13 January 2021

SafetyWing Review: Why it’s the Best International Travel Medical Insurance for Filipinos

SafetyWing Review: Why it’s the Best International Travel Medical Insurance for Filipinos

We, Filipinos, have a weak passport, we can get offloaded when an immigration officer decides to. We have local banks that charges exorbitant fees for international transactions.

I can put up with these during my travels but I can’t risk leaving the country without an insurance.

Before I started my long term and indefinite trip, I thoroughly researched for the most affordable travel insurance. There were several options, however, almost all of them require me to be back in the Philippines after 3 months to renew my contract.

That was the most impractical rule a travel insurance can give to a long term traveler. If I go through that option, I have to buy plane tickets to return home just to pay for my insurance.

There was only one travel insurance that I can renew even when I’m outside of the Philippines. Only one!

SafetyWing

Thank goodness for SafetyWing, I was able to pursue my life long dream to travel long term.

I’m a responsible and safe traveler but that’s not guarantee that nothing will happen to me. There can be irresponsible people around you and accidents do happen.

However, these uncertainties shouldn’t stop one from traveling. Having a travel insurance gives you that peace of mind that if something happens, you will not go broke overnight.

Why You Should Get a Travel Insurance

I know a lot of Filipinos travel without insurance due to budget reasons and this is just the most unwise action, or inaction, when going out of the country.

Even if you have an HMO paid for by your employer in the Philippines, this will not cover travel-related emergencies, especially abroad.

A few years ago, an unfortunate accident happened to a Filipino couple in Maldives. They drowned and died. The family asked the government and people to help them get the bodies back to the Philippines. Some people where sympathetic but some did not tolerate this because the family would not have to ask for everyone’s help if they had insurance.

An insurance protects not only your money but also your family’s money. In the Philippines, it’s very common for family and relatives to help if someone gets into an accident.

Let them enjoy their hard earned money and not be used in case something happens to you.

Why SafetyWing is my Choice

1) You can apply anywhere in the world

As I have initially stated, most travel insurance requires you to be in the Philippines during the time of application. I have inquired with almost every insurance company that accepts Filipinos and most of them have this unreasonable policy.

The best thing about SafetyWing is that you can apply  for an insurance even if you're already out of the country.

2) Affordable

At $40 per 28 days, it is one of the most affordable travel medical insurance. That's less than a dollar and 50 cents per day! 

Note that this price increases after a certain age range.

3) Covers COVID19 and Political Evacuation

Nowadays, this is a must that even the Philippine Immigration requires (per IATF resolution) if your travel is non-essential. This is covered as long as you did not contract the virus before your start date.

If you had to travel during the pandemic, you have to consider lockdowns and travel bans. There can be cases wherein your flight can be considered a political evacuation.

This happened to me when I was stranded in India on March 2020. I had the option to reimburse my repatriation flight with them. I didn't get to use this though as the Philippine government repatriated me via military ship, which is an amazing experience by the way.

4) Real Time Chat Support

If you have any questions, you just need to head over their website and chat away. You will be receiving an answer within minutes.

SafetyWing Pros

Too Good to be True? There Must Be Cons

Yes, with all honesty there are some disadvantages with SafetyWing such as...

1) $250 Deductible

Keep in mind that there is a $250 deductible. This means that you will only get reimbursed after your medical bill exceeds this amount. This amount is per year, still better than other insurances where the deductible is per claim.

I just personally find claiming for the amount less than this a hassle. While I was in Laos, I got bitten by a dog and had to go through four anti-rabies shots at different clinics and countries. The total amount for the shots was less than $100 but I still I had to submit all these documents so it gets counted towards the $250 deductible.

2) Over 69 years old are not covered

I know a lot of Filipinos travel with their family and I have friends who gift their senior parents with a trip abroad. Unfortunately, they do not cover travelers over 69 years of age.

This is a sad fact in any insurance. The older you get, the more likely you are to claim for medical bills. There are other insurances that offer an insurance but for a high price tag.

SafetyWing for Schengen Visa Application

A common question I get is what insurance provider to get for their Schengen visa application. SafetyWing is recognized by Schengen embassies so yes you can submit this for your visa application.

I know of several Schengen visa applicants (specifically to Germany) who got approved and this was the insurance that they provided.