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Travel insurance for Asia

Asia is more popular than ever, with tourists travelling there for the rich cultures, vibrant landscapes, and unforgettable experiences. Maybe you're drawn to the ancient temples of Cambodia, or the bustling streets of Tokyo. Or, maybe you're wanting to explore the sandy beaches of Bali and Thailand.

Whatever the case, planning a trip to Asia requires careful planning, and travel insurance should be considered as part of your preparation for your holiday.

Below, we take a look at Asia and what you can expect, including visa requirements, local healthcare and what your travel insurance may cover.

If you're ready to compare quotes, select "Get a quote" to get started on your Asian adventure. Otherwise, keep on reading!

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Important information

All insurance products exclude cover for known events. These are global events that can put you in danger and/or disrupt travel.

The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of this. This exclusion applies if the event was declared as a ‘known event’ when you bought your insurance.

If you travel against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice, you won't be covered for any travel insurance you buy. It applies if you fail to comply with your destination’s entry requirements.

There are parts of Asia with travel warnings in place, including in Malaysia, Indonesia and Afghanistan*. Please check all travel advice before you travel.

*Correct as of June 2024

Do I need travel insurance to travel to Asia?

You don't legally need travel insurance to visit Asia, but it's smart to get a good policy for your trip.

Healthcare in some remote parts of Asia can be limited and expensive. In some cases, hospitals may refuse treatment until they're given a guarantee of payment, highlighting why travel insurance is so important.

Depending on where you're going in Asia, there could be limited healthcare facilities that only offer basic treatment. So, if you were seriously ill or injured, you may be sent to another hospital or even returned home. Without a travel insurance policy in place, this could cost you a lot of money.

Travel insurance for Asia can also cover you for other unexpected problems you might experience while you're away. This includes things like theft, travel delays, and tour cancellations. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Choosing the right policy for your trip

When it comes to travel insurance, you can choose between single-trip, multi-trip, or backpackers travel insurance for your trip.

Let's break each insurance type down:

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Single-trip travel insurance

If you're thinking of a one-off trip to Asia, single-trip travel insurance might be a good option for you. This type of insurance is designed to cover 1 trip, from the time you leave home until you come back.

Multi-travel icon

Annual travel insurance

Thinking of visiting Asia more than once in 12 months? If you've got a trip to Thailand planned, but you also want to visit Vietnam, for example, annual travel insurance is worth looking into.

Travel backpackers icon

Backpacker travel insurance

If you're planning on going to Asia for an extended amount of time, backpackers travel insurance could be a good option. This type of policy can offer enhanced coverage for backpacking trips, and can cover multiple countries for1 trip up to 18 months.

What our travel insurance expert says

"When traveling across Asia, you'll experience different countries, languages and cultures. When crossing a lot of borders, it's important to research any visa requirements and health notices for each country, as they can vary significantly.

"When traveling to Asia, getting travel insurance with the right level of cover is important. Medical costs vary across the continent, so it's important to have insurance that covers medical treatment, evacuation, and repatriation. It might also be a good idea for your policy to include cancellations, delays, as well as lost or stolen baggage, especially if you're travelling to different countries in Asia."

Alvaro Iturmendi - Confused.com travel insurance expert
Travel insurance expert Confused.com logo

What does travel insurance for Asia cover?

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What's usually covered:

Emergency medical treatment

If you get injured or ill and need to receive emergency medical treatment.

Repatriation to the UK

If you need to return home to the UK for medical treatment. Without a policy in place, this could end up costing you a lot of money travelling from Asia.

Theft, accidental damage, or loss

If your personal items or luggage are stolen, accidentally damaged, or lost.

Travel disruption

If you're unable to travel as planned due to something out of your control, such as bad weather.

Cancellation or curtailment

If you need to cancel or cut short your trip for an unexpected reason.

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What's usually not covered:

Travelling against FCDO advice

If the FCDO advises not to travel to a certain area of Asia, but you go anyway.

Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions

If you don't declare a pre-existing medical condition and you need to receive treatment while you're travelling, you won't be covered.

Extreme sports and activities

If you plan to do certain types of high-risk activities, like scuba diving, you'll need a specialist policy such as adventure travel insurance.

Incidents involving alcohol and drugs

If illness, injury, or death occurs due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you won't be covered.

Changing your mind

If you decide you no longer want to go to Asia, you won't be covered for any expenses you've lost.

How much is travel insurance for Asia?

Policy type Policy cost
Single trip travel insurance
£15.531
Annual travel insurance
£18.602
Backpacker travel insurance
£95.983

Policy prices can vary depending on the length of your trip. Your destination can also affect the price. For example, travel insurance for South East Asia might have a different cost to travelling elsewhere in Asia, like India.

The prices we've included above are for worldwide cover excluding the USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico for both annual and backpacker travel insurance. This insurance might cost more than other types. That's because medical care in Asia is expensive.

1The cheapest single-trip policy for a 30 year old with no previous medical conditions, travelling to Vietnam for 1 week. Correct as of May 2024 - Confused.com data

2The cheapest annual worldwide policy for a 30 year old with no previous medical conditions. Correct as of May 2024 - Confused.com data

3The cheapest backpacker policy for a 30 year old with no previous medical conditions, travelling to Asia for 3 months. Correct as of May 2024 - Confused.com data

Medical care in Asia

The quality of healthcare in Asia can vary from country to country.

On one hand, there's some areas in Asia that offer fantastic healthcare. For example, private hospitals in places like Thailand and Vietnam are often top-notch, but treatment prices can be costly.

On the other hand, there's plenty of hospitals that don't meet UK standards throughout Asia. This is often the case for rural areas outside of popular tourist destinations, such as Bangkok.

It's also common for hospitals to require payment guarantees upfront before treating patients, which means travel insurance can be essential in those situations.

Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect in some popular Asian destinations:

  • India: Medical care in India can vary, depending on where you are. You can usually find good-quality hospitals and medical facilities in populated cities, rather than in rural areas.
  • Vietnam: High-quality healthcare services are mainly found in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. But, extreme injuries or illnesses often require treatment in the UK.
  • Japan: Medical care in Japan meets UK standards, but the cost of treatment can be expensive.
  • Thailand: In Thailand, they have free public healthcare, but it's only available to Thai citizens. Most high-standard hospitals can be found in cities, and you may need to show proof that you can pay prior to treatment.
  • Singapore: Medical care in Singapore is expensive, and you're usually expected to pay upfront by cash or credit card. For major treatment, a costly deposit is often needed.

Top tip: The FCDO has a directory of English-speaking doctors. You can use it to help you access healthcare in Asia if needed.

Travel insurance for activities in Asia

If you're heading to Asia, you're probably already getting excited for all the activities you'll be doing there.

Maybe you have plans to hit the ski slopes in Dubai, or maybe you want to go kayaking in Japan. Scuba diving with turtles is popular in Indonesia, and ethical elephant sanctuaries are often the highlight of most travellers' trips to Thailand.

The heart-racing Hi Giang motorbike loop is one of the main reasons people head to Vietnam. And, if you're an avid golfer, there's plenty of places you can enjoy a round of golf. In particular, Chiang Mai in Thailand is known for its offering of world-class golf courses. Depending on how much golf you want to play, you may need a specialist golf travel insurance policy.

But, even though there's so much to look forward to, not all these sports and activities are covered by a standard travel insurance policy. So, depending on what you want to do, you may need to take out a specialist policy or optional add-on for a cost. For example, adventure travel insurance.

Top tip: Read the policy terms and conditions to know what you're getting covered for.

Do I need a visa to travel to Asia?

This depends on where you're planning to go in Asia.

Let's take a look at popular Asian destinations, and there visa rules for British passport holders:

  • Vietnam: You'll be able to stay for up to 45 days without a visa.
  • Thailand: You can stay up to 30 days without a visa.
  • Japan: You can stay up to 90 days without a visa.
  • Dubai: You can travel for up to 40 days without a visa.

But, if you want to explore Asia for a longer period of time, you'll likely need to apply for a visa.

Helpful hint: Check Gov.uk's travel advice to see what the entry requirements for your Asian destination are.

Tips for travelling to Asia

  • Vaccinations: It's likely that you'll need vaccinations to travel to Asia, regardless of your destination. Check with your GP as soon as you can, because you usually need to get vaccinations 6 weeks before you travel. You can also look on the Travel Health Pro website for advice.
  • Currencies: There's different currencies throughout Asia, so check what you'll need. For example, in Thailand Thai baht is used, but Vietnamese Dong is used in Vietnam.
  • Tipping: Whether you'll need to tip generally depends on what part of Asia you're going to. In most local restaurants or bars, tipping is up to you. But, it might be required in popular tourist spots.
  • Languages: Asia is the largest continent in the world! There's over 2,000 languages across Asia, but most citizens speak English as their second language.
  • Time zones: Asian countries tend to be around 4 to 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is what we use in the UK. Research the time zone of the Asian countries you're going to, so you can easily stay in touch with loved ones back home.

Discover other destinations

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