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Do you plan on hopping from one Asian country to the next? Then, you’ve come to the right page.

Asia is the largest continent on earth. It’s full of diverse countries that offer delicious food, beautiful sights and unforgettable experiences. However, it’s not without its risks, which is why we recommend travel insurance.

Here we’ll discuss:

  • Why you can consider travel insurance for Asia
  • What your policy could include
  • What travel insurance doesn’t cover
  • Our top tips for travelling around Asia

Do I need travel insurance for exploring Asia?

Imagine you’re exploring an Asian city and you suddenly require medical attention, or a pickpocket steals your bag with your credit cards and passport inside. What do you do?

That’s the beauty of travel insurance – it can help you when things go wrong, and potentially save your trip from getting cut short. Think of travel insurance as a financial safety net; depending on your circumstances, needs and budget, it’s something you purchase but, with any luck, won’t have to use.

When you compare with us, you can read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for each policy before you decide to buy. This means you can check out what’s covered, what’s not covered and how much you’re covered for with each available policy.

Asian tourism with elephants

What should my travel insurance policy for Asia include?

Generally, you’ll have the choice between single trip and annual or multi-trip travel insurance. If you plan on extensively exploring Asia, then you can consider the latter. An annual or multi-trip policy will typically cover several trips within a 12-month period.  All annual or multi-trip travel insurance policies have a “maximum trip length” that they will cover and only trips equal to or less than that “maximum trip length” will be covered. Please note that cover varies among different insurers and it is important to check what will be covered by an insurance provider.

Now what can your policy cover? Here are a few common things to consider for your travel insurance policy before your Asian getaway.

Medical expenses

Getting sick or injured overseas is not only disastrous for your health and holiday plans, it can also hurt your bank balance. Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t have a reciprocal health care agreement with any Asian countries – so Medicare won’t foot the bill.

Thankfully, travel insurance with medical cover can help lessen hospital expenses and medical costs, including medical evacuation back to Australia if necessary. It can also provide 24/7 assistance services that can help you out if something goes wrong. The level of cover will depend on the insurance policy purchased.

Furthermore, Asia is home to some diseases which you need to mitigate against, they include:

  • Rabies (avoid monkeys, dogs and other mammals)
  • Insect borne diseases like Malaria and Zika virus
  • Avian influenza or ‘bird flu’

Avoid close contact with animals and insect-infested bodies of water. You may also want to consider vaccinations. Visit your GP at least eight weeks before departure to discuss your options.

Theft or loss of belongings

Petty theft occurs in most cities around the world, and tourists are prime targets for local criminals. That’s where travel insurance can save the day and cover your luggage and personal belongings from theft. It can also cover your property from damage and loss.

Cancellations and delays

Missing a connecting flight due to a cancellation or delay can leave you with out-of-pocket expenses and throw your itinerary into disarray. Luckily, travel insurance can provide financial protection for cancellations or delays – up to a limit, and depending on the level of cover purchased.

If your airline doesn’t reimburse you for your cancelled or delayed flights, travel insurance may. What’s more, if you’ve booked a tour (For example, The Great Wall of China) which you can’t make because of cancelled or delayed flights, travel insurance can help cover the cost of additional travel and accommodation expenses. This cover varies among providers and will depend on the travel insurance policy purchased.

Natural disasters

Travel insurance can also cover you for mother nature’s tantrums like storms, landslides and earthquakes. You can also get volcano and ash cloud cover.

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What doesn’t travel insurance cover?

Just like other types of insurance, travel insurance has exclusions. Things your travel cover generally won’t cover include:

  • drug or alcohol intoxicated-related events
  • acting in a reckless and dangerous manner
  • breaking laws
  • pre-existing medical conditions not covered by your policy (some may be covered)
  • you left your personal belongings unattended
  • travelling against government warnings (see Smartraveller for the latest updates)
  • trip cancellations due to change of mind or incompetence (e.g. you forget to renew your passport).

Get covered before you depart Australia

Things can go wrong during your trip and before it. That’s why it’s useful to get travel insurance when you book your trip. A hotel could shut down, a flight could get cancelled or you could fall ill. Get covered appropriately for your travel plans and don’t tempt fate.

How do I know if a country is safe or has a travel warning?

The Australian Government’s Smartraveller website contains the latest updates on travel warnings for countries in Asia and all around the world.

lady in Asia

Top travel tips for exploring Asia

1. Follow the local laws and customs

Many Asian countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, are strict on drug offences. Singapore also enforces penalties on things like spitting and littering. You should also take note of the varying legal drinking ages. For example, Japan’s legal drinking age is 20 while China’s is 18.

Want to be extra polite? Familiarise yourself with the local customs of each country. For example, in Japan it’s considered rude to wear shoes inside.

2. Will you be driving in Asia?

If you plan on hiring a vehicle, then we recommend adding car hire or motorcycle and scooter cover to your policy. You should also check the local licence requirements. For example, to drive in Indonesia you either need an Indonesian licence or an International Driving Permit (IDP).

3. Do you need extra cover for adventure activities?

Adventure sports are usually not covered in a typical policy. However, you can add on cover for adventure sports like scuba diving and surfing. Check the PDS or policy to better understand these options.

4. Check your passport and VISA requirements

Australians can stay in some Asian countries for up to 30 days, while other countries have different immigration rules. For example, you’ll typically need a VISA to travel to China. We recommend visiting Smartraveller or the embassy websites of the countries you’re visiting to check their specific VISA requirements.

Also ensure your passport is valid – with at least six months remaining – when entering a country. Otherwise, you may be refused entry.

Specific destination pages for Asia

Are you travelling to one, two or several Asian destinations? Go deeper with our dedicated travel pages.

Get your Asian getaway covered today!

Looking for travel insurance to protect you on your Asian odyssey? Our free online comparison tool can help you compare travel insurance plans from leading Australian brands side-by-side, and get insurance quotes appropriate for your travel plans.

You can filter your level of cover, policy benefits and excess amount to find a policy in just minutes!

Ready to look for a better deal? It’s easy to compare with us.

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