Did you know, Japan ranks twelfth in the world for its peace score in the Global Peace Index 2021. 1 Although it’s generally a safe country, accidents can still happen. Travel insurance for Japan could be extremely helpful in the event you get sick, you miss a flight, or your luggage ends up lost in transit.
It’s important to consider travel insurance for Japan, no matter your travel plans. It’s impossible to predict what may happen when on holiday; whether it’s loss of stolen property, sustaining an injury or needing urgent medical care, travel insurance is there to help ease the problem. Along with medical costs, travel insurance can cover you for emergency assistance for cancelled travel plans, repatriation and medical evacuation.
Unfortunately, the Australian government can’t help you in every situation you may find yourself in overseas, so it’s essential to have more than one option for help should something happen.
Any travel insurance for a trip to Japan should cover – at a minimum – emergency medical expenses and stolen luggage. This way, you’re covered in worst-case scenarios. There is a variety of insurance cover available from basic to comprehensive travel insurance, that will suit different travellers’ needs.
Skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports are some of Japan’s best tourist attractions, particularly on the island of Hokkaido. Although extreme and winter sports are usually excluded from travel insurance policies, most insurers do offer cover for these as an optional extra. The little extra you pay in travel insurance premiums could be offset by the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re covered for a variety of accidents that can occur.
Additionally, if you’d prefer to drive around Kyoto or the Osaka region rather than fly or take the train, you should consider a travel insurance policy that can help cover the rental car excess in the event of a crash or theft. A policy that covers medical costs would also be a smart purchase.
It’s important to read and understand what your travel insurance policy includes and excludes before purchasing. It’s handy to ask for any general advice before taking off on your Japanese holiday. Exclusions may differ from insurer to insurer, but here’s a list of some common ones you might find in your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
Earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions are all possible in Japan. While you can’t really do anything about natural disasters, you can control how you respond to them. Make sure natural disaster cover is included in your travel insurance policy.
If you purchase travel insurance for Japan before the natural disaster becomes a known event, your insurer could cover your expenses if you have to pay cancellation fees prior to departure.
As a general rule, don’t venture into any regions with active travel warnings. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will issue such warnings on the Smartraveller website.
Japan accounts for 110 of the world’s active volcanoes.3 Volcanic ash can be detrimental to human health and can cause long term health issues. It can also cause flight cancellations, leaving international travellers unable to go on holidays or citizens to come back home.
Thankfully, natural disaster cover can make alternative travel arrangements or even reimburse your holiday! Find out more about how travel insurance can protect your holiday from volcanoes and ash clouds.
The Australian government advises Australians to reconsider their need to travel to the restricted areas near the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. The 2011 earthquake caused the release of lethal radiation.
Japan has an exceptionally low crime rate. But that doesn’t mean crime doesn’t exist in the land of the rising sun. Keep a close eye on your belongings and personal effects when in public places, be wary of your drinks when out at night, and travel with others wherever possible (safety in numbers).
As the General Manager of General Insurance, Stephen Zeller is our resident expert in travel insurance. He believes in educating customers about this product so that anyone can kick back and make the most of their time away from home.
Stephen has over 30 years of experience in financial services and he’s also an allied member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). Stephen is passionate about helping customers prepare for their trip.
1 nippon.com – Japan Comes 12th in 2021 Global Peace Rankings. Accessed November 2021.
2 smartraveller.gov.au – Japan – Safety. Accessed November 2021.
3 smartraveller.gov.au (2020). COVID-19 and travel: Japan – Climate and Natural Disasters. Accessed November 2021.