Whether you are traveling to a beach in some exotic country, or just going to visit your family in another city; whatever the case may be, traveling has its own risks. These risks include lost or damaged luggage, delayed or canceled flights, injuries or illnesses, and even death. You can never be too sure of what you may find on the other end of your journey. And, this is where travel insurance comes in.
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance provides you with some sought of a cushion against travel-related risks. It covers you and your family against injuries, illnesses, permanent disability, death, loss, and damage of luggage and other incidences that may occur while traveling. Most Travel Insurance policies offer you a one-off coverage where you pay for coverage for one particular trip with a fixed timeframe. But, you can also get annual coverage if you are a frequent traveler.
Different Types of Travel Insurance in Malaysia
This is a short-term travel policy that covers you for one particular trip usually from and to Malaysia for a specific period of time. It is most popular for people that travel once in a while. It covers you for more than 90 days while on that trip.
The coverage in this plan includes accidental death, permanent disablement, medical expenses, follow-up treatment, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, compassionate visitation, and child care.
This is designed to suit people who are constantly traveling mostly for work. It covers you for an unlimited number of trips in one year.
This plan offers personal accident cover, medical expenses, hospital allowance, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, and also child education fund.
As the name suggests, this plan covers one individual person, usually the policyholder. It covers medical expenses, emergency medical repatriation, accidental death, and total & permanent disablement.
This is a plan for families that like to travel together. It covers the policyholder, spouse, and children below 18 years. Some policies put a limit to the number of children covered in this plan. It covers personal accident & death, medical expenses, alternative medicine, childcare, and compassionate care.
Islamic Travel Insurance
It is commonly referred to as Takaful in Malaysia. This kind of insurance is Shariah-compliant and offers coverage against accidental death, total & permanent disability, as well as loss or damage caused by acts of terrorism, and medical expenses.
Backpackers Travel Insurance
This is designed for the adventure seekers in Malaysia. It offers coverage against personal accident, personal liability, gear protection, and extreme sports activities.
Student Travel Insurance
This plan is designed for students who study overseas to help them in their educational pursuits. It offers personal accident covers, tuition fee reimbursement, and sponsor protection.
Business Traveler Insurance
This plan ensures that you are covered when you travel out for business. This business-oriented travel insurance offers coverage on emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, baggage loss/damage/delay, travel cancellation/ delay, and emergency travel assistance services.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost in Malaysia?
Contrary to popular belief, travel insurance is not that expensive. Considering the amount of coverage and the risks involved, it is always wise to put some extra cash in protecting yourself and your family while out on vacation. There are several factors that determine the amount of premium you will pay for a travel Insurance cover. These include:
- Duration of the trip
This is an important factor that influences how much premium you will pay. Instead of charging by the individual number of days, most travel insurance companies in Malaysia calculate the days in duration blocks such as 1-5 days, 6-10 days, 11-15 days, and so on up to 30 days. Some policies last up to 30 days but others can extend in successive one-week blocks.
But, if you are constantly traveling for work or other reasons, it is always advisable to take a policy that covers you for a whole year. This is cost-effective compared to the impromptu policy that you have to purchase ahead of every trip.
- Domestic or International Travel Insurance
Whether you are traveling to Singapore, Hawai, Paris, or Penang, will definitely affect how much premium you are going to pay. Domestic travel insurance covers all travels within Malaysia, while international coverage covers various countries outside Malaysia. Some travel insurance companies usually divide international countries into regions of coverage depending on their geographical location. For instance, a company may consider countries within Asia as region A, while the rest to be region B. Obviously, region B coverage will be a bit more expensive than region A.
Additionally, travel insurance companies may offer around the world travel coverage package, but, this does not include travels to countries that are considered as high risk due to political or social instability.
- Individual or Family Travel Insurance
Travel Insurance companies in Malaysia mostly divide their packages into two distinct categories- Individual and Family. These two packages are then priced differently with the family package obviously being a bit costly. The individual package covers a single person above the age of 18 years, while the family package is designed to offer coverage for the individual, spouse and/or children.
What does Travel Insurance cover me for?
- Accidental Death or Permanent Disablement
If during your trip, you get into an accident and become permanently disabled or maybe die, your travel insurance company will pay a lump sum to you or your beneficiary according to the benefits of your policy plan.
The policy may also cover the cost of repatriation of your body to the country if you die in another country.
- Hospitalization and Medical Expenses due to an illness or an accident
In case you get a medical emergency while you are on your trip, your travel insurance policy will cover all your medical expenses. However, you will probably have to foot the medical expenses first then claim for compensation later when you return home. There are those policies that cover the cost upfront but they are usually more expensive.
- Loss/Damage of Luggage and Personal Items
These include loss or damage of your luggage, loss of passport or money etc. Your travel insurance policy caters for all the inconvenience you experience while you are supposed to be enjoying your trip.
- Trip Cancellation/Delay
If you have to cancel or delay your flight due to an illness, accident or for any sudden and unavoidable reason that is of no fault to you, your travel insurance policy will cater for the extra expenses that may arise due to the cancellation or delay. You will, however, be required to provide proof showing that there was no other choice.
Some policies may also cover if your flight is interrupted for more than 12 hours due to a hijacking.
What does Travel Insurance Policy not cover?
Most travel insurance plans have a number of exclusions that they do not cover. These exclusions differ from one company to the other. However, some of the most common exclusions include:
- War risks
- Suicides or insanity
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- HIV/AIDS-related ailments
- Provoked assault and murder
- Hazardous sports
- Damage or loss of luggage due to customs regulations
- Childbirth or miscarriage
- Pre-existing medical condition
It is always better to read and understand the exclusions before you commit yourself to buy any travel insurance plan.
How to make a Claim
In case of an incident, contact the emergency assistance hotline of your insurer: some travel companies offer 24-hour emergency assistance services whereby they provide access to assistance on medical advice, referrals, medical evacuation, and travel-related situations like loss of luggage or passport.
Make sure that you notify the authorities for any loss or damage to your belongings so that measures can be taken to protect, save or recover them.
Also, submit your claim form to your insurer accompanied by all the supporting documents such as the original policy, the medical report, the police report, and any other relevant document as soon as possible. You can check the time stipulated for claim notification in your policy document.
Documents needed to make a Travel Insurance Claim are:
- Original ID or Passport
- Completed claim form
- Travel itinerary and flight tickets
- Complete baggage information
- Medical documents and doctors report(if necessary)
- Police report
- Essential bills, invoices, and receipts
- Relevant notification from your airline
Top Ten Travel Insurance Products in Malaysia
|Company||Product||Medical Expenses||Loss/Damage to Luggage|
|Travel Care||Up to RM 1,500,000||Up to RM 15,000|
|Tripcare 360 Takaful||Up to RM1,500,000||UP to RM 12,500|
|Smart Traveller||Up to RM 900,000||Up to RM 22,500|
|Travel Easy||Up to RM 300,000||Up to RM 5000|
|Travel Partner||Up to RM 900,000||Up to RM 15,000|
|Travel Care||Up to RM 350,000||Up to RM 5,000|
|Tripcare 360||Up to RM 1,500,000||Up to RM 12,500|
|Travel Pro Domestic||Up to RM 75,000||Up to RM 3,000|
|TravelRight plus||Up to RM 400,000||Up to RM 7,500|
|AIG Insurance Malaysia
|Deluxe||Up to RM1,000,000||Up to RM 15,000|
When choosing travel insurance, don’t just go for the one with cheap premiums, but, make sure that the product you choose provides great coverage. Also, take your time to go through the exclusion list so as to avoid any frustration when you go to claim and it is denied.