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Compare travel insurance for China

From Beijing’s Forbidden City to the Great Wall and everything in between, China is a vast landscape full of stunning architecture and must-see attractions. Let’s take a look at how to find the right travel insurance ahead of your trip to China.

From Beijing’s Forbidden City to the Great Wall and everything in between, China is a vast landscape full of stunning architecture and must-see attractions. Let’s take a look at how to find the right travel insurance ahead of your trip to China.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Last Updated
15 JANUARY 2024
4 min read
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Do I need travel insurance for China?

While not compulsory, travel insurance can help make sure you won’t end up out of pocket if you need medical treatment, lose your luggage or your holiday is cancelled.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

How much is travel insurance for China?

For trips to China, you’ll need a worldwide travel insurance policy. This will be cheaper if you don’t need cover for Canada, the USA or the Caribbean. 

A worldwide travel policy can cost from as little as £17.30 for a week’s holiday[1]. But the exact cost of your travel insurance will depend on several things, including your age, the level of cover you need for your trip, what activities you’re planning and any pre-existing health conditions.

If you travel regularly, you might find that an annual travel insurance policy saves you money overall.

[1] Based on Compare the Market data for a worldwide travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling for 1 week. Prices correct as of March 2024.

What will China travel insurance cover?

A travel policy for China will typically include cover for:

  • Medical care – healthcare in China won’t come for free. Travel insurance can protect you against the high cost of medical bills if you’re sick or injured during your trip. The policy may also include repatriation back to the UK for treatment.
  • Damage, loss or theft of your luggage – travel insurance can cover your belongings, including your phone, clothing and jewellery, if they’re stolen, lost or damaged. 
  • Holiday cancellation – this could protect you if you have to cancel or cut your trip short because of illness or bereavement. It’s important to get travel insurance as soon as you book your trip.
  • Flight cancellations – check the policy to make sure cover for missed connections is also included.
  • Covid-19 – this can cover cancellation, medical expenses, repatriation and extended stays as a result of Covid-19. Get a travel insurance quote with us and compare the levels of covid cover available. Just look for the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page.

What won’t China travel insurance cover?

Before buying holiday insurance for China, there’s a few exclusions to watch out for. Insurance providers typically won't cover:

  • Pre-existing health conditions – you must declare these to your provider. If you don’t and try to claim for this type of illness, you risk invalidating your policy. 
  • Injuries or accidents caused by high-risk activities – typically, you’ll have to pay extra to cover sports like skiing, rock climbing or white-water rafting.
  • Incidents related to alcohol or drug use – if you’re injured or lose something because you’re drunk or under the influence of drugs, your claim will likely be rejected.
  • Travel to regions against government advice – this may be because of disease epidemics or terrorism threats. Check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website for the latest updates ahead of travel.
  • Terrorism, natural disasters and civil unrest – China is susceptible to earthquakes, flooding and typhoons. Some policies offer limited cover for natural disasters and terrorism-related incidents, but you’ll need to clarify this with your provider. 

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

Think about what activities you’ll be doing in China. Low-risk sports are typically covered by regular travel insurance. If you’re planning anything more adventurous, you may be able to add other activities to your policy at an extra cost. If this isn’t possible, look for a specialist policy.

Activities you’ll need to make sure you’re covered for include:

  • Extreme sports – this can cover you for skydiving in Beijing or zip-lining in Guangzhou, for example.
  • Water sports – surfing, windsurfing and kayaking are all popular in China. Water sports cover can protect you in case you get injured or your valuable sports equipment gets damaged. 
  • Winter sports – if you’re planning to ski or snowboard in China’s winter sports resorts, this can cover you for piste closure and theft of equipment.

Do I need a visa to travel to China?

Brits will need to get a visa to enter mainland China – including Hainan Island – but not Hong Kong or Macao. If you’re aged between 14 and 70, you’ll need to apply for a visa in person at a Visa Application Centre. Your passport needs to have at least six months’ validity when you enter China.

More details about the entry requirements for China can be found on the GOV.UK website, including rules on Covid-19 vaccines and testing.

Any other tips for travel to China?

With so much to see and do in China, here’s a few more travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit: 

  • Vaccinations - visit your doctor four to eight weeks before your trip to find out if you need any vaccinations before you go.
  • Climate - this varies a lot from region to region. In the north-east, which includes Beijing, it’s typically hot and dry between June and August, while the winters are freezing cold.
  • Health - China has high levels of air pollution in its urban areas, which can aggravate conditions including asthma and bronchitis. Tap water is generally not safe to drink, so always buy bottled water.
  • Time differences - China has one time zone and is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
  • Tipping - in general, tipping isn’t expected. It’s more customary in Hong Kong and leaving a tip at the end of a tour is acceptable. 

Compare China travel insurance

Tell us your requirements and we’ll compare travel insurance deals that help you get the right level of cover at a great price.

Frequently asked questions

What travel insurance do I need for backpacking in China?

If you’re heading to China as part of a backpacking holiday, we can help you find great deals on backpacker travel insurance. This is designed for people who travel for long periods of time, often to several countries in one trip. If your holiday is likely to include adventurous activities, you might also need extreme sports or water sports cover.

When is the best time to visit China?

Thanks to its vastly different landscapes and climate, there’s no real right or wrong time to visit China, but the spring and autumn months are generally considered good for travel. The weather is usually warm and dry then, whereas much of the country experiences bitterly cold winters and hot, humid summers.

Is China safe for tourists?

According to the FCDO, serious crime against foreigners is rare in China, but scammers do operate in tourist areas. You may be invited to a bar for a massage or tea-tasting, only to face demands for a huge fee.

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