Compare travel insurance for the Philippines

With 7,107 islands to choose from – plus the buzzing capital of Manila – the Philippines offers lots of opportunity for travellers. No wonder thousands of Brits visit this remarkable archipelago in a typical year.

If you’re all set to be one of them, here’s what you should know about getting the best travel insurance for your holiday.

With 7,107 islands to choose from – plus the buzzing capital of Manila – the Philippines offers lots of opportunity for travellers. No wonder thousands of Brits visit this remarkable archipelago in a typical year.

If you’re all set to be one of them, here’s what you should know about getting the best travel insurance for your holiday.

Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
5
minute read
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Last Updated 20 DECEMBER 2022

Do I need travel insurance for the Philippines?

It’s not compulsory but it’s wise. Private hospital treatment is expensive in the Philippines. Without a travel policy that covers the cost of emergency medical treatment, you could face a medical bill of thousands of pounds if you’re sick while away – far more if you or a family member needs to be flown home sharpish. Travel insurance can also give you financial protection if your belongings are lost or stolen, or your trip is cancelled – before you leave or even if you’re halfway through.

How much is travel insurance for the Philippines?

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the Philippines, you’ll need a worldwide travel insurance policy. 

The cost of your policy will depend on:

  • The level of cover you need and why
  • Activities you’ll be doing during your trip
  • If you have a pre-existing condition
  • How long you’ll be staying.

Types of travel insurance, including the level of cover and financial limits, can vary among insurance providers. It’s always worth comparing to be sure you’re getting the best value cover for the features you need, without paying for those you don’t.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean any claim you make is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

What should my travel insurance policy include for the Philippines?

Look for an insurance policy that will cover:

  • Emergency medical care – necessary medical treatment that can’t wait until you’re back in the UK. It should also cover repatriation to the UK if medically necessary. Look for a policy that offers at least £2 million of cover outside Europe for emergency medical assistance and repatriation. Yes, £2 million…
  • Cancelling or cutting short your trip – if you have a valid reason to cancel or curtail your trip, maybe you’re ill and can’t go, for example, you may be able to recoup some of the costs. Make sure your trip cancellation cover is high enough to meet the full cost of your trip.
  • Baggage insurance – can protect your personal belongings if they’re lost, stolen or damaged. Check the single item limit – the maximum your insurance provider will pay out for one item – if you’re taking expensive items with you.
  • Flight delays, cancellation and missed departures – cover if your flight is delayed or cancelled. Check your policy to see what circumstances are covered. Keep all your receipts, a record of events and any communication from either your insurance or travel provider if you do get delayed. You might need them when you make a claim.
  • Cover for COVID-19 pandemic - you can check the level of COVID-19 cover a policy offers when you get a quote with us. Just use the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page.

What won’t travel insurance for the Philippines cover?

Standard travel insurance won’t typically include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – unless they’ve been declared to your insurance provider and they’ve agreed to cover them (usually at an extra cost).
  • Drugs and alcohol – you won’t be covered for any injuries or accidents that happen while you’re under the influence. In other words, if you’ve had a few too many at an all-night beach party and fall down steps at your hotel, you’re probably on your own…
  • High-risk sports and activities – you’ll typically need to pay extra for more adventurous activities like caving, diving and paragliding. 
  • Natural disasters – the Philippines is affected by around 20 typhoons a year. The archipelago is also an active earthquake zone with numerous volcanoes. Compare policies as some won’t offer cover for natural disasters. 
  • Travelling against FCDO advice – most insurance providers look to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to decide where’s safe and where’s not. If the FCDO says to stay away, your insurance provider won’t be prepared to help if you decide you know better. The FCDO recently advised against travel to certain parts of the Philippines due to unrest and terrorist activity. But the situation, and the FCDO advice, evolves every day. Check the latest advice regularly in the run up to and during your stay if you’re moving around. To be very clear, your travel insurance won’t cover you if you go to areas you’re told not to. 

What else should I consider when I choose my travel insurance?

On a more pleasant note, think about the activities you have planned during your stay in the Philippines. If you’re intending to do little more than strolling along one of the country’s many beaches, then basic travel insurance should offer the cover you need. But if you’re planning on scuba diving, surfing or wakeboarding, you’ll probably need to think about extra water sports cover. 

The Philippines is a tropical paradise for those who love adventure. You might go canyoneering in Cebu, for example, or white water rafting on the Chico river. You could swim with whale sharks in Donsol or Oslob, or Hike Mount Pulag. For these, you’ll probably need extreme sports cover, designed for more daring activities.

Did you know?

The Habal-Habal – a modified motorbike that can carry five or six passengers or sometimes more – is a common sight throughout the Philippines. Basically, you flag down the driver then clamber on behind them. Don’t be tempted, though. They may be cheaper than a taxi but they’re dangerous too. Your travel insurance probably won’t cover you if anything were to happen while riding one.

Do I need a visa for the Philippines?

Brits can visit the Philippines for up to 30 days without a visa. If you intend to stay for any longer, you’ll need to get an extension visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel. UK passport holders also need at least six months of validity on their passport on entering the Philippines.

More details about the entry requirements for the Philippines can be found on the GOV.UK website including rules on COVID-19 vaccines and testing.

Any other travel tips for the Philippines?

  • Vaccinations - visit your doctor four to eight weeks before your trip. You might be advised to get some non-COVID vaccines, most of which should be free on the NHS, such as hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid.
  • Climate - the Philippines has a tropical climate, so most of the time it’s hot and humid. Weather-wise, the best time to go is between January and May. Avoid typhoon season, which is usually between June and November. 
  • Time differences - the country is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
  • Tipping - isn’t generally expected, so restaurant staff aren’t likely to be offended if you choose not to leave a tip.
  • Pickpockets are common in crowded, touristy areas. If you’re on a busy street, visiting the markets or travelling on public transport, always put your wallet and valuables in your front pockets. If you carry a backpack, it’s safer to hold it in front of you, against your chest – not slung over your shoulder. 

Is healthcare free in the Philippines?

No, while all Filipino residents are provided with free healthcare, that doesn’t apply to tourists. Because of this, it’s really important you buy travel insurance that covers medical expenses. That way, you’ll have peace of mind and won’t risk being out of pocket in the event of a medical emergency.

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