On top of booking your flight (tick), booking your hotel (double tick) and packing your bag (pending), travel insurance is another item to check off the list for that added peace of mind that "Bali belly", stolen luggage or volcano eruptions and ash clouds don't mar your trip.
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Everything you need to know about Bali travel insurance
Will I be covered for the recent Lombok earthquake near Bali?
On the evening of 5 August 2018, a strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Lombok, Indonesia, killing dozens of people. The quake and its aftershocks were felt on Bali too, where buildings were also damaged.
Travel insurance companies were quick to issue statements about how the earthquake will affect existing and future policies.
What can Bali travel insurance cover?
Travel insurance policies can cover you for a lot more than acts of mother nature such as ash clouds and earthquakes. They also provide protection against a broad range of risks faced by every traveller who visits Bali. This includes:
- Overseas medical expenses. Medicare doesn’t cover you overseas. Luckily, if you fall and break your arm on a slippery Kuta street or if your hospitalised with a severe case of "Bali belly’" travel insurance can cover emergency overseas medical costs such as these.
- Medical evacuation and repatriation. If you suffer a serious illness or injury in Bali and the best course of action is to be medically repatriated home to Australia, the cost can be covered by travel insurance.
- Cancellation costs. No matter where in the world, unforeseeable events such as the loss of a loved one or illness can force you to cancel your trip. With the right travel insurance your cancellation fees and lost deposits can be reimbursed to you.
- Lost or stolen luggage. If your luggage or personal items are stolen or damaged during your trip, travel insurance covers the cost of their repair or replacement.
- Luggage delay. When and airline temporarily loses your luggage, travel insurance can provide you with the funds to buy emergency items like clothing and toiletries.
- Theft. Had your bag or wallet stolen in the busy crowds of Bali’s popular tourist hotspots? Petty crime is common in Indonesia, so travel insurance covers the theft of cash, passports and personal items.
- Water sports. Planning on surfing, snorkelling, parasailing or jet skiing in Bali ? Policies can cover you for specific activities, even if they are extreme or adventurous.
- Riding a motorcycle or scooter. Getting around Bali on two wheels is one of the most common modes of transportation and some insurers do cover you for travel on motorcycle or scooter. Conditions apply.
- Personal liability. If you've injured someone else or damaged their property while on your Balinese holiday, you may be protected by the personal liability cover included with travel insurance.
Are there any exclusions?
Accidents happen and sometimes these can't be avoided. That's when travel insurance policies come in. For accidents that could have been avoided due to your own unsafe actions or pre-existing conditions, policies generally won't cover you.
Common exclusions include:
- You ignore a government warning. If you travel to an area or region that the Australian Government has warned against visiting, your policy will not provide cover. Check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller website for any travel advisories that may apply.
- You’re drunk. Bali has a reputation as a popular party destination, but travel insurers will not cover you for any claims that arise because you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. So if you’ve polished off one too many Bintangs and then wander out into traffic without looking, don’t expect your policy to cover your medical bills.
- You don’t follow the riding rules. Bali’s road crash statistics make for sobering reading. In 2015, 504 people died in road accidents, 254 were seriously injured and another 1,890 people suffered minor injuries. The roads are also crowded and chaotic, and if you ride without a valid motorcycle licence or without a helmet, don’t expect any cover from your insurer. In fact, some insurers will refuse to cover motorcycle or scooter travel at all, so check the fine print.
- You don’t look after your stuff. Travel insurance doesn’t cover your luggage and personal belongings if you leave them unattended in a public place. So if you leave your bag (containing your wallet, phone and passport) sitting on a beach while you go off in search of a toilet, you won’t be covered.
- You engage in high-risk adventure activities. Are you a thrill seeker who wants to pack as much sky diving, cliff jumping, rock climbing and other hazardous activities into your Bali holiday. Check the fine print of your policy before you do, as many of these will not be covered.
- You have a pre-existing medical condition. Travel insurance will generally not cover any pre-existing medical conditions you have before you travel. So if your back problems flare up after the flight to Denpasar, your insurer probably won’t cover you for any resulting disruption to your trip.
- You don’t report incidents to the authorities. Had your bag stolen? Report it to the police immediately. Airline lost your luggage? Let them know straight away. If you fail to report loss or theft to the relevant authority within 24 hours, you may not be covered.
Check out our guide to travel insurance exclusions for more situations when you won’t be covered.
Will I be covered if…
- I ride a scooter? Maybe. Some insurers will not cover any motorcycle or scooter use, even as a passenger, while others will provide cover as long as you meet certain conditions. These usually include that you must wear a helmet and you must hold a current motorcycle licence that is valid in Bali, while there may also be a limit on the engine capacity of the motorcycle you are allowed to ride. Even if you see other Aussies riding around on mopeds, remember that inexperienced drivers often have crashes, injuries and even fatalities.
- Political unrest occurs? If political unrest develops in Bali, many insurers will provide cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits if you need to cancel your trip. Many will also provide cover for trip disruption if unrest unexpectedly develops once you have already travelled to Bali, as long as you exercise all reasonable safety precautions and stay well away from any protests or civil commotion. However, if you visit a country for which the Department of Affairs and Trade has issued a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory (or, in some cases, a ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ warning), you won’t be covered.
- There is an act of terrorism? Terrorism is commonly listed as a general exclusion on most travel insurance policies, so any claims that arise due to an act of terrorism will typically not be covered.
- If I participate in adventure activities, such as white-water rafting and paintballing? Cover for adventure activities varies between insurers. Many adventure activities are usually excluded from cover, but you may be able to purchase additional protection by including an adventure sports package with your cover. Check the PDS for details of which activities are automatically covered, which activities you can purchase additional cover for, and which activities are always excluded.
- I engage in activities while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? No. If your claim arises because you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, travel insurers will refuse your claim. So if you crash your scooter while drunk in Kuta, don’t expect your insurer to cover your medical bills.
How much does cover cost?
It's that all important question - and one that could make or break your decision to run the risk of travelling without cover. The good news is, it's more affordable than you think.
We studied 10,000 Bali travel insurance quotes requested through the Finder quote engine above and discovered that the most common travellers to the destination are aged 26-35 years old. On average, it costs $66.05 for travellers of this age to holiday in Bali for 2 weeks.
Of course, prices vary depending on the level of cover and any options you select, so compare a range of quotes to get a better idea of how much Bali travel insurance will cost you.
What's the cheapest I can pay for travel insurance?
We looked at three of the cheapest travel insurance policies available through the Finder quote engine and found you can purchase cover from as little as $23.50 for a two week trip. This might sound cheap but it's important to consider that cover might be limited due to the cost and you should always read the PDS to ensure you're covered for all that you need with it. Prices shown below are accurate as of August 2018 and are subject to change.
|Provider||Tick Travel Insurance||Online Travel Insurance||itrek|
|Overseas Medical Expenses||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Cancellation Fee Cover||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Luggage & Personal Effects||$2,000||n/a||n/a|
|Length of Trip||14 days||14 days||14 days|
|Age of Traveller||35||35||35|
|Total cost of cover||$26.11||$21.69||$35.96|
|Get quote||Get quote||Get quote|
Is Bali safe?
You’ve probably heard the oft-quoted statistic that an Australian dies in Bali every nine days, so it’s important to be aware of the risks you face when travelling.
According to figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in the year to June 8, 2016:
- 93 Australians died in Indonesia
- 144 Australians suffered a serious injury or illness/hospitalisation in Indonesia
- 40 Australians went missing in Indonesia
With this in mind, there are a few safety risks you should be aware of before boarding a flight to Bali:
- Terrorism. At the time of writing, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was advising Australian travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Bali due to the high threat of terrorist attack.
- Crime. Opportunistic theft and other petty crime is a big problem in Bali, with robbery and bag snatching common risks.
- Illness and disease. From Hepatitis A and B to measles, malaria and dengue fever, there are a range of diseases you may need vaccination against before visiting Indonesia. Traveller’s diarrhoea is also a common problem for Australian visitors to Bali.
- Dangerous roads. Traffic can be congested and many road rules are ignored. Outside of major cities and tourist areas, the quality of roads also decreases dramatically.
- Drink spiking. Drink spiking and poisoning of drinks with toxic substances have been reported in Bali, and is a risk you need to be aware of when visiting nightclubs.
Safety tips for Bali
Here’s how you can stay safe during your trip to Bali and minimise the chances of having to make a travel insurance claim:
- Get vaccinated. Visit your doctor well in advance of your scheduled departure date to have a general check-up and make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are strongly recommended, as are vaccinations for Typhoid, Tetanus, Pertussis and Diphtheria. Check with your doctor about the shots you need before you go.
- Watch out for wildlife. Rabies is another common risk in Bali and throughout Indonesia, and it is most commonly spread by animal bites and scratches. Don’t feed or pet monkeys or dogs anywhere in Bali.
- Take care on the road. Balinese traffic is chaotic, congested and crazy. Exercise extreme caution on the roads and if you’re hiring a vehicle, consider travel insurance that provides rental vehicle insurance excess cover.
- Be wary of thieves. Protect yourself against petty crime by watching out for card game scams in tourist areas, exercising caution when withdrawing cash from an ATM, and making sure not to carry large sums of money on your person. It’s also recommended that you keep your money and valuables close to you to avoid being targeted by thieves on motorcycles.
- Avoid illness. Protect yourself against food-borne illness by practising good food hygiene at all times. You can also avoid a case of the dreaded ‘Bali belly’ by drinking bottled water only and steering clear of street food.
- Be safe in the water. Don't venture out too far even if you're a competent swimmer, as dangerous surf and riptides might not be signposted.
- Stay alert. The terrorist threat level throughout Indonesia remains high, so keep your wits about you at all times.
- Register with smart traveller. Let your loved ones know where you are in the event that you might become uncontactable while on holiday.
Don't do drugs. This may seem like a no-brainer, but not a year goes by when there isn't news of a foreigner getting in trouble for drugs in Bali.
How to make a claim
I had an accident in Bali. What do I do?
If you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy, check with your insurer to find out what options are available. Generally you will need to:
- Fill out a claim form. This will usually be available online or can be mailed to you upon request.
- Provide supporting documentation. You will need to provide documentation to support your claim. Depending on the nature andcomplexity of your claim, this can include things like receipts for valuable items, police reports, and photographs of damaged or stolen items.
It’s important to notify your insurer of an event that may give rise to a claim as soon as possible after it occurs. Co-operate fully with the insurer throughout the claims process, and provide any information or documents needed to complete your claim.
- Keep receipts. It's a good idea to keep receipts or photos of any valuables you have. Having a copy of your travel insurance policy, along with your insurer’s contact details, on your trip can also help you lodge your claim quicker. Having a photocopy of your passport handy can also be useful if your travel documents are stolen.
- Keep copies. Try to get written copies of every important document, including copies of police reports or details of flight cancellations. The more evidence you have to back up your claim, the harder it will be for your insurer to reject it.
What to consider when purchasing your travel insurance policy for Bali
The best travel insurance for Bali depends on the type of holiday you have planned. Consider the following factors when choosing a policy:
- Where else are you going? Are you travelling to Bali only, or will you also be visiting other destinations throughout Indonesia or around the world? If you’re planning an extended holiday, you may need a policy that covers longer trip durations and multiple destinations.
- What will you be doing? Will you be hiring a car or motorcycle, and therefore need a policy that covers things like rental car insurance excess or emergency medical expenses following a motorcycle accident? Will you need cover for adventure activities and water sports?
- How much cover do you need? Do you want cover for the essentials only or would you prefer cover for a comprehensive range of travel risks? Do you need unlimited cover for overseas medical expenses in Bali? How much cover do you need for cancellation costs, luggage and personal belongings, and all the other crucial travel insurance benefits?
- What’s your budget? Are you a budget-conscious backpacker or are you willing to spend a little extra to buy high-level cover for a wider range of risks?
Answering these questions will help you work out the type of policy you want. Then it’s a matter of comparing multiple policies by looking at the following factors:
- What’s covered. Read the PDS for details of what benefits each policy offers, and the limits and sublimits that apply to each of those benefits.
- What’s not covered. Read the list of general exclusions so that you’re fully aware of all the situations and events that will not be covered.
- What additional options are available. If you need additional cover, such as for high-risk adventure sports or for high-value personal items you plan on taking with you to Bali, check if these are available for an extra premium.
- The cost of cover. Obtain quotes to see how the cost of each policy compares to the competition. However, remember that instead of just looking at the number, you should consider cost in relation to the policy’s features to determine whether it offers value for money.
How to save on your policy
Looking for ways to save money on Bali travel insurance? The following tips can help:
- Consider annual travel insurance. If you love travelling and you usually take multiple overseas trips a year, taking out a single-trip travel insurance policy for each separate holiday can soon become expensive. But if you purchase annual multi-trip travel insurance, which provides comprehensive cover for all the trips you take during a 12-month period, it works out to be much more cost-effective.
- Lower your excess. Many insurers allow you to adjust your excess when you take out cover. By choosing a policy with a higher excess, you’ll be able to access cheaper premiums.
- Combine cover. Travelling to Bali with friends or family? Instead of each individual purchasing their own policy, why not split the cost of a joint policy between all of you?
- Specify your destination. If your travel insurer gives you the option of specifying Bali as your destination rather than Indonesia as a whole, you could enjoy cheaper premiums.
- Take advantage of discounts. Before buying a policy, look around for any discounts and special offers that may be available. These include seniors discounts, student discounts, multi-policy discounts and online coupon codes.
- Choose the right level of cover. Before choosing a comprehensive travel insurance policy, consider whether you might be satisfied with the cover offered by a cheaper essentials policy. At the same time, make sure you only pay for the extra-cost options you need – if you’re more of a ‘sip cocktails by the pool’ type of holidaymaker than an adrenaline junkie, don’t pay for adventure sports cover you won’t need.
- Buy from an insurer. Just booked flights to Bali? Don’t buy cover from your airline or travel agent, as you’ll most likely be charged extra due to their commission. Save money by purchasing a policy direct from your chosen travel insurer.
- Compare quotes. Don’t just choose the first policy you come across because it sounds okay; compare quotes from several insurers to decide which one offers the best value for money.
How do I find cheap flights to Bali?
Bali is relatively cheap to get to from Australia for most of the year; however, there is usually a slight peak period during Christmas and the New Year. Avoid this period and look for deals from airlines.
Why travel insurance is a must for cheap flights
While you can often get flights to Bali for cheap, tickets are sometimes non-refundable and non-transferable. This is likely the case if you find tickets on a flight deals aggregator website or during an airlines mass sale.
Having travel insurance with cancellation cover is vital if you have to cancel due to a family member being ill or passing away.
Frequently asked questions about Bali travel insurance
Ready to get travel insurance for Bali?
Travel insurance is an essential consideration for any trip you’re planning on taking, including your next holiday to Bali. Consider your cover options and research a range of policies to ensure you end up with the right level of cover.
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