The Types of Non-Life Insurance and Which One You Need

By Randell Tiongson on February 27th, 2016

Gastos nanaman…

Hindi pasok sa budget eh.

Kailangan ba talaga yan?

These are common statements uttered when it comes to insurance policies. Insurance are to, you guessed it, ‘insure’ the policy owner and his beneficiaries – to protect (through monetary compensation) in the event of an unfortunate event such as an accident. The words ‘insure’ and ‘protect’ are powerful; however, many Filipinos do not understand the value of insurance policies, more especially non-life insurance, also known as property and casualty insurance.


Characterized by close family ties, Filipinos value familial relationship, and this can be seen by parents putting their children through school and children funding their parents’ retirement (this is another story). In a 2013 survey by Sun Life entitled, Study of Lifestyles, Attitudes and Relationships (SOLAR) – Financial Literacy Advocacy Report (FLARe), a third of Filipino respondents consider life insurance as priority purchase for the next two years. Life insurance provides protection to the policy holder’s beneficiaries in the event of a major and fatal accident. Filipinos, who are culturally-known to be family-oriented, are starting to understand the value of life insurance.

How about non-life insurance? What exactly is it? And when do you need one?

Non-life insurance spans different categories, and which one you need is dependent on your personal situation and preferences. You can have more than one type of non-life insurance. The important thing to note is non-life insurance is valuable, and you should consider getting one if your situation calls for it.

Below are the different types of non-life insurance and a checklist to determine if you need the following:

Car Insurance

As the name itself says, car insurance insures your car (and the riders) in the event of accidents resulting from both natural (e.g. typhoons, floods, etc.) and man-made (e.g. theft, exterior and interior damages) occurrences. The average annual cost of car insurance for a Toyota Vios (1.3 Base M/T) is about Php 18,000. You can do a lot with Php 18,000, so why put it in car insurance? The answer is to protect yourself from financial disaster. An annual premium of Php 18,000 is a small price to pay in the event of a major accident where repairs can cost well above a hundred thousand pesos or when your vehicle is totaled and needs replacement. Now, the Php 18,000 doesn’t seem like such a burden when put beside a repair tab of Php 100,000.


Comprehensive car insurance includes protection against accidents and theft and provides roadside and sometime medical assistance and coverage as well.

When should I get one?

  • If your car is your primary means of transportation (e.g. you use it regularly)
  • If you drive on roads that are accident-prone (e.g. susceptible to traffic, theft, natural disasters, etc.)
  • If you have a vehicle. It’s the law (for Compulsory third party liability (CTPL) insurance).

Home Insurance

Home insurance functions in the same way as car insurance does but for your home instead. Owning a home is part of the Filipino dream, and real estate is the preferable investment (over paper assets) in this country. With the importance of real property in this country, it should be a given to protect one’s home at all costs; however, not many consider getting home insurance, especially with the annual premiums that reach the high five-digit mark. You may be thinking that your house is sturdy, made of concrete, and has a stable foundation, so why bother with home insurance? As mentioned above, the annual premiums are a small price to pay in the event that you make a claim. An annual premium in the five-digit range will give you a coverage valued in the millions.

Home insurance provides coverage from natural disasters, robberies, and water damages and may offer additional benefits such as a relocation allowance, legal assistance, and medical (ICU) assistance.

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[ File # csp0027902, License # 1743072 ]
Licensed through in accordance with the End User License Agreement (
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / webking
When should I get one?

  • If you live in an area prone to natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, earthquakes, fires, etc.
  • If your home (e.g. secondhand) has a history of being neglected and is prone to water leaks and bursts, pipe damage, etc.
  • If you live in an area prone to malicious events such as thefts

Fire Insurance

Fire and home insurance policies are sometimes used interchangeably since the coverage they provide are almost the same. The main thing to note is that whether you get home or fire insurance, always read your policy, page to page. Ensure that all the points you discussed and agreed with your insurance agent are all stated in the document. This way, it doesn’t matter whether you opted for home or fire insurance. If the coverage you want to make a claim for is stated in your insurance policy, then there’s no need to worry.


When should I get one?

  • If you live in an area prone to fires and other natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, and earthquakes
  • If your home (e.g. secondhand) has a history of being neglected and is prone bursting of water systems
  • If you live in an area prone to riots and strikes

Travel Insurance

Many tend to forego of travel insurance because of the additional expense. Php 800 for insurance to cover your single-entry trip to a country in Asia may not seem much, and besides, there hasn’t been an instance wherein you thought – ‘I wish I had travel insurance’. However, the insurance premium is a small price to pay in the event of an accident, such as losing your luggage. If you plan to travel far away (e.g. from Southeast Asia to Europe) and expect to buy a lot of new belongings, maybe you should consider travel insurance for this once-in-a-lifetime trip.


When should I get one?

  • If you possess or expect to bring home valuable items
  • If your carrier has a reputation of providing sub-par services (e.g. flight delays, trip cancellations, etc)
  • If the carrier has received negative feedback from customers (e.g. lost or opened baggage, flight delays and cancellations, etc.)

Deciding on a Non-Life Insurance Policy


Hopefully, the tips above have shed light on the need-to-know regarding non-life insurance. There are different types, and the need for each one is dependent on different factors. If you’ve decided on applying for one, be it car insurance or home insurance, financial comparison platforms, such as, compare non-life insurance policies from different providers to give you the most bang for your buck.


2 thoughts on “The Types of Non-Life Insurance and Which One You Need”

  • Hi Sir Randy! Great article. What about memorial plan,is that a kind of insurance too? Are Health plans/HMO a kind of insurance too? Tnx

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The Types of Non-Life Insurance and Which One You Need