By Rienzie P. Biolena, RFP®
It’s More Fun in the Philippines.
This is the latest slogan of the Department of Tourism to market our country. It encourages people — both Filipinos and foreigners — to explore the different tourist destinations in the country: among them pristine beaches, underground rivers, grandiose caves, and explosive festivities. On top of that, the rise of budget fares and trips in our country have also enabled Filipino travelers to afford going into international destinations such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia among others.
Travelling is such wonderful experience and expands one’s mind but, as one travels, some things can invariably happen: travel termination, travel cancellation, loss of personal money or property, travel delay, or worse, accident and even death. It is unnerving; thinking that these may happen during our travel, but these risks surely follow a person as his shadow. That is why a person should be adequately protected at all times and hence, insurance.
But, when people talk about insurance, the usual products that come into mind are life, accident, variable unit life (or more popularly known as VUL), and term insurance. But there is one type of insurance that is one of the least known or given attention to, if at all–and that is, Travel Insurance.
Travel insurance specializes in giving protection and mitigating other risks specifically for people while travelling: whether it is a business trip, vacation, out of town trip, short-term studies abroad, conferences, or even excursions. It covers local and international travels, thereby having a wider reach than an ordinary local accident insurance, and can insure persons between six weeks to 75 years old.
Aside from Filipinos, some travel insurance products in the market can also cover for those who are inbound travellers to the Philippines, non- Philippine residents or expatriates travelling to the Philippines only, and even non-Philippine residents or expatriates whose travel include the Philippines in their trip itinerary.
The basic travel insurance covers for accidental death, dismemberment, and disabilities that arise or may arise from accidents during the trip, and also provides for hospital income and accidental medical expense reimbursement. It can be availed of on a per trip basis, covering between 3 to 180 days; or, if a person is a frequent traveller, an annual package can be availed for an unlimited number of trips per year, provided that each trip will not exceed 60 days.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended for those people whose job requires travelling like going to conferences and seminars, for those who simply love to travel at all, or for those persons who simply want to have that extra layer of protection while on the go. Statistically speaking, the chances of a person having an accident is higher than that of death—we only die once, but we can be involved in numerous accidents during our lifetime. Hence, coverage thru travel insurance would definitely be a must-have.
But aside from the basic coverage, travel insurance may also cover and include for the inconveniences that a traveller might experience such as:
- Journey/travel termination,
- Journey/travel cancellation,
- Loss or damage of personal baggage/property,
- Personal Liability,
- Baggage Delay,
- Loss of Personal Money,
- Loss of Travel Documents,
- Flight Delay,
- Travel Delay,
- Missed Connecting Flight, and
- Strikes & Hijacks.
More than the other benefits, travel insurance also give additional benefits like Funeral and Burial Expenses and Emergency Assistance Benefits such as: Emergency Medical Evacuation, Emergency Medical Repatriation, Care of Minor, Compassionate Visit and Return of Mortal Remains.
Premiums and Benefits
An individual can get a travel insurance for as low as P22 premium payment, which is good for three days’ travel, and will the basics such as personal death accident coverage of P100,000, personal accident dismemberment coverage, permanent total disability, accident medical reimbursement, and daily in-hospital income.
Of course, as the coverage amount and the number of travel days increases, so does the premium payment. For instance, a premium payment of P5,300 can cover a travel of 60 days, with a corresponding medical treatment benefit of P2.5 million, personal accident coverage at P1.5 million, and personal liability insurance at P1 million, along with the benefits for travel inconveniences and other emergency assistance.
Travel insurance can also be availed of in US Dollars and Euro. For just $22, one can for a four-day, $25,000 medical treatment coverage and $40,000 personal accident coverage, and $140 for a 60-day, $50,000 coverage. Coverage in Euro starts at Eur 19, for a coverage of Eur 30,000.
For the frequent traveller, an annual coverage is more desirable and practical, especially covering unlimited trips in one year. Premiums go for as low as P5,000 for a P1 million coverage for an unlimited number of trips locally, and P8,700 for trips abroad with the same amount of coverage. Dollar premiums, on the other hand, can be had at $270 for local travel and $300 for international travel.
But some travels are never done solo and are more fun with companions—either with family or friends. That’s why some insurance companies offer family packages for a minimum of three persons or a group package for a minimum of 30 people. Family premiums can be availed for as low as P882 for a P750,000 coverage, while group packages as low as P60 good for a P50,000 coverage.
Where to get travel insurance
Travel insurance can be availed through insurance companies, bundled with travel packages and airline fares or attached with mileage plan members. Be sure to check out the details on the websites of insurance companies as well as talk to an account officer or an underwriter for a more detailed discussion of the benefits and plans.
With travel insurance and all its benefits at a very affordable price, there is no reason not to be more secured and have a better peace of mind while travelling. The cost is small compared to the hefty protection and benefit it brings, so people can now say, “It’s More Fun Travelling with Travel Insurance.”
Rienzie P. Biolena, RFP®, is one of the pioneering registered financial planners in the Philippines, having taken up the first RFP Program in 2005. He is a senior financial advisor in a leading asset management company, a former banker, a freelance writer and a resource speaker on personal finance. To learn more about the RFP program, visit www.rfp.ph and a resource speaker on personal finance. To learn more about the RFP program, visit www.rfp.phor inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6342204.