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Compare travel insurance for Asia

Compare travel insurance for Asia

There isn’t a continent on the planet that offers such a rich and diverse range of travel possibilities as Asia – with wonderous beauties in the south, like India and Thailand, and history and culture in the east and north from the Ming dynasty.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
4
minute read
posted 28 JANUARY 2020

Do I need travel insurance for Asia?

While it’s not mandatory, if you’re joining the other millions of Brits in travelling around Asia this year, arranging travel insurance would be a smart move. 

As well as cover for medical care, flight cancellations, missed connections and damage, loss and theft of baggage, always make sure that your travel insurance includes flights home too – just in case you need to emergency passage home.

If you’re traveling in the more remote parts of Asia, perhaps the most essential coverage of all is medical coverage. This isn’t because you’re more likely to get ill or have an accident, but more about how far away you are, and how the health systems can vary from country to country in this part of the world. 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

As of 23rd Match 2020, the UK Government announced a series of restrictions to travel, public spaces and gatherings. For a minimum of three weeks, people are being instructed to stay at home whenever possible. For this reason, travel insurance policies purchased from this date, for trips within the UK with a start date before 13th April 2020, will not be valid.
 
The UK Government also instructed all British tourists and travellers, that are currently abroad, to return to the UK as soon as possible.
 
As of 17th March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad for an initial period of 30 days. This means that any travel insurance purchased from this date, for trips outside of the UK with a start date before 16th April 2020, will not be covered by the provider.
 
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, so this may also affect your policy, particularly those taken out on or after that date. Please check any existing policies carefully, to find out what you’re covered for.
 
For more information please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Travel insurance for Asia: What to look for

Look for cover for:

  • Medical care 
    the right policy will offer you protection if you were to fall ill or have an accident
  • Flight cancellations and missed connections your travel insurance could protect you against the extra costs that these events incur. Cover for things like a missed connection isn’t included in all policies, so if you want to be covered for this, make sure you check the policy
  • Damage, loss or theft of your luggage Your travel insurance should cover you for replacing clothes, medicine and toiletries if your luggage is damaged, lost or stolen. Remember to take note of any excesses that apply on your policy, as well as the overall possessions and single-item limits
  • Holiday cancellation cover Pay particular attention to these as different providers will cover different reasons for cancellation
  • Pre-existing medical conditions These must be declared to avoid invalidating your policy in the event of a claim. Once declared, the provider will advise you if they will cover this condition or if there will be an exclusion. If you have a heart condition or terminal illness, in a few cases you may need to provide additional information before you can be offered a policy

What else should I consider when I choose my travel insurance for Asia?

It’s particularly important to think about what activities you’ll be doing on your trip and make sure your travel insurance policy covers you for them.  

These can include: 

  • golf travel insurance – you can add this to your single or annual trip cover if it’s not already included in your standard policy
  • cover for other high-risk sports – this will cover you for diving, mountain climbing or kayaking

It’s also worth thinking about whether your policy covers you for natural disaster or catastrophic events. Devastating tsunamis, volcano eruptions and earthquakes have happened in the past, and we have all seen the shocking reports of the impact on the local communities.

Any other tips for my trip to Asia?

Here are a few more travel facts about Asia to help you on your way. Just be aware that this is a general summary and different countries may have different expectations:

  • tipping: tips don’t tend to be expected at hostels, backpacker accommodation, street food stalls, or local eateries. Luxury hotels and restaurants tend to expect a 5-10% tip nowadays. For taxi drivers, you can just round up the bill
  • service charges: a 10% charge will often be added to your hotel and restaurant bills, which usually goes to the owner rather than to the staff  
  • weather: do your research and avoid certain areas of Asia during the monsoon season
  • agree prices  before journey: when travelling in tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis and tricycles, discuss the cost to avoid being expected to pay huge amounts at the end

Do I need a visa for visiting Asia? 

For some counties you’ll need a visa and for others you won’t:

  • For India, you’ll need one. You can find further information about how to apply on the  Indian High Commission website
  • UK nationals can visit Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand without a visa  
  • Vietnam has 15-day visa-free entry for UK nationals and e-visas and embassy-issued visas for longer stays

Heading to East Asia? 

  • For China, British nationals normally need a visa to enter the mainland, but not Hong Kong or Macao. Find out more from the Chinese Embassy
  • For Japan, British nationals can enter for up to 90 days without a visa, but may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes?

Whether you want to cover your family for a year or just for a single trip to Asia, we can help make choosing travel insurance simple. Compare travel cover today and get a quote in minutes. 

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