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.

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.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
minute read
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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. 


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

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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