Malaysia Travel Insurance – Do You Need One?

Some people believe travel insurance is a necessary part of travel while others rarely bother with it. Whether you buy Malaysia travel insurance or not depends on your style of travel and preferences. Short city breaks to Kuala Lumpur probably won’t need to buy insurance apart from to protect against flight delays and cancellations. While those backpacking through the jungle for several months at a time might benefit from some sort of coverage.

Is travel insurance necessary for Malaysia?

Malaysia is a relatively safe country and doesn’t experience major natural disasters on the same scale as nearby Indonesia and the Philippines. There are fewer risks regarding health and political issues compared to other parts of Asia. The most significant danger tourist’s face often includes accidents from dangerous or reckless driving and theft.

According to many, buying travel insurance for Malaysia will give you peace of mind in the unlikely event of unforeseen incidents. Flight delays tend to be quite common and last minute cancellation on budget airlines like AirAsia aren’t unheard of. Paying an extra couple of dollars for traveller insurance to protect against missed connections might be a worthwhile investment.

Ecotourism grows in popularity in parts of Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Activities often include travelling into the jungle to see the wildlife and to go on jungle treks. If you’re thinking about this type of adventure, it’s vital to get some kind of health insurance. The jungle and rainforests are full of several types of disease and dangers. From the risk of a tiny cut becoming infected in a matter of days to the deadly venomous snakes, having some protection might be the difference between getting medical attention or waiting too late. After all, it can take several hours to reach a hospital from some of the more remote areas.

Where to buy it?

Search online, and a long list of travel insurance companies will show up. Finding the best one to suit your specific circumstances can be a challenge. In today’s day and age, the younger generation will search for insurance information online. The less tech-savvy might still buy their coverage from the travel agent. However, the best way to approach finding a suitable package is to search online, find recommendations and read customer reviews of the company. Don’t accept what’s at face value. The priority is buying something suitable that protects you for your specific requirements and will pay up when they need to.

What should travel insurance for Malaysia cover?

The typical coverage of a good travel insurance package should protect against medical costs, trip cancellations, theft and accidental death at the very least. However the most important of these is medical expenses. Sudden sickness or illness can happen without warning, and when tourists are in a hot and humid climate, this increases the risk of exacerbating pre-existing medical conditions. Ideally, you want to be protected for at least $50,000 and to have emergency transport. Getting out of the city and visiting the more rural and off the beaten path places is an exciting adventure, but remember most villages and small towns lack international standard hospitals.

If you’re planning on taking a long-haul flight with connections, consider buying coverage to protect against trip cancellations especially if you book months in advance. Lots of things can go wrong from now until the date of your trip including sickness, death in the family or unforeseen financial difficulties. Having the peace of mind to know that you’re protected in this type of circumstance is essential. Buy Malaysia travel insurance that offers financial support in the event of flight delays, missed connections and cancellations. Choose a policy with allowances for lost or stolen luggage too.

If you’re planning to spend more time in Malaysia, consider the risk of theft and petty crime. Those travelling with expensive phones, laptops and cameras might want to buy something where they can claim for stolen or lost goods. And finally, there’s always a risk of terrorism, in particular, the tourist centres of Kuala Lumpur. Making sure your insurance coverage protects against this unlikely, but potential, threat should be a priority.

How to choose appropriate travel insurance

Different insurance policies may or may not cover specific activities. Those who want to go diving in Sabah’s Sipadan will need a different package to visitors who plan to take part in extreme sports.

Malaysia features some of the world’s best diving sites, especially around Sabah. Some are relatively unexplored and gives tourists the chance to experience an abundance of untainted marine life and coral reefs. But having a diving holiday comes with risks and dangers. Despite the sport having a relatively good safety record, it’s always a good idea to get some insurance. Not all cover diving, and those that do may have strict terms and conditions. Always choose one that includes hospital beds, extra accommodation and rebooked flight at the very least. Consider buying a more comprehensive package covering the events of permanent and total disability or death for complete peace of mind.

If you go into the jungle or plan to trek along some of the trails in the highlands, check your Malaysia travel insurance protects against injuries. Muddy paths and a plethora of obstacles inside a hot and humid environment increase the risk of falls. Inadequate hydration can quickly lead to dizziness and delirium making the chances of falling ill more likely. Make sure the insurance covers hospital costs and emergency evacuation.

What to do in the event of an insured accident?

Keep all the receipts and documents as evidence towards the claim. If you’re admitted to hospital, and you’re capable, call up the insurance company and double check what they will and won’t support. Some hospitals and clinics may or may not be eligible for your particular insurance company. For minor admittance, expect to pay upfront and make a reimbursement claim later.

For the more serious accidents requiring medical attention, you’ll get the treatment first, and the insurance company will deal with the bill. Read the terms and conditions carefully before taking your trip as different companies might have different procedures. If you want to claim on your Malaysia travel insurance for loss of property, you’ll need to complete a claim of the estimated value with as much supporting evidence as possible.

The level of healthcare in Malaysia

The quality of hospitals varies from city to city with Kuala Lumpur having some of Malaysia’s best. Foreigners can choose between visiting a government or private hospital. The first tends to see more local patients while the second attracts the expats. Expect to pay at least RM40 ($10.20) for outpatient care and a minimum of RM120 ($31) to see a specialist in a government hospital. If you need to stay overnight, a bed costs anywhere from RM160 ($41) to RM500 ($128) per night. Private clinic often have a much higher consultation fee that usually starts at RM50 ($12.80). Overnight stay range between RM140 ($36) to RM2500 ($640) depending on the type of room and hospital.

Conclusion

At the very least, choose an insurance company that covers medical bills, flight cancellations and loss of property. For the more adventurous activities, get something that helps with emergency evacuation, permanent disability or death. The type, cost and necessity all depends on the individual and kind of trip.

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