Konichiwa! Off to the Land of the Rising Sun? Whether you’re planning a family holiday to Disneyland in Tokyo, a spiritual journey to the temples of Kyoto or an adventure trip to the top of Mount Fuji or the ski fields of Niseko, you must choose the perfect travel insurance for your Japan holiday.
Japan is considered a relatively safe destination with extremely friendly and polite people, but then travel insurance isn’t only about being mugged or robbed. There could be a number of cases where having Japan travel insurance could come in handy. Here’s a list of some such situations:
This can happen anywhere in the world and Japan is no exception. That’s why it is important that you purchase travel insurance as soon as you book your tickets and not wait until the eleventh hour. Just in case your flight gets cancelled or delayed affecting your holiday plans, your travel insurance policy can arrange to reimburse you for the rescheduling you might need to do.
Japan has an advanced healthcare infrastructure, but it is also expensive. So if you were to need medical aid or hospitalisation, without travel insurance, it could end up costing you a fortune! In case you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must mention it to your insurer to make sure you know if it’s covered or not. Also, remember to keep a copy of your insurance policy if you need medical care in Japan because you could need to show a proof of insurance.
If your luggage is stolen during your holiday in Japan, having travel insurance will help you to cover your losses. However, do remember that the insurance company can refuse to reimburse the cost if the bags were left unattended or in an unmanned car. Also, travel insurance generally covers your belongings up to certain limit, so if you are carrying expensive things with you like jewelry or technology, it’s better to keep them safe with you or buy extra cover for them.
If your luggage is delayed by your airline by more than a specified minimum period of time (generally 24 hours), you can receive reimbursement to buy emergency clothes and toiletries depending on the policy you have. But this is usually for basic clothing so don’t try to use this as an opportunity to splurge on expensive designer brands at Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district!
Unfortunately, Japan is susceptible to earthquakes (don’t worry, most of them are minor ones). But in case there is any disruption to your travel plans due to a natural occurrence, your travel insurance policy can cover you for the additional costs incurred.
Driving down the Japanese countryside sounds like a beautiful experience but given the different traffic rules, jetlag and language issues it’s always advisable to take out insurance to cover costs related to injury, vehicle or property damage. With a comprehensive travel insurance policy you are also likely to have rental car excess cover. Travel tip: Japan has one of the best public transport systems in the world and you can easily do without renting a car. Buy a Japan Rail Pass and try the famous Shinkansen.
In case of the unfortunate circumstance of death or disability, your travel insurance policy can potentially cover for certain essentials for you or your family.
A personal liability cover can come in handy in case you get stuck in a situation where you’ve accidentally hurt a person or property.
The cost of your travel insurance for Japan is based on different things like the duration of your trip, the number of people travelling with you, your age and if you opt for extras like sports or cruise cover.
Here are examples of costs for Japan travel insurance, using Mozo's travel insurance quote comparison tool. Do remember that prices and terms of policies are subject to change.
Basic Cover: Goinsurance Go Basic
$10 million hospital and emergency cover, no luggage and personal effects, no cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Travel Insurance Worldcare - Comprehensive
Unlimited overseas hospital and emergency cover, $12,000 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
Family of 4 - 2 adults (35), 2 kids (10 & 6)
Basic Cover: Insure and Go - Bare Essentials
Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $2000 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: itrek - wanderer Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, no luggage and personal effects, no cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: American Express - Comprehensive Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $15,000 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
As you shortlist travel insurance policies for Japan, keep your itinerary in mind and watch out for covers that you need. Make sure you’ve read the fine print carefully so that you’re only paying for things you need and you’re fully aware of things you might need to file a claim. If you’re not feeling clear about any inclusions and exclusions, check with the insurance company so that you don’t find yourself at bay at the last moment. Here are a few things to look out for as you choose a travel insurance policy for Japan.
The excess fee varies depending on the type of policy you purchase. Generally, a cheaper insurance policy can have a higher excess compared to a more expensive policy.
Like we mentioned before, medical care in Japan can be very expensive so make sure you’ve told your insurance company about any pre-existing conditions. You don’t want to be in a situation where your insurer refuses to cover a medical incident simply because you didn’t inform them of it at the time of purchasing your policy. Check the insurer’s requirements on this, read the fine print and don’t leave things to chance.
Whether it’s a stolen passport or a medical emergency, let your insurer know of the situation as soon as you can. Most insurers have a contact number where you can report incidents and seek help if required. Ask them if they need any specific documentation in terms of bills or receipts.
By all means enjoy your sake, but don’t go overboard. If you run into an accident and were found to be drunk at the time, your insurer could refuse to cover your damages.
Skiing is a popular sport in Japan with a number of snow resorts in regions like Hokkaido and Kyushu. If you’re keen to try some snow sports yourself, do remember to add the additional snow cover to your Japan travel insurance.
While buying the right kind of travel insurance policy is one thing, it’s also equally important to know how to file a claim that does not get delayed or rejected. Here are some quick tips on travel insurance claims:
Still need some more help while picking a travel insurance policy for Japan? We’ve got a whole list of reviews by real travellers so you can learn from their experience.