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Which Is Best For Me: Conventional Travel Insurance or Travel Takaful?

BY Caitlyn Ng

Updated 06 Dec 2018

You’re about to embark on the vacation of a lifetime, and can’t decide if you should get insured and what type to go for. Conventional insurance vs travel Takaful; what differentiates them and what does it mean for you?  Let’s dive a little deeper to see how both differ.

What's covered in this article?

Let’s compare: Conventional or travel Takaful?

First off, you’d be forgiven for thinking that travel Takaful is for those of the Muslim faith only, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! This type of insurance was created as an alternative to conventional insurance, and is open to members of any religion or race. What else?

  1. Holders of travel Takaful contribute money to a pooled resource fund, guaranteeing each other against loss or damage; on the other hand, you pay a premium to the conventional insurance company to receive coverage from them.
  2. Travel Takaful adheres strictly to the Islamic principles it was built upon. According to Shariah law, riba (interest), al-maisir (gambling), and al-gharar (uncertainty) are prohibited. For example, in conventional insurance, riba is the act of charging interest and is thus deemed ‘unacceptable’. On the other hand, Takaful operates on tabarru, which treats the portion of contributions made as donations.
  3. Any profits in travel Takaful is distributed equally amongst the participants whereas in conventional insurance, they are known as ‘dividends’ and returned to each individual holder.

Would it go to waste, if no claims were made?

We hear you, is travel insurance really necessary?                                                               

The mentality many people seem to have is that “bad things will never happen to me”. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t want to regret not buying protection, but you also wouldn’t want to pay for something if nothing unfortunate happens and no claims were made.

While it’s true that the money spent would be for nothing if all goes well, it’s also accurate to say that travel insurance is designed to be a safeguard against both accidents and unexpected events you never thought could happen to you. We hope you’d never have to utilise your plan but if you need to, you’ll thank your lucky stars you bought one.

Is purchasing travel insurance by airlines a smarter choice?

We’ve covered the differences between conventional and credit card plans but what about the ones offered by airline companies?

It cannot be denied that getting one from an airline company just as you’re about to complete your purchase of flight tickets is as simple as a few clicks away. However, most conventional insurance companies tend to provide travel plans that have higher maximum coverage amounts, for lower costs compared to those offered by airline companies.

Not only are these conventional plans highly customisable, they can also encompass an almost limitless range of items, from hospital income and medical repatriation to issues related to your flight and luggage. Part of the reason why conventional insurance companies are able to offer such attractive plans with a cheaper price tag is because there are no middle men involved. What you see, is essentially what you get.

Let’s consider a few risk possibilities

Like everything else in life, you’d need to think about the financial implications if something disastrous happens. Here’s a three-step guide to decide, in case you’re still on the fence:

1. Before the trip.

You’re all packed and ready to fly; this is the vacation you’ve been looking forward to all year. You get to the airport only to find that your flight has suddenly been delayed, or worse, cancelled. What’s going to happen to your hotel reservation and booked tours?

2. During the trip.

You’ve managed to sort through the pre-departure fiasco, only to find upon your arrival at the destination that your luggage bags have been stolen/are missing. Contained within the bags are your travel documents and stash of cash. Worse, you accidentally lose your Malaysian passport while overseas. How are you going to survive the rest of the trip?

3. Medical emergencies

You’ve somehow coughed up enough cash to continue your journey despite the initial setbacks. During one of the tours, you become very ill or slip and break a few bones. Where are you going to seek emergency medical aid and find the funds necessary to pay for it?

The above scenarios may be exaggerated, but it does call to mind the famous Bahasa Malaysia proverb, “malang tidak berbau”.

What are the benefits of travel Takaful plans?

This list below is by no means exhaustive, and we took the basic packages of a few popular travel Takaful plans so as to give you a clearer idea of what to expect when it comes to choosing one with the right benefits.

  HLMT Travel Care Takaful Etiqa World Traveller Care Takaful Takaful Malaysia myTravel Partner
Accidental death and permanent disablement Up to 100,000 Up to 50,000 100,000
Overseas medical expenses due to accident and illness Up to 150,000 Up to 300,000 Up to 50,000 (age 70) and up to 25,000 (above age 70)
Funeral expenses 200 Not covered Not covered
Hospital cash benefit 100 per day, up to 1,000 (normal ward)

50 per day, up to 500 (intensive care unit)

150 per day 150 per day
Follow-up treatment Up to 10,000 Up to 5,000 Up to 10,000 (age 70) and up to 5,000 (above age 70)
Compassionate care Up to 5,000 Not covered 5,000
Emergency medical evacuation Covered Covered Covered
Repatriation of remains Covered Covered Covered
Luggage delay 100, up to 300 per person Up to 500 200
Loss or damage to luggage Up to 3,500 Up to 1,000 Not covered
Loss of travel documents Up to 3,000 Not covered 1,000
Loss of personal money Up to 150 Not covered 500
Loss of jewellery Up to 150 Not covered Not covered
Trip cancellation Up to 5,000 Not covered 5,000
Trip curtailment Up to 5,000 Not covered 5,000
Travel delay 100, up to 1,000 per person Not covered 600
Trip diversion 100 Not covered Not covered
Travel misconnection Up to 100 Not covered Not covered
Overbooked flight 1,000 Not covered Not covered
Hijacking allowance 300 per day, up to 1,000 Not covered Not covered
Badal Haji 2,500 Not covered 2,000
Waqaf 500 Not covered Not covered
Qurban 700 Not covered Not covered

For the uninitiated, the additional services all provide coverage to Muslims who wish to fulfil their religious obligations and they are explained as follows:

  1. Badal Haji is the act of performing the Hajj for the diseased, disabled or sickly elderly.
  2. Waqaf is the voluntary and permanent donation of one’s wealth – whether cash, land or other assets – for Muslim purposes (religious or charitable).
  3. Qurban is the religious practice of sacrificing an animal, during Eid al-Adha.

To conclude

If you’re already spending big bucks on that vacation, travel insurance is another purchase you’d want to consider, plus it doesn’t cost a hefty sum of money to ensure you have complete peace of mind. With the right insurance type, you’ll not only be protected against unexpected financial losses, you’ll ensure that the well-being of people you care about the most are secured. Like a responsible adult, it’s worth it to be prepared, so head on over to our handy travel insurance page to get the latest quotes right at your fingertips!

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About the Author

Caitlyn Ng


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