When most of us picture the island of Bali, we envisage stunning beaches, dense, exotic jungles, raging torrents of rain, and incredible food and hospitality from some of the friendliest people on Earth. And that’s exactly what it’s like. Bali represents an almost unique range of everything from Western-style, elite-level service to the most basic, side-of-the-road experience and everything in between. It is a truly memorable place to visit, one that more and more Australians take advantage of every year.
But island paradises like Bali are not without inherent dangers and nasty surprises. In this article, we will look at why it is essential to have travel insurance in Bali and what elements to look for in your chosen policy.
- Attention to this can be sporadic when passing through immigration but it is technically a legal requirement to possess travel insurance when traveling to Bali.
Elements to look for in your comprehensive travel insurance for Bali
Bali is so accessible and amenable to visit, that it is easy to forget that standards in certain aspects of life differ significantly from those in Australia. Although high-quality medical facilities exist in Bali, there are a plethora of less reliable ones too and the top-level facilities can be eye-wateringly expensive. Undoubtedly, the most crucial of all reasons to have travel insurance in Bali is the extensive medical coverage it provides. Some companies will even offer medical-only policies, tailor-made for travelers who want to keep costs as low as possible and do not require the wider benefits of comprehensive travel insurance.
Before putting your hand in your pocket to purchase travel insurance for Bali, take a close look at what is included and that it references some, if not all of the following:
- Emergency medical assistance — Non-negotiable and fundamental to the reason why you are taking out travel insurance for Bali in the first place. Do not accept anything less than unlimited overseas emergency medical assistance and 5 million dollars of personal liability. If not mentioned, enquire about specifics of the coverage, including 24-hour emergency assistance, ambulance fees, repatriations, and even funeral expenses. Anything and everything from messages to your loved ones to guarantees of using only top-tier medical facilities can and should be agreed upon in writing.
- Overseas emergency, medical, and hospital expenses — This may include reference to hospital cash allowance and longer-term medical procedures, including surgical treatments and nursing.
- Dental cover — For emergencies only, most policies will only pay for treatment on teeth that were otherwise sound and healthy on departure. Sudden, acute tooth pain will be included but don’t expect to claim for unnecessary cosmetic treatments with any degree of success.
Additional features of travel insurance for Bali
It may not feel that way when disaster strikes but all other travel nightmares are insignificant compared to medical emergencies. Pay close attention to the details of your chosen policy and compare it against others but remember, bags and belongings can be replaced but your health cannot. Here are some lesser features of your travel insurance in Bali to look for:
- Additional accommodation/travel expenses
- Family emergencies
- Disruption/resumption of journey
- Permanent disability/loss of income
- Credit card fraud/loss, theft of cash/travel documents/traveler’s cheques
- Luggage/personal effects
- Cancellation fees/lost deposits
- Personal liability and rental vehicle excess
A few words on two wheels
Unless you are an exceptionally competent, confident rider, the best advice is to leave the scooters and motorcycles in Bali to the locals. There are plenty of cheap, easy ways to explore this beautiful island without the stress and danger of negotiating the traffic yourself. The vast majority of injuries and hospitalizations to foreigners in Bali are a direct result of people taking control of two-wheeled vehicles in a place where ‘normal’ rules don’t apply.
From ubiquitous cases of road rash and exhaust burns to much more serious issues from crashes and collisions. None are any fun to experience, all are painful and can so easily ruin your whole trip. If you must rent a scooter, do so from a reputable location, check the vehicle thoroughly beforehand, and follow a few simple guidelines:
- Helmets are a no-brainer — Skin grows back, broken bones heal, bang your head hard enough and it’s game over. Never ride without a helmet. You will only make yourself a target for the police if you do and that is probably the best outcome you can hope for.
- Speed kills — Let others race past at their peril. The goal is to reach your destination in one piece.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol.
- Expect the unexpected — There are rules to driving in Bali but they bear little resemblance to those in Australia and you must be ready for the many occasions when others bend them.
- Concentrate 100% of the time — Travelling on two wheels in Bali is no time for daydreaming.
There can be no doubt that travel insurance in Bali is an essential component of any trip to this wonderful island. The wonders are many and varied, and you want to explore and experience them with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are fully covered should the worst happen.