Malaysia, which translates to ‘the land of the Malays’ is a popular travel destination in south-east Asia. With a population of over 32 million, Malaysia is full of culture and breathtaking scenery.
However, Malaysia is not without its dangers, which is why we recommend travel insurance.
In this guide, we’ll explore:
- why you should consider travel insurance for Malaysia;
- the types of negative events or incidences that travel insurance protects you from;
- what travel insurance doesn’t cover; and
- some travel tips to keep you extra safe and happy.
Do I need travel insurance for Malaysia?
The decision to purchase travel insurance depends on your individual circumstances, needs and budget. Although it’s something all travellers should consider.
According to Smartraveller, Malaysia experiences wet and wild weather and petty crime like smash-and-grab attacks and credit card fraud.1 That’s why a travel insurance policy is a great thing to pack in your suitcase – even before your favourite holiday outfit.
But seriously, you’ll want to enjoy Malaysia with the peace of mind that travel insurance affords you. That can include cover for loss of belongings and cash from theft and other things like cancellations, delays, medical treatment and more.
Put simply, a travel insurance policy can be a financial safety net.
It’s something good to possess but hopefully don’t use.
What you should include in your travel insurance policy
For a trip to Malaysia, it might be a good idea to consider whether your policy includes cover for some of the following:
Unfortunately, Malaysia doesn’t have a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. Which means if you get ill or injured while you’re over there, you’ll have to pay for medical treatment yourself.
However, you can avoid hefty out-of-pocket medical bills with travel insurance via medical expenses cover. When comparing, choose a policy with a limit you’re comfortable with. Your limit is how much your insurer will pay in the event of a claim.
Loss of personal belongings
Do you plan on taking expensive equipment with you to Malaysia? If so, think about getting them insured. As mentioned, petty crime is common in Malaysia, including bag-snatching.2
To increase your safety, only carry the valuables you need and stay alert in public areas.
Cancellations and delays
Travel insurance can cover unexpected cancellations and delays. Depending on your level of cover this may include flights, accommodation and other travel-related bookings like tours and experiences.
Get covered before you take off. Many policies allow you take out travel insurance when you book your trip, just in case your hotel is shut down, one of your flights is cancelled or you fall ill before you depart Australia.
Malaysia is prone to inclement weather conditions, including earthquakes, flooding and landslides. So, if you’re in Malaysia and a natural disaster occurs, your travel plans could fall apart, leading to lost money from cancelled bookings.
Fortunately, travel insurance can cover many things resulting from a natural disaster, including medical expenses, loss of belongings, cancellations/delays of flights and other travel-related bookings.
*Please note, not all policies will cover all related costs from a natural disaster.
Add-ons (e.g. adventure sports)
If you’re more of an adventurous type, then you may need to add on some coverage that’s not usually standard fare. Many insurers offer an adventure sports add-on.
This could include activities like snorkelling, scuba diving or surfing the Malaysian coast. Compare insurers to see who covers what sports and activities. For instance, some may cover snorkelling but not scuba diving – while some won’t cover any type of adventure sport.
Unsure about what’s covered and what’s excluded from a travel insurance policy? It’s an easy fix, simply read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). When you compare with us, you can flick through PDS’s online before you buy.
Do you plan on island hopping? If you’re visiting neighbouring countries, check out travel insurance for Asia.
What doesn’t travel insurance cover?
Even if you do take out travel insurance, it won’t save the day in every situation, there will be exclusions – events or incidences insurers won’t cover. For example, it won’t cover instances where you:
- were intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs;
- acted in a reckless or dangerous manner;
- broke Malaysian law
- had a pre-existing medical condition that isn’t covered by your policy
- left your luggage and belongings unattended
- drove without an Australian licence and an International Driving Permit. To drive in Malaysia, you need both.
N.B. Keep a close eye on Smartraveller for travel advisory warnings for any destinations you plan on visiting as this could affect your cover.
Our top travel tips for Malaysia
1. Take the weather into consideration
Malaysia’s wet season is from October to February, so consider booking your trip away from these more unseasonal months. As mentioned, severe weather and landslides are typical in Malaysia. What’s more, Malaysia usually experiences smoke haze from June to October – although it can occur at any time.
2. Read up on the local laws and customs
Malaysia is a mostly Islamic country. This means that most people dress conservatively and drug offences can incur severe penalties.
3. Stay healthy and avoid danger
Beware of animals like dogs and monkeys that can spread rabies. Furthermore, insect-borne diseases like dengue and Zika virus are also a risk. To protect yourself, always wear insect repellent.
Alternatively, consult your GP at least eight weeks before you trip to discuss vaccinations.
4. Get your Visa on arrival
Australian passport holders can stay in Malaysia for up to 90 days with a tourism visa – which you can obtain on arrival.
5. Don’t forget to explore!
Whether you’re a city slicker or a country lover, there’s something for everyone in Malaysia. You could start with the viewing level at Petronas Twin Towers (one of the tallest set of buildings in the world) or wander around Melaka (historic city) in Kuala Lumpur.
For those on the adventurous side, there’s Penang Hill, Sky Bridge and Kinabula National Park – just to name a few!
Compare travel insurance for Malaysia today!
Do you need some travel insurance for your big trip to Malaysia?
Then look no further; we’ve got you covered with our free travel insurance comparison service. Simply compare quotes and weigh up which option is most suitable for your needs.
Comparing is easy and it only takes a few minutes. Simples!