I will admit it. I am one of the many travelers who never buys travel insurance. Like many I would say, “I don’t need that”.  In general I never really believed in insurance. It’s a non-tangible which, if you you went through life careful… you may never really need. I also always thought that,, if you just saved up all those insurance premiums, you would still have that money when you really need it.

I will need to re-think that thinking.

I have been lucky so far that I have never been in any situation where insurance would have been handy. I have never lost a bag, I have never lost travel documents. I have never been hospitalized while on travel or in any serious accident. But as the most wise Ate Vi has once said “you can never can tell.”

As part of the maiden flight of AirPhilExpress to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Chartis, the travel-insurance provider of AirPhilExpress, sponsored a tour of their response center in Malaysia to give us a glimpse as to what happens in the backend of things.

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It was really quite an eye-opener for me. I never really appreciated the breadth of services travel insurance offers, and of course the “things that could go wrong.” During a trip.

Without going through the whole briefing, I learned a lot about “what could happen” during a trip. We were relayed stories of simple trips gone wrong. From a medical perspective, imagine the costs of having to be hospitalized while away from home.

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While we there, we were introduced to some of the Filipino agents they had on the team that responds to call. Below is Mark. He relayed a story of helping out a family where the eldest son (of just around 22) passed away while studying in the UK and assisting the family from Singapore with their contact in the UK… yet not informing the parents at the brothers’ request.

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Through all of this. The agents need to remain focused on the task at hand. Through emotional situations, their role is assist the families get through these tough times. It is really quite an impressive setup.

The take-away from this, with regards to the agents, is that unlike a typical call-center agent, where the goal is to respond to a call and complete the call in the shortest possible time. With travel insurance agents like those in Travel Guard, they can follow a case for as long as it takes to complete the case. It could take a few hours, but it  could also take a few months.


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We then took a tour of the center and meeting some of the amazing folks who work there.

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After the tour we had a traditional Malaysian dish translated means “Merchant’s Rice” I forgot the Malaysian name.

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So as I said, I will need to rethink Travel Insurance. It is after all quite an affordable add-on of a few pesos when you book through AirPhileExpress. You are covered from 2 hours before your first leg’s departure until 2 hours after your return flight.

It is not something you wish you would need to avail of. But when something happens, it is something definitely great that you had availed of.

Stay safe! But be prepared.


The Travel Bloggers… photo courtesy of EAZY Traveler.