Travel Insurance in the Philippines Guide: Coverage, How to Choose, Tips

Travel Insurance in the Philippines Guide: Coverage, How to Choose, Tips

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Sugba Lagoon, SiargaoThe Philippines, located in Southeast Asia, is home to over 7,000 islands with beaches, mountains, volcanos, waterfalls, caves, and other natural wonders. Because of the unique Philippine geography, there are endless things for visitors to do here. Travelers seeking an adventure can experience island hopping in the Philippines, scuba diving in the Philippines, hiking in the Philippines, and other extreme outdoor activities. Those who want to participate in cultural activities in the Philippines can visit churches, museums, and architectural landmarks in the Philippines.

To make your vacation in the Philippines even more hassle-free, you should consider getting travel insurance for your trip. In this article, we list travel insurance tips to help you understand what to look for when choosing one that is best for your holiday in the Philippines.

What is travel insurance? 

Tourist in the PhilippinesLike other insurance plans, travel insurance is a policy that people purchase to help ease the financial burden they might incur because of specific unforeseeable situations. Travel insurance mainly covers problems that one might experience during traveling, including canceled and delayed flights, loss of baggage, and even injuries and illnesses. 

Travel insurance policies vary. Depending on your travel needs, you may opt to buy a single-trip plan, a multi-trip plan, a family/group plan, and even specific plans, including travel insurance with COVID coverage in the Philippines.

How does travel insurance work?

Couple running on a beach in the PhilippinesThe specifics of a travel insurance depend on the policy that you will purchase, but basically, you purchase a plan from an insurance company, and in return, should you encounter any unforeseen problems during your trip, they will cover part or all of the financial expenses that you need. Some travel insurance companies can also provide the necessary services themselves.

Note that most of the policies require you to settle your bills first, which the insurance company will reimburse you after your claim has been processed and approved. After your policy expires, your other travels will not be covered anymore unless you purchase a new plan.

Why should I get travel insurance? 

Tourist at the Ifugao Rice TerracesIf you’re wondering, “Is travel insurance worth it?” you should consider that all travels are generally unpredictable. No matter how carefully you plan your trip down to the littlest details, it’s difficult to anticipate everything that could go wrong. 

Although travel insurance is usually an optional expense, it can save you a lot of money if you encounter problems during your vacation. To give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your trip better, purchase a travel insurance plan that fits your Philippines itinerary

Do I need travel insurance when going to the Philippines? 

Woman kayaking in El Nido, PalawanTravel insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage from reputable insurance companies used to be part of the Philippine travel requirements set by the national government, but that requirement has been lifted. However, the Department of Tourism still highly encourages inbound travelers to purchase travel insurance that covers their trip to the Philippines.

When is the best time to get travel insurance? 

Friends jumping from boat to the seaThe best time to get travel insurance is as soon as you’ve booked the important details of your trip, like your flights, Philippines hotels, and Philippines tours. This way, should you need to cancel or change your plans any time before your trip, you can file a claim. 

But even if you fail to buy a travel insurance plan early, you can still get one from an insurance company that allows you to purchase one as late as 24 hours before your trip. However, note that travel insurance policies are not retroactive and will only cover the events after the plan is in force. 

What does travel insurance cover? 

Man hiking in the PhilippinesDepending on the specific policy, travel insurance usually covers some if not all of the following incidents:

Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expenses

This covers medical emergencies due to accidents or illnesses. For example, if you accidentally fall over and injure yourself while exploring the many tourist spots of Luzon, you can expect your travel insurance company to cover some if not all of the hospital and medicine expenses.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

This covers non-refundable bookings in the event that you need to cancel your trip before it actually starts due to accidental death, injury, or a serious illness of the insured or an immediate family member. 

If your mother suddenly contracts a serious disease and you have to cancel your entire trip, your travel insurance should be able to reimburse what you already paid for, including flights, hotel bookings, and Philippine tour packages.

Trip Delay Insurance

If your flight or trip gets delayed for reasons beyond your control, you can get compensation depending on how long the delay is. Note that this coverage has a minimum number of hours delay that needs to be met, and a couple of hours’ delay or less is usually not covered. 

For instance, if your flight from Boracay to any of the Philippine Airports is delayed by more than 12 hours due to bad weather, the insurance company will shoulder the cost for additional meals and hotel bookings in the Philippines you need to purchase because of the delay or non-refundable tours to Philippine tourist spots that you missed.

Trip Interruption Travel Insurance

Should you need to cut your trip short due to valid emergencies, your insurance company can help cover the non-refundable deposits, like the Cebu City tours you already paid for, as well as the cost of changing your travel plans, including booking a new last-minute flight.

Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation Travel Insurance

This covers your transportation from a dangerous non-medical situation to a place of safety. Depending on your policy, this can cover natural disasters and civil or political unrest. If, for example, Mount Mayon erupts during your holiday in Albay, your travel insurance company will reimburse you the money you spent to get to a safe place.

Luggage and Personal Property Insurance

A comprehensive travel insurance policy usually covers the loss of your baggage and personal items that got lost, damaged, or were stolen during your travels. For example, if your airline loses your luggage on your way to visit the tourist spots of Mindanao, this will cover the costs of buying new items you’ll need for your trip, including clothes, toiletries, and other travel essentials. Depending on the policy, most travel insurance companies will only cover up to a certain value. 

Adventure and Sports Travel Insurance

This is usually an added benefit to basic travel insurance policies, as injuries sustained from extreme adventures and sports are not included in the basic packages. This is useful for those who want to visit the Philipines and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, jet skiing, or scuba diving. This means that if you get injured while exploring the best diving spots in the Philippines, you’ll receive monetary assistance.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

This coverage is similar to that included in most life insurance policies, but the only difference is that it only covers the duration of your travel. If, while on vacation, you figure in an accident and lose a limb, your sight, your speech, or your hearing, you will be compensated for it financially. In case of accidental death, your chosen beneficiary will receive the benefit. 

Gear and Electronics Cover

When it comes to personal belongings, the most basic travel insurance only covers up to a certain value, usually excluding travel gear like smartphones, cameras, laptops, and drones. If you have this included in your coverage, you will be compensated if any of these items get stolen or lost by your airline or other carriers.

What does travel insurance not cover? 

Tourists scuba diving in the PhilippinesThis will ultimately depend on the policy, but in general, things that are in your control are not covered. So if you miss a flight because you woke up late or if you dropped your camera and damaged it, it won’t be compensated for by the travel insurance company. Does travel insurance cover flight changes? Only if you were forced to change it because of certain situations that should be listed in your policy.

Where to get travel insurance for Philippines vacation? 

Woman on an ATV tour in BicolThere are many travel insurance companies in the Philippines that you can consider when you are looking for where to buy travel insurance in the Philippines. You just need to make sure that these companies are reputable and can cover your travel needs.

Insurance companies like Pacific Cross and AXA have travel insurance policies you can check. If you are traveling to the Philippines via Philippine Airlines, you can purchase Philippine Airlines travel insurance if it’s not already included in the cost of your ticket. You may also ask your Philippine travel agency like Guide to the Philippines for recommendations.

What is the best travel insurance for Philippines vacation?

Woman swinging at Seven Commandos BeachWhen discussing how to choose travel insurance, remember that there is no one general rule for everyone. The best travel insurance for when you tour the Philippines may not be the same for another person, as the policies apt for your travel will depend on where you are going, when your trip will be, and what activities you will be enjoying during your trip. The best insurance policy for your island hopping Boracay in March may look very different from the best plan for your holiday in December going on one of the Bohol countryside tours.

Tips when choosing travel insurance

Tourist posing for a photo

  • Keep in mind that the cheapest travel insurance in the Philippines may not give you the best value for money. Generally, the cheaper the plan, the fewer incidents it covers, so you need to compare policies based on their coverage and not just the price.

  • Is travel insurance refundable? No. After your trip or coverage is over, the policy will be terminated. Remember, you’re paying for peace of mind and security, and not claiming anything from your travel insurance is actually a good thing.

  • If you are a frequent traveler, it might be better for you to consider multi-trip or yearly travel insurance plans, which will cover more travel.

  • Those traveling with several people in their traveling party should inquire about group or family travel insurance in the Philippines to ensure that everyone is protected.

  • You may already be insured without knowing it. Some banks provide basic travel insurance with their credit cards and debit cards. Some airlines also include travel insurance in their airfare.

  • Check the fine print for health exclusions. Most travel insurance policies will not cover pre-existing conditions like asthma or allergies.

Protect yourself while traveling in the Philippines by getting travel insurance

Tourist laying on Daku Island, SiargaoAs much as there are many different ways to travel, there are endless types of travel insurance available for your vacation in the Philippines. There isn’t one travel insurance plan fits all kinds of vacations perfectly, so make sure you research and read the fine print before deciding on what policy to go for so you can have peace of mind during your travels.

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