Thursday, November 4, 2010

8 Travel Insurance Benefits

After my travel mishap yesterday, I made it a point to consult our family insurance expert, Mr. John Suedad. A comprehensive travel insurance provides medical reimbursement, personal accident benefit, reimbursement or replacement of lost baggage, travel and communication costs in obtaining lost travel documents and even personal liability of up to 6 months. Traveling longer? There is also a plan for annual coverage but it’s a little steep.

Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Let’s have a look at the products of one of the leading insurance companies: Chartis. Individuals up to 70 years old can apply for travel insurance. For those traveling with children, 1 to 18 years old, they are also protected with the same benefits as the insured except for the Personal Accident Benefit where they can get 50% of Php1M. Chartis, in particular, offers these benefits:

1.      Medical reimbursement for hospital confinement and medicine including professional fees, ambulance service and examination tests during your trip.

Though, you have to note that pre-existing conditions that occurred 6 months prior to your policy date do not qualify for this benefit. I suggest you get a health insurance recognized overseas to cover pre-existing conditions. You will be shocked to know that most overseas hospitals charge higher than tertiary hospitals in the Philippines. So, its best to prepare before you leave.

2.      Personal Accident lump-sum benefit for death and disablement. If in case of death, the insurer will shoulder Mortician services and transporting remains back to your place of origin. Without someone to facilitate your remains, it may take some time and a lot of paperchase for relatives to get your remains home.

3. If insured is hospitalized for more than 5 days, Chartis arranges and pays for transportation and accommodation of an adult family member to attend to your needs or accompany minor children you are traveling with.

Mr Suedad adds that the adult relative is given allowance for food and transportation together with the hotel and air fare.

4.      Medical evacuation to arrange for your transfer to another medical facility or return you to the Philippines.
You may need special care that the nearest hospital do not have. Thus, you will be transported to a facility that can best accommodate your needs. 

5.      Reimbursement or replacement of lost baggage due to theft or checked-in baggage is delayed for at least 12 hours. It covers damage to baggage due to hotel or aircraft personnel’s negligence. It even reimburses travel, accommodation, and communication costs in replacing travel documents that have been lost during the trip.

6.   If flight is delayed for more than 12 hours due to weather conditions, aircraft problem or airline strike, the insured will be reimbursed of all related expenses.
Flight delays and lost baggage are not uncommon in interconnecting flights. That’s why international airports now have 24-hour restaurants and benches where you can rest while you wait. But it’s neither safe nor relaxing to spend 12 hours (not even 6 hours!) at the airport.

I remember waiting around 18 hours in a bus station for an All Saints Day | All Souls Day trip with my parents when I was young. Apparently, the transport line did not have enough buses to cater to the overwhelming number of travelers for this occasion. Even if we had booked our tickets earlier, we had to wait for buses to return. It was such a headache. We never went out-of-town on those days after that nightmare.

7.      Reimbursement of travel fare and/or accommodation (if not refundable) if trip is cancelled or terminated due to death, serious injury or sickness of insured’s spouse, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, child, siblings, business partner or co-director. Unexpected civilian commotion or riots at destination can also qualify for reimbursement if trip is cancelled 30 days before departure.

8.   Protects you from legal liability for damage to property or injury to third parties due to your negligence.
I suffered a severe headache from my misadventure at the Terminal 3 Airport yesterday. But I am looking forward to my next trip. This time I will plan ahead and get travel insurance.

Disclaimer: The benefits outlined herein are general descriptions only and do not constitute details of a contract. Maximum benefits vary from Php1M to Php2.5M. You may reach Mr John Suedad via e-mail: jaaasuedad@yahoo.com or you can refer to Chartis for more information.



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Travel Insurance Policy

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