Because Japan is an island nation, and because everything is done domestically, Japan has a low overseas orientation. It is true that short-term trips, such as a two-night, three-day trip to Hawaii, are still popular, but when it comes to long-term trips of a month or more, things are different.
In particular, many people apply for travel insurance for the first time when they study in the U.S. or the Philippines. In the case of studying in the Philippines, I want to buy the cheapest travel insurance possible since I am going to the Philippines at a low cost, and in the case of studying in the U.S., I want to save money on insurance since other expenses are high.
Today I’d like to share with you how to find and get cheap travel insurance for such people.
- Differences between overseas travel insurance and study abroad insurance
- Where to apply for overseas travel insurance?
- The actual cost of cheap travel insurance
- What to look for when choosing cheap travel insurance
Differences between overseas travel insurance and study abroad insurance
In the first place, you may be wondering that since you are going to study abroad, you must have study abroad insurance. That’s true. However, just because you are going to study abroad does not mean that you must have study abroad insurance and cannot purchase travel insurance.
Once here, I would like to share the difference between travel insurance and study abroad insurance. Please note that the following refers only to general insurance coverage and may possibly be slightly different from the insurance coverage you are planning to purchase.
If you rent a house or apartment (liability)
Travel insurance will not cover you in case of liability for your house or apartment, while study abroad insurance can be added to cover you in such cases.
If you rent a house or apartment (damage to personal belongings)
As mentioned earlier, travel insurance will not cover damages if you rent a house or apartment and it is stolen there. On the other hand, with study abroad insurance, you can add a policy that will cover you in that case.
Emergency one-time repatriation fee
Study abroad insurance can be added to cover the cost of primary return home in the event of a family emergency. Travel insurance cannot be added.
Special clause for continuing study abroad expenses
International students can add a special clause in their study abroad insurance to cover their study abroad and living expenses in the event of a misfortune in the family, assuming that the family is covering the expenses. Travel insurance cannot be added.
Study abroad insurance tends to be more expensive because of the additional insurance and special clauses that can be added. If you want to apply for cheap insurance, apply for travel insurance.
Where to apply for overseas travel insurance?
First, let’s talk about the different types of overseas travel insurance. If classified via application, they can be categorized into the following five categories.
- Online application
- Over-the-counter application (through a travel agency)
- Over-the-counter application (through an insurance agency)
- Application through vending machines at the airport
- Application at airport counter
Of course, when applying online, you are applying at your own risk, not through a person, but this often results in lower costs. In recent years, most insurance companies have set up online contact points, so you can visit each overseas insurance company and compare them.
- Overseas travel insurance for specific procedures Net de Insurance @ Toravelu (Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance) [JPN]
- New Overseas Travel Insurance [off!] (Sompo Japan) [JPN]
- Overseas travel insurance is “Tabitomo”! (H.S. Insurance) [JPN]
- docomo One Time Insurance [JPN]
Over-the-counter application (through a travel agency)
This is the way to apply if you purchase your air tickets from HIS or an independent travel agency in town. There is a difference in the knowledge of overseas travel insurance among the staff members, but again, the more experienced they are, the more they know about various things.
However, even if applying for insurance through this travel agency, if there is an accident, the insurance company will eventually take care of it, so you should be prepared to have a limited knowledge of insurance.
Over-the-counter application (through an insurance agent)
This is a way to apply for travel insurance at an insurance shop in town. They often have more expertise than travel agents.
It is also appealing that you can apply through the person in charge of your regular car insurance or fire insurance. However, this also depends on the person in charge, so it is important to be careful.
Application for vending machines installed at airports
Most international airports have vending machines for travel insurance. As with online applications, there is no face-to-face sales, so you are largely responsible for your own actions, but this is also a good option if you want to purchase insurance at a low price.
Apply at the airport counter
You can also apply for travel insurance at the insurance company in the airport.
The actual cost of cheap travel insurance
Here I would like to look at how much overseas travel insurance actually costs via the Internet. I would like to share the example of Net de Insurance and the new overseas travel insurance “off!”.
Overseas travel insurance for specific procedures Net de Insurance @ Toravelu
The application system was quite easy to use and I was able to get an estimate for a month. For example, you can apply for the following plans for studying in the Philippines from February 17 to March 10. However, please note that contracts for stays longer than 92 days are not available online.
By the way, let’s refer to the following notes on personal belongings damage, which is the most common damage in studying in the Philippines.
※1 We will pay the amount of damage up to 100,000 yen per personal belongings (one piece, one set or one pair) (50,000 yen total for each of train tickets and passports). Even in the case of policies where the amount of insurance for damage to personal belongings exceeds 300,000 yen, the amount of insurance for damage due to theft, robbery, and non-delivery of checked baggage by airlines, etc. shall be limited to 300,000 yen during the insurance period.
In addition, there was a page with details of cases where insurance claims are not paid, etc., which I would like to check in advance. By the way, “I left my iPhone in a cab,” which is a common occurrence when studying in the Philippines, falls under the category of “misplacement or loss of insurance coverage,” which is one of the main cases for which insurance claims cannot be paid.
New Overseas Travel Insurance [off!]
This one, too, has a well-designed website and is ready to give you an instant quote. I couldn’t help but snap it up. This contract cannot be made for more than 92 days, so it must be made in writing at an agency.
Find an agent (http://map.sjnk.jp/p/sjnkag/?_ga=2.212378388.1401701728.1529413481-1099164760.1528458134)
|Contract Type||PA Type|
(For those who want to reduce insurance premiums)
(For those who want to balance insurance premiums and coverage)
(For those who want full coverage)
Death by injury・Lost damage
Death by disease
|Total insurance premium||¥18,300||¥19,610||¥21,280|
What to look for when choosing cheap travel insurance
As mentioned above, there are various amounts and contents of insurance, but what I would like to focus on here is the coverage for personal belongings damage. In terms of probability, theft of personal belongings is overwhelmingly common in the Philippines and other Asian countries.
As soon as you step out of your accommodation in Asia, you will find a group of pickpockets and thieves waiting for you, hoping to get your hands on your highly-cashable smartphone.
In addition, the percentage of Japanese who own iPhones is extremely high, as if they were idiots. I often hear of people being pickpocketed or robbed, to the extent that I wonder if they are donating their iPhones to study in Asia.
While it’s good to save money on overseas insurance, it’s probably better to take out personal effects insurance worth about 100,000 yen, which is equivalent to the price of an iPhone, and save money on other insurance (assuming you have an iPhone for some reason).
However, please be prepared to go to the police station of the place where the crime took place and have them issue a police report, which is quite complicated.