Whether you’re heading off for a spiritual journey to Bali, a historical escapade in India or backpacking through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, a holiday in Asia is the perfect opportunity to travel across ancient cultures and exotic landscapes. But as you gear up for this land of fun and adventure, don’t forget to look for the right kind of travel insurance.
While Asia has all the ingredients for a great holiday, it’s also packed with unpredictable possibilities. Here are a few instances where you could benefit greatly from a travel insurance cover:
Unfortunately, this is something that can happen anywhere in the world and it’s always good to get a policy that covers any additional costs you might need to bear to reschedule your holiday. Do remember however, basic travel insurance policies don’t generally cover cancellation fees so you’ll need to get a comprehensive cover for this. We’ve listed the costs for basic and comprehensive travel insurance policies for Asia in a table below so you can have a better idea about the two.
Losing your baggage in a foreign land can be a nightmare. The last thing you want to do is have to shell out money buying the same wardrobe, accessories or equipment and not get a cent back. Travel insurance protects you from this. If you lose your bags you’ll still have to do the shopping but at least you won’t be paying for it. Just keep in mind that your things will only be covered up to a certain limit. So if you are carrying something precious or expensive then it would be better to buy extra cover for them.
While finding out that your bags are in Hong Kong when you are in Singapore isn’t quite as bad as losing your luggage altogether, it is still inconvenient. Travel insurance will allow you to claim back any basic ‘emergency' clothing and toiletries if the delay extends more than a minimum period of time.
Let’s hope you remain in the pink of health all through your holiday in Asia, but just in case there is an emergency it’s wise to have an insurance cover so you have access to good medical facilities. From Singapore to Laos, medical infrastructure in Asia can really vary depending on which country or city you are in and it’s advisable to have insurance so you don’t need to compromise on cost or quality.
Of course driving a scooter in Bali or Bangkok sounds exciting, but don’t forget that the condition of roads may be different from what you’re used to in Australia and the traffic rules can also vary considerably for different regions. Just in case of an injury or damage to the vehicle, your travel insurance can help reduce the amount of excess you will have to pay in case of a claim. But be aware that if you’re not registered to drive a certain vehicle then don’t even try because your insurer will refuse to accept any claims for a related accident in this case.
Unfortunately, even when we are very careful, accidents do happen. And just in case you find yourself in a situation where you are responsible for causing an injury or damage to a person or property, this is a useful cover to help you at that time.
With this cover, you will be paid a certain sum in case you suffer an injury during your Asia trip that results in total and permanent disability.
The total cost of your travel insurance depends on a number of different things such as how long you're staying in Asia, which countries you’re holidaying in, the number of people you are travelling with, your age and if you want an extra cover for things like sports or if you have a pre-existing condition.
Here are some examples of costs for Asia travel insurance, using Mozo's travel insurance quote comparison tool. Do remember however, the prices and terms of different policies are subject to change and you must always read the updated inclusions, exclusions and costs.
Basic Cover: Kango Cover - Joey - $5,000,000 hospital and emergency cover, no luggage and personal effects, no cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Travel Insurance Worldcare - Comprehensive - Overseas Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $12,000 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
Family of 4 - 2 adults (35), 2 kids (10 & 6)
Basic Cover: Kango Cover - Joey - $10 million hospital and emergency cover, no luggage and personal effects, no cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Budget Direct - Comprehensive - Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $7,500 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
Basic Cover: Travel Insurance Saver - Bare Essentials - Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $2000 luggage and personal effects, $5000 cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Fastcover - Essential Unlimited - hospital and emergency cover, $7,500 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
Asia is a huge continent with different safety factors for different regions. But as long as you are careful and take all the necessary precautions, you should be able to enjoy safe travels wherever you go. Here are a few things you should keep in mind during your holiday in Asia:
Sadly, there are certain serious diseases like Hepatitis A and B that you will need to protect yourself from while you’re travelling. But these, along with other illnesses like Typhoid, Tetanus, Pertussis and Diphtheria are all preventable with vaccinations. If you’re planning on going off the beaten path, be sure you get vaccinated before you travel.
Certain areas in Asia are seen as a potential threat. That’s why it is always advisable to take the safest, clearest routes when commuting. Read about your travel destination and the relevant safety tips on smartraveller.gov.au and register your travel and contact details with them in case you need any help on your trip. Just be aware that countries that travel insurance will not be valid for any of the countries/areas that are listed on the Government’s “DO not travel list”.
Keep emergency contact details for other organisations such as the Australian High Commission in the city that you’re going to be in. It’s also useful to have your insurer’s contact number handy so you can inform them of any situation if the need arises.
Always, always, always read the fine print of your policy to make sure you’re aware of exactly what you’re eligible for and if there are any conditions you need to fulfil while filing a claim. The last thing you want is to have your claim rejected because you ignored the smaller details of your policy. Here are a few things to watch out for:
Never hide a pre-existing medical condition from your insurance provider. If you end up making a claim regarding such a condition, your insurer could reject the application if you didn’t mention it while buying the policy.
Your excess fee varies with the policy you purchase. Generally, the cheaper the cover, the less expensive your insurance. But this also means that the excess would be higher than others.
It’s always a smart idea to report any incidents such as theft or medical emergencies to your insurer as soon as possible. You can reconfirm if they will require any additional documentations such as a police report or medical bills while making the claim.
Even if you’ve paid extra to cover baggage loss or theft, your insurer can refuse to accept your claim if you lost your things while they were left unattended. So if you forgot your backpack in a coffee shop and it went missing by the time you went back, the insurance provider can reject your baggage claim.
Enjoy your drink but stick to moderation. Disorientation on unknown foreign roads is definitely not a good idea and in case you run into an accident while you’re drunk, you won’t even be covered for the damages. Also, while it’s exciting to try local drinks from local bars, try and go to reputable bars so there’s no risk of spiking.
Choosing travel insurance becomes easier if you can read the opinions of other travellers like yourself who have used a certain policy or provider before. That’s precisely why Mozo has collected customer reviews that can help you make a more informed decision. You can read travel insurance reviews or search for a particular travel insurer here.