14 January 2018

How to Get Travel Insurance for People Visiting UAE

Back in November last year, my siblings and I made a sudden decision for Mama to have a 3-month vacation in Dubai. We applied for her visit visa through a travel agency, received it on the fifth working day, and proceeded to buy her ticket online.

Since we were running out of time, we didn’t go to the Philippine Consulate to get an Affidavit of Support & Guarantee anymore. Why? For one thing, Mama is already a senior citizen. For another, my sister would be travelling with her; she could answer any questions if they asked why she didn’t have an Affidavit. We weren’t sure if it was needed, but we just took the chance and hoped that the authorities at NAIA wouldn’t request for the document. Luckily, they passed through Immigration uneventfully and Mama happily boarded the plane.

Fast forward to a few days later, a friend of mine happened to ask me if I bought travel insurance for Mama or if it was included in her visa by the travel agency. I checked, and unfortunately, it wasn’t.

I panicked.

You see, the reason why her vacation was so sudden was because she had recently been hospitalized. We wanted her to be here with us in Dubai where she had people around her and we could take care of her properly. Although her doctor had given a certificate that she was fit to travel, we still wanted her to be insured. And even though I wasn't sure if UAE visitors are required to have travel insurance or not, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
So I asked around for referrals, checked online, and called several insurance companies. I think I called around ten of them, but in the end, my choice was narrowed down to one: Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company. Here’s why:

1) ADNIC said they could cover Mama even though she’s 76 years old. Some companies only accepted people less than 65 years old.
2) It was the only company I asked who issued travel insurance even if the person was already in the country. The others said they could only issue the policy before the passenger travelled to the UAE.
3) Even though her visa was issued by a travel agency, they accepted it. Other companies required that the passenger’s visit visa is sponsored only by a UAE resident.

That same day, I quickly went to the ADNIC office in Deira. I was met by their person who handles Hala (their UAE visitor insurance policy), gave him copies of the documents needed (my passport, residence visa, and Emirates ID, and Mama’s passport and visit visa), paid Dhs90 (the price for a 90-day visit visa) to their person in Accounts, and in less than 10 minutes from the time I entered their office, was given the insurance certificate.

I could hardly believe how fast and easy it was!  No forms to fill, no other documents needed (I had brought a copy of my birth certificate just in case, but it wasn't asked for), no complicated questions to answer.  Whew!
I've been receiving and reading conflicting information about whether travel insurance is mandatory or not.  Let's say, for the sake of argument, visitors to the UAE are not required to have it to enter the country.  In my opinion, I would still get one to be assured and prepared JUST IN CASE something unexpected happens (God forbid).

Of course I really hope we won’t need to use Mama’s insurance during her visit, but at least we have it for our own peace of mind.

Did you get a travel insurance for your friend or relative? Do you think it was worth getting one?  I'd love to read about it in the comments below ☺

Disclaimer: I was not asked to promote ADNIC, nor did I receive any compensation to mention the company on my blog. I just want to share my experience so others can be informed on how to get a travel insurance policy for their friends and relatives visiting the country. 

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