Some may not be totally aware about it but since September of 2010, all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are automatically insured because of existing laws.
This is based on Republic Act 10022 or otherwise known as OFW Insurance, the law makes it possible for all overseas workers from the country to enjoy insurance coverage while they are abroad – even without having to pay additional fees for it.
According to the Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation website:
“Section 37A, The Compulsory Insurance Coverage for Agency Hired Workers, states that in addition to the performance bond to be filed by the recruitment/manning agency, each migrant worker deployed by a recruitment/manning agency shall be covered by a compulsory insurance policy which shall be secured at no cost to said worker.”
So yes, the mandatory insurance coverage applies to all OFWs who were employed through recruitment agencies from September 2010 and onwards. Besides, the government requires it from recruitment agencies to pay for it so that applicants will be able to acquire Overseas Employment Clearance (OEC) before departing the country.
Several benefits are included in this mandatory insurance coverage (which shall be effective through the duration of the migrant worker’s contract) such as:
• Accidental Death – At least US$15,000 survivor’s benefit.
• Natural Death – At least US$ 10,000 survivor’s benefit.
• Permanent total disablement – At least US$ 7,500 disability benefit.
Paramount further expounds that the said coverage includes:
“Repatriation cost of the worker when his/her employment is terminated without any valid cause, as well as in the case of death.
Subsistence allowance benefit, with at least US$ 100 per month for a maximum of 6 months for a migrant worker involved in a case or litigation for the protection of his/her life in the receiving country.
Money claims arising from the employer’s liability.
Compassionate visit from 1 family member or requested individual when a migrant worker is hospitalized and has been confined for at least 7 consecutive days.
Medical evacuation under appropriate medical supervision when an adequate medical facility is not available proximate to the migrant worker.
Medical repatriation to the migrant worker’s residence when medically necessary and cleared as deemed by an attending physician.”
Now as mentioned earlier, others are entirely unaware about these benefits. One of the main reasons for that problem is, of course, some unscrupulous recruitment agencies do not inform OFWs about this insurance coverage. Actually, some agencies are even canceling the insurance just so they can get the money back that they paid for it.
For those with one-year contracts, agencies are required to pay the amount of up to US$72 for land-based and US$100 for sea-based workers. On the other hand, they have to shoulder about US$144 for land-based and $US200 for OFWs with two-year contracts.