He’ll be forced to shell out money from his own pockets to pay for the medical expenses.

That could have affected his budget for the trip, forcing him to cancel some of the items on his itinerary to make up for the expense.

Or maybe someone fell ill back home and you need to go back ASAP. With the right travel insurance, you can reimburse the fees you paid and get back home without worrying about “wasting” what you paid for.

The same applies if your destination country is suddenly reported to experience some form of weather disturbance or natural calamities (typhoons/hurricanes/earthquakes) and you are forced to bail out. Travel insurance keeps you compensated for the expenses you already paid for.

Also Useful: How to Get a Philippine Passport: DFA Online Appointment & Requirements

How much does a Travel Insurance cost?

It varies. Most will fall within the range of Php 500 to Php 3000 for a single trip (4 days to a week, based on the estimated quotes provided by each insurer. More on this later).

There are several factors that affect how much your quote will be.

These are age, type of activities you’ll do during your travel, level of coverage, destination country, length of travel, medical conditions, and others.

To give you an idea of how much travel insurance costs, I’ve pulled up some sample quotes from GoBear (a comparison website).

For travel insurance packages for trips to Asian countries (single trip):

Price range: Anywhere from Php 400 to Php 800

For travel insurance packages to other countries/worldwide (single trip):

Price range: Anywhere from Php 500 to Php 3000

Best Travel Insurance Companies for Filipinos Traveling Abroad

We’ve compiled a list of travel insurance companies currently offering various policies depending on your needs. Read on to compare, you might find this useful on your next travel abroad.

Note: Please make sure to visit each insurer’s official website to get up-to-date rates. Policy coverage shown here may vary from the insurer’s product page depending on the type of plan you will avail of.

1. World Nomads

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: $38 for Standard Plan; $42 for Explorer Plan

World Nomads Pty Ltd is a travel insurance company based in Sydney, Australia. It was founded in 1999 and has been a go-to insurance provider for most independent (and adventurous) travelers worldwide.

Policy coverage:

They provide emergency medical support, evacuation assistance, trip cancellation, and even include coverage for adventure sports and activities (which is not usually provided by other insurance companies).

If you check their site, you’ll see that they offer a myriad of insurance features that the more “Active” nomads will find useful. These include the following:

  • Pain relieving dental treatment                     
  • Prescribed medicines by a doctor or specialist                     
  • Daily emergency cash allowance in hospital                     
  • Hospitalization or treatment by a doctor or specialist                     
  • Physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment                     
  • Treatment by acupuncture or osteopath                     
  • Counseling after an assault or mugging                     
  • Sports & adventure activities                     
  • Study, work and volunteer
 

2. AXA iON – Smart Traveler

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 990 (Essential Plan)

AXA iON is AXA Philippines’ travel insurance service. They have a pretty comprehensive list of options which includes the following:

Policy Coverage:

  • Personal accident
  • Medical Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Travel Inconveniences
  • Personal Belongings
  • Other Benefits (Personal liability, hijacking, kidnapping, funeral and burial expenses)
Apply Online

3. AIG Travel Guard

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 400 (1 to 4 days)

AIG is a global insurance company that has been around for decades, catering to businesses, institutions, and individuals worldwide. One of their products is AIG Travel Guard, which is focused on providing insurance solutions to traveling individuals.

Policy coverage:

  • Medical expense
  • Medical evacuation
  • Repatriation expense
  • Personal accident
  • Child Guard
  • Compassionate visit
  • Baggage delay
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip termination
  • Baggage and personal effects
  • Flight delay
  • Loss of travel documents
  • Personal liability
Apply Online

4. Fortune General

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 900 (1 week)

Fortune General (FGen), has revamped its travel insurance services to include more features. They provide insurance for people traveling to Asia, Schengen (Europe), and to the rest of the world.

Policy coverage:

  • 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
Apply Online

5. Pacific Cross

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 500 (Executive Peso Plan)

Pacific Cross is a medical, accident, and travel insurance service provider. It was founded in the Philippines and now operates across various branches across Asia.

Their market focus is on ASEAN countries, providing insurance products to residents in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

Policy Coverage:

  • In-patient and Out-Patient care
  • Emergency dental treatment
  • Emergency room availment and in-patient reimbursement for pre-existing conditions
  • Recreational activities
  • Recreational extreme sports
  • Implants coverage necessitated by a covered accident
  • Hospital income
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Personal accident
  • Personal liability
  • Land vehicle rental excess protection
  • Baggage delay
Apply Online

6. Malayan Travel Master

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 375 (4 days in ASEAN)

Malaysian Travel Master touts itself as “The most comprehensive international travel health insurance in the Philippines”. They offer competitive pricing on their packages and caters to both local and international travels.

Policy coverage:

  • Personal Accident
  • Emergency medical treatment (excluding pre-existing conditions)
  • Personal liability
  • Recovery of travel expenses
  • Travel inconvenience benefits
  • Travel assistance benefits
  • Value-added features
Apply Online

7. MAPFRE Philippines

Service coverage: Worldwide
Get a quote: Contact MAPFRE at teleservice@mapfreinsular.com

MAPFRE Insular offers non-life insurance packages which are mainly focused on motor vehicles and other niche areas like engineering, marine cargo, fire, and allied lines, surety and microinsurance.

They currently offer a Travel Insurance package for both international and domestic use.

Policy coverage:

  • Medical expenses and hospitalization benefits
  • Baggage delay
  • Trip cancellation and curtailment benefit
  • Personal liability
  • Accidental death and permanent disability of insured
  • Repatriation of mortal remains
Apply Online

8. FPG Insurance

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 450 (Classic Plan – 4 days)

Operating under the Zuellig Group of Companies, FPG Travel is the company’s insurance offering for individuals who need protection during their travels.

Policy coverage:

  • Personal accident
  • Medical treatment/expenses
  • Emergency dental care
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Return of a family member when traveling with the insured
  • Trip cancellation and curtailment
  • Delayed departure
  • Missed connecting flight
  • Loss of travel documents and money
  • Personal liability
  • Luggage delay
Apply Online

9. Standard Insurance

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 495 (Asia Protect Peso – 8 days)

Standard Insurance offers both ASEAN and International travel insurance packages. They offer competitive rates for as little as Php 500 for a coverage of up to Php 500,000 (ASEAN).

Policy coverage:

  • Emergency Medical Assistance
  • Emergency Travel Assistance
  • Travel Inconvenience Benefits
  • Personal Liability Benefit
  • Personal Accident Liability
Apply Online

10. Pioneer Insurance

Service coverage: Worldwide
Prices start at: Php 399 (ASEAN 4 days)

Pioneer Life Inc was established in 1964 and is currently 100% Filipino-owned after the joint venture with Allianz AG of Germany in 2003.

Policy Coverage:

  • Emergency trip cancellation and termination
  • Flight delay
  • Missed connecting flight
  • Hijack
  • Baggage, personal effects, and money benefits
    • Baggage delay
    • Damage to baggage
    • Loss of baggage
    • Loss of personal money
    • Loss of Travel documents
Apply Online

5 Tips for Buying the Best Travel Insurance

Tip #1: Determine what type of insurance you need

Before choosing a travel insurance, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of activities will I be doing on the trip?
  • Will I be carrying valuable possessions or baggage?
  • Is there a chance or reason for the trip to get canceled?
  • How much am I willing to pay for insurance?
  • Does this company have a decent track record?

And other similar questions. The goal is to have a nice checklist that ticks off everything you think you’ll need for the trip.

For example, say you’re a professional photographer. You’ll be traveling to Europe for a paid assignment. Since you’ll be carrying valuable (read: expensive) gear, it’s crucial that the travel insurance you get prioritizes coverage for possessions and/or baggage-related assistance.

Tip #2: Make sure it has sufficient medical coverage

Seasoned travelers will tell you that the most expensive potential money drain (if you don’t have travel insurance) are medical-related. Accidents and injuries can range from minor to serious, easily costing you thousands of pesos from your own pocket.

A good travel insurance policy should be big enough to cover both minor and major medical issues.

Also, try to get one that has separate coverage for emergency evacuation. Since you’ll be getting insurance anyway, better get the best one you can afford.

Having the option to have a helicopter fly you off to the nearest hospital during a medical emergency (during your travels to hard-to-reach locations)  or natural disaster/calamity is highly valuable and could spell the difference between life or death.

Tip #3: As with any agreements or contracts, you should always check the fine print.

Two companies might offer similar-looking plans but the other is cheaper.

What’s the deal?

Almost always, you’ll know it by reading the fine print carefully. One might be cheaper, but with it comes a slower and more painful claims process.

The speed of getting your claims can make or break a trip, so better be careful in choosing your insurance so you won’t regret it later.

Tip #4: Take advantage of your credit card perks

Most credit card companies include travel insurance as one of the perks for their travel-focused credit cards. It’s part of their “Frequent Traveler’s” package and it can prove valuable for saving yourself a couple of hundred to a few thousand pesos for travel insurance.

Check out our list for best credit cards for travel to know more which ones provide free travel insurance.

Tip #5: Know what’s not included in your policy

Again, this goes along with doing your homework as you decide on which travel insurance company to go with.

What’s not usually covered:

  • Extreme adventure activities (though some insurers provide packages for these types of activities)
  • Alcohol and drug-related incidents
  • Baggage/luggage issues due to the carelessness of policyholder
  • Pre-existing conditions (double-check with the insurer)

Bonus tip: Purchase travel insurance at least 2 days before your trip.

Most policies get activated within 24-48 hours within approval. You don’t want to head out without adequate protection activated yet. Be safe, apply and get approved early.

Check with the insurer to confirm the exact date of when the insurance will apply.

How to claim your Travel Insurance

It’s quite easy, actually. You just need to contact your insurer via their preferred method.

They will then ask you to submit the required documents to serve as proof of the validity of the claim.

In general, it’s a good idea to provide as much documentation as you can so as to avoid any further delay brought about by insufficient requirements.

Always check with your insurance provider what they will need exactly to approve your claim as it may vary from one insurer to another.

Required documents for claiming travel insurance due to trip cancellation:

  • Documentation supporting the reason why you need/had to cancel the trip
  • Invoice of trip expenses which may include the details (what, when, where) of the trip itself, airline tickets, room or hotel accommodation receipts
  • Receipts and itemized bills for all trip expenses
  • Physician’s statement (for medical-related incidents)
  • Police reports (for stolen baggage or vehicular accidents)
  • Unused tickets

In conclusion:

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

Travel insurance is one of those things that you need but hope you’ll never need to use. That’s just the way insurance works. Should you do, however, you’ll be thankful you have it.

Remember: Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. A few hundred pesos for travel insurance is a tiny price to pay for protection from potentially massive expense later. Save yourself from this trouble and get adequate protection.

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About Amiel Pineda

Amiel is the lead business & finance columnist of Grit PH. He escaped from the shackles of BPO life and now pursues his dream of writing full time. He shares his best tips and insights for aspiring homebased workers and freelancers on his site: Homebased Pinoy

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Comments

  1. Gio Bacareza says

    Hi Amiel, thanks for this. When World Nomads stopped supporting Filipino travelers early this year, we had to search for alternatives which are not as good as what World Nomads offered. This is really helpful. I just have some follow up questions:
    1. Are these the “best” or “the only” providers offering travel insurance to Filipinos?
    2. If the best, what was your criteria for saying that?
    3. Is your list ranked from best to worst among the list of the best?
    4. What then in your opinion is the best among these and why?
    Thanks. Gio

  2. Laarni says

    Do you know any travel insurance companies that offer insurance to travelers aged 70+? It seems like all of them stops at 70 year olds 😭

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