When I went for my annual leave last June, one important task that I needed to tick off from my long ‘to-do-list‘ was to finalize and sign my Philam Health Invest.
Before heading to our ‘side’ trip to Hanoi (which I still have to write later **smile**), we stayed for couple of hours in one of the budget hotels in Manila to rest because we arrived in the morning from Abu Dhabi. Our flight to Hanoi was later only in the evening.
I took this opportunity to meet the Philam agent, Mr. Genesis Alvaro, whom I met online only. I highly recommend him. So far, we made two transactions already – Philam Health Invest for me and my brother – and I have no complaints. He is very cooperative. Drop me a note if you need his contact details.
There’s a story behind this actually. When searching for insurance, I already found Genesis in some websites. Sorry, I cannot remember exactly where. I sent him an inquiry which he replied promptly and sent the quotation.
Then few days later I was contacted by my high school classmate and she advised that her brother was also a Philam agent who is based in Davao. Genesis was a stranger whom I met online only. So I was convinced to deal with my high school classmate’s brother which I actually regretted later.
I finalized with him (my high school classmate’s brother) the Philam Health Invest for my husband but his service was not good. You know this kind of insurance agents who are only after for commissions and after that they disappear. Well, he didn’t literally disappear but he was not very helpful anymore.
My parents used to be insurance agents too when we were growing up. It was their additional source of income. So I understood the monetary rewards after closing an insurance deal.
So I contacted Genesis again for the Philam Health Invest for me and my brother, and I am very happy that he is my insurance agent. In fact, I recommend him always to my OFW friends.
Anyway, back to our original topic. Months prior, Genesis and I had been communicating already through Facebook. So our meeting was kind of wrapping up everything only including the signing up of the application form.
As per the insurance commission in Philippines, you have to be physically present in the Philippines when signing the insurance application.
I am sharing here the factors why I chose the insurance with critical illness benefits. Note that I am neither an insurance agent nor a personal financial expert.
First and foremost – My stand on Buy Term (Insurance), Invest the Difference (BTID) Strategy.
Term insurance is a basic type of life insurance. If the policy holder dies during the time period which is outlined in the policy, then the beneficiaries will receive the benefits.
The premium for term insurance is very reasonable compared to insurance products that are bundled with investments instruments (also known as VUL or Variable Universal Life Insurance).
Some financial experts recommend on buying a term insurance and investing the difference (from the VUL premium).
This is a good strategy and I am in favor of it. Why not?
However for my case, I opted for VUL because of the what if’s scenario. In the first place, that is why insurance is called insurance because it gives protection and benefits for any eventualities that may happen, right?
God forbids but if I am diagnosed with critical illness, my basic health insurance will not be enough. Chances are I will encash all my paper assets to cover my medical expenses. What if during this time, the market is down.
I know.. I know.. I need to diversify my investments but at the bottom of my heart, I really do not want to encash any of my investments for medical purpose unless if I am left with that choice only.
That’s why I opted for VUL. At least, it has the investment part of the insurance. I am covered and I have the health fund in addition to my standard CIB (critical illness benefits) coverage.
You will never know when you will need it. I hope that I will never ever need it in my lifetime.
Why Philam Health Invest?
I have been shopping for an insurance that will cover me in case of critical illness diagnoses.
I inquired before with Sunlife but unfortunately they don’t offer this for OFWs. I can avail the product but not with the critical illness.
Then I found out about this Philam Health Invest. I inquired also from Axa Philippines because they have one.
I did my comparisons and finally I opted for Philam.
I considered many factors but these the primary reasons why I chose Philam.
Cost. I almost signed up for Axa because it was way cheaper than Philam. With Axa, I would be paying only a fraction compared to my Philam’s premium.
I asked myself many times. What’s my main purpose of this insurance? It is to cover the medical cost in case (God forbids) I am diagnosed with critical illness.
By then, I am no longer an OFW and we all know that hospitalization cost in Philippines is expensive. In fact this is one of my concern when we will go back home for good.
The product from Axa and Philam would be suitable for my purpose.
The payment period vs the total premium cost. Personally I am not fond of long term financial commitments. These due dates are like a ghost who is haunting me all the time until I pay it off.
AXA is 20 years payments. I really didn’t ask if I can have a shorter payment period.
With Philam, you have options and I opted for 7 years payment.
When I crunched the numbers, I realized that the difference in the total premium for both (20 years payment and 7 years payment) is not big.
For my age, the total premium in AXA is Php 635,000 payable 20 years of payment while it is Php 686,413 for Philam payable for 7 years.
It is painful to think that you are paying a big chunk of monthly premium. But I guess like any other financial facilities like loans, the longer the payment term, the cheaper the monthly due is.
The added value. The quotations I received from AXA and Philam have both 1 million coverage or face amount. This is the amount that I will be paid in case of critical illness is diagnosed.
But what is the value of 1 million after 10-15 years from now considering the inflation factor?
One option to address this concern is increase my coverage. Maybe like 5 million or more but it means that my premium will also go up.
With Philam Health Invest, it is bundled with mutual fund investment. This can also address my concern about the future value of 1 million.
I thought also that if we really run out of funds for my son’s college education, I can also utilize this to finance his tuition fees. Anyhow, he is just 3 years old.
For me, this is an important added value.
The investment return in Axa Health Max is lower also compared to Philam Health Invest.
Verdict. Obviously I am in favor of Philam Health Invest because that’s what I have chosen. The monthly premium is not a joke. It is costly. Period.
But I considered this thing with utmost priority in my financial house. It gives me peace of mind. Actually, I had been thinking of this for almost two years already but I kept on delaying it.
Then earlier this month, one of my colleague (a Filipina also in her early thirties) was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she wanted to take a similar kind of insurance, she was refused because she has been diagnosed already with CI.
This prompted me and somehow pacified the pain of paying a pricey premium.
If you have other financial commitments but wanted the insurance coverage with critical illness benefits, then I recommend AXA Health Max because it is really affordable.
By the way, I got an Axa Health Max for my son because Philam doesn’t offer this product to minors.
Now, my family (husband, brother and I) are proud policy holder of Philam Health Invest.