Island of the Gods, heaven on Earth for surfers, and a treasure trove of natural wonders. Bali is, quite rightly, one of the most popular destinations in the world. Dripping in spirituality (those 20,000 temples help), the island is also a playground for adrenaline junkies. Oh, and Bali also knows how to put on a damn good party.
Bali is one of the few places in the world where shoestring backpackers, digital nomads, and luxury honeymooners coexist alongside one another. There is a little something for absolutely everybody and it’s also a great location to kickstart your travels around Indonesia.
Your head is probably spinning thinking about all the awesome things you can do in Bali. We bet you can’t wait to get out there. But, before you do, today’s blog topic will really bring you out in a sweat. This one’s all about travel insurance in Bali!
Do I Need Travel Insurance For Bali?
As with the rest of Indonesia, travel insurance for visitors to Bali is not mandatory. Immigration won’t send you away if you rock up at Bali Ngurah Rai International without it. But all travelers to Bali should put some serious thought into covering themselves.
First up, there is a fair amount of danger lurking beneath those swoon-worthy palm trees. We’re talking about volcanic activity and tsunamis, tropical diseases and rogue monkeys who don’t take too kindly to you not surrendering your jungle trail mix. And then there are the bike crashes – you may be the most competent motorcyclist out there, but all it takes is one drunken tourist on your side of the road to throw a spanner in the works.
It won’t take you long to suss out that Balinese people are among some of the warmest, friendliest and purest in the world. But sadly, theft and petty crimes are common even in Bali. Also, you should note that not all Bali police will help you if you get your bag swiped. We encourage all travellers to least consider taking out some travel insurance in Bali. At the end of the day, you just never know what might happen in those rice paddies.
Healthcare in Bali
As tourism has mushroomed in Bali, the boost on the economy and infrastructure of the island has bolstered the healthcare system. Tourists will find many private hospitals with state of the art, international-standard facilities. Most of the doctors are fluent in English or at least have a strong command of the language. Geographically, the lion’s share of Bali’s premium healthcare is in the south of the island. Kuta, Denpasar and Seminyak are where you will find the majority of the large hospitals. Ubud, a popular Bali destination, also is medically well-equipped.
The cost of seeing a doctor in Bali for minor injuries and medical complaints is low in comparison to Western prices. For a consultation with a doctor at a local clinic, you can expect to pay in the region of 500,000+ IDR ($31 USD). Further tests, laboratory costs, treatment fees, and prescription costs will be added to the bill. Expect rates to be higher at tourist-facing hospitals such as BIMC and Siloam. Ultimately, if you require emergency treatment in Bali, medical attention is going to get pricey without insurance for holidays to Bali.
Find out if your Bali travel insurance has a tie-up with a particular hospital or clinic whereby they can bill your insurance provider directly. Otherwise, keep your receipts and reimburse your provider.
Crime in Bali
Bali is a peaceful island that is, on the whole, safe for tourists. The region ranked 133rd in a recent survey from Numbeo, with a criminality index of 47.66. Compare this to Caracas, which came top of the crime list with a score of 84.92. While violent crime is low, sexual assaults and drink spiking are, sadly, all-too-common in Bali. Female travellers do need to exercise much more caution in Bali, especially when walking alone, or even riding scooters.
The one thing Bali is notorious for is drive-by bag snatches. First-time visitors and digital nomads: you’re very likely to find yourself in the hippy-go-lucky Canggu. When heading out for a night on the Bintang, ensure you hide your money and smartphone. If partying is high on the agenda, all the more reason to consider Bali Canggu travel insurance. Thieves prey on their victims as they leave beachside bars and target pedestrians as well as those driving their own wheels.
In a similar vein, never, ever leave valuables in your Scoopy while you hit the surf. Lock them away at your hostel and keep essentials on your person. Consider adding valuables insurance for Bali holidays to your coverage.
Scams are relatively common in Bali. There is a notorious ‘taxi mafia’ who block the usage of taxi apps Grab and Gojek (Indonesian Uber!). Tourists have reported hailing a ride and then seeing local drivers violently assault drivers. Basically, as far as crime goes in Bali, you just need to keep your wits about you.
You should always have emergency cash hidden on you - Pick up this awesome security belt with hidden pockets before you travel. It's perfect for hiding money and a passport photocopy.
Issues Facing Travellers in Bali
Besides falling in love with Bali and never wanting to leave, there are a few other issues facing travellers. These are where your fancy Bali travel insurance can help you out. As a tropical, humid destination, you’re bound to run into Bali’s mosquitos bringing risk of dengue. In extreme cases, this requires a mini-break in a ward. You’ve also got the added danger of monkeys, which can be particularly aggressive in Ubud. Don’t be fooled by those cute little faces!
Meanwhile, two active volcanoes bubble away on Bali – Mount Agung and Mount Batur. Agung is the one you need to keep an eye on; it’s made a few headlines over the past few years by spewing up lava. Indonesia is also known for jolting its tourists with earthquakes on an ad hoc basis. Recently a 6.3 magnitude tremor earthquake was reported in Bali. Both volcanoes and earthquakes can trigger tsunamis in Indonesia. When shopping around for the best insurance for Bali, you may want to tick that natural disaster box!
If you plan on hopping on a motorbike in Bali, this is where travel insurance for holidays to Bali is going to sound super sexy. Police reported that Indonesian motor accidents take around 30,000 lives per year. Back in 2015, a total of 1,492 traffic accidents across Bali occurred. More often than not, tourists are involved, and as Go Fund Me testifies, those tourists often don’t have insurance.
We can’t stress the value of travel insurance in Bali enough if you are planning on driving or riding pillion. Also, ensure that you have the correct license and double-check the small print – at least twice. And never ride without rocking a helmet.
Common Activities in Bali
- Surfing – This small island is packed with awesome things to do! First and foremost, Bali is a surfer’s island. It goes without saying that surfing carries its fair share of risks – and we’re not just referring to how addictive it is. Keeping the watery theme going, Bali is popular with divers and snorkellers. Scuba diving is usually insured to a certain depth, but you’ll need to check the terms on your Bali travel insurance for clarity.
- Yoga – Another popular holiday activity for Bali is ducking into a yoga retreat. You can barely walk through Bali for the number of downward dogs and warriors. Obviously, a yoga holiday in Bali isn’t too high risk, but if you get a bit too eager with that backbend, well, you might want some cover.
- Driving a motorbike is ubiquitous in Bali. If we didn’t terrify you in the previous passage, it’s something you’ll definitely want to look into. There’s no better way to discover this little slice of tropical heaven (and dodge the selfie sticks). Not all companies will cover these activities by default, so do browse with care and remember that the cheapest Bali travel insurance might not offer the best protection.
What Should Travel Insurance in Bali Cover?
As a rule, most Bali travel insurance will include the following;
- Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expenses
- Baggage and Personal Property
- Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
- Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation
- Trip Cancellation
- Trip Interruption
These are key terms to look out for when comparing insurance policies. Let’s take a closer look at what each one of these actually means.
Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expenses
The headline for most travel insurance policies is emergency medical costs. If you are in a car crash or come down with meningitis, you want to rest easy knowing that any ensuing medical costs will be taken care of.
In case you have never seen a medical bill, let us assure you that they can be expensive. Our founder Will Hatton once racked up costs of $10,000 in Costa Rica and then a nasty infection in Thailand cost him $2,000.00 for just 2 days in hospital. Ouch.
Pre-existing medical and health conditions may not be covered or may come at an additional premium.
Ideally, Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical insurance should offer at least $100,000.00 of coverage.
Baggage and Personal Property
Baggage and Personal Stuff coverage covers the value of your personal property. It’s most common application is for lost luggage and. Many policies also extend this to cover “on the ground” theft.
The limits on this vary between policies but rarely exceed $1000 with a maximum item value between usually up to $500.
This is fine for many travellers but if you travel with a lot of electrical gear (laptop & camera), you may also wish to think about taking out a separate gadget cover.
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency evacuation covers the cost of sending you back to your home country in a sickbed. Let’s say that the above-mentioned car crash is a nasty one and the decision is taken to send you home for further treatment; this will take care of the high, associated costs.
Repatriation is the cost of sending your earthly remains home in the tragic event you die overseas. The costs of this are generally huge, and it is not a burden I would want to leave to my family. Whilst this is rare, every now and then I do come across a Facebook or “Go Fund Me” page for somebody’s body to be flown home.
Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation
Non-medical Emergency Evacuation is when you have to be evacuated from your destination because of some unexpected crisis. Classic examples are outbreaks of war/civil unrest and earthquakes that decimate infrastructure. In recent times, the Corona COVID-19 outbreak created the biggest international emergency evacuation situation ever. (FYI – it straddled both the medical and non-medical evacuation boundaries).
Emergency evac insurance covers the costs of having to book a last-minute flight (which can be expensive) and will also cover accommodation costs if you end up being flown to a random, “safe” country rather than going straight home.
Being forced to cancel a trip you were looking forward to sucks. But being left out of pocket just rubs salt into that festering wound. Trip Cancellation cover can help you recover non-refundable costs such as booked flights and hotel costs.
Note that you can’t claim under this simply because you changed your mind or broke up with your boyfriend. Acceptable cancellation reasons are things like sickness, family emergencies, bereavement, natural disaster and war – you get the gist.
Trip Interruption is when something goes wrong with a part of your trip leaving you out of pocket. For example, when your hotel burns down and you are forced to book another one. Or when your flight home is canceled and you need a few extra nights at your hotel. These are just a few examples of when you may need to reply on trip interruption.
The above is what we consider to be the basic, bare-bones of travel insurance policies. However, some policies do offer a few more aspects and the best Bali travel insurance policies may also offer the following;
Adventure Sports and Activities
Note that some travel insurance policies do not cover adventure sports and activities. The definition of adventure sports and activities does vary between providers but for example, can include;
- Muay Thai
- Soccer practice….
If you are even considering doing anything physical or outdoorsy on your trip, it is wise to check that your insurance provider is covering it. Broken ankles hurt enough without having a $5k Doctors bill attached to them.
Accidental Death and Dismemberment
This one doesn’t cover any travel-related expenses but instead it basically provides you, or your family with some compensation in the event that something awful happens to you. If you die, your loved ones get a payout. Or, if you lose a finger or something, YOU get a payout.
It’s like having a bit of life cover attached to your travel insurance. I know that not everybody is altogether comfortable with the concept of pay-outs for life & limb – I guess it kind of goes something like this;
“Well dear, I’m afraid there is good new and bad news. The bad news is that our beloved son little Jimmy died on his trip to Bali. The good news is that we get $10k! Bali here WE come!”
Gear and Electronics Cover
Some insurance policies cover electronic gadgets and some don’t. Those that do, may charge an additional fee, and they generally limit the maximum item value. If you only travel with a phone or tablet, your travel insurer may well cover it entirely. On the other hand, if you are traveling with a decent laptop then you may wish to consider obtaining gadget cover.
I have personally had gadget cover on my MacBook Pro for years.
What Is The Best Bali Travel Insurance
It is fair to say that not all insurers are created equal. Some offer lower prices than others and others offer more comprehensive cover. Some are notorious for shirking cover whilst others are applauded for their excellent customer service.
Travel insurers are all the same yet always different, and it is absolutely not the case that anyone of them is the best, or is “better” than the others. Insurance is a complex product which takes into account a whole lot of data and a wide set of variables. The “best” travel insurance always depends on where you are going, when you are going there and ultimately upon you and your needs.
Below, we will introduce a few of the many travel insurance providers on offer. These are firms we have used ourselves over the years.
|What is Covered?||World Nomads Standard Plan||World Nomads Explorer Plan||Iata Seguros||SafetyWing||Columbus Direct|
|Emergency Accident & Sickness||$100,000||$100,000||$200,000||$250,000||$1,000,000|
|Baggage & Personal Property||$1000||$3000||$1000||$3000||$750|
|Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation||$300,000||$500,000||100% of cost||$100,000||$1,000,000|
|Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation||$25,000||$25,000||$0||$10,000||$0|
|Trip Interruption||$2500||$10,000||100% of cost||$5000||$750|
World Nomads have been insuring backpackers for years now. They specialise in backpacker travel insurance so their policies cover long way travel on one-way tickets, multiple countries and a lot of adventure activities. They are used to dealing with backpackers like us, and are regularly recommended by travel bloggers and industry insiders.
They offer 2 different plans depending on your needs -the Standard Plan & the Explorer Plan which covers a whole host of high risk, high fun activities. World Nomads are also one of the few travel insurers who allow you to obtain cover, after commencing your trip.
Let’s look at the maximum coverage amounts with both the Standard & Explorer plan.
If you want more info or to get a quote then visit the World Nomads site for yourself and take a look.
Named after one of history’s greatest (and most divisive explorers), Columbus Direct also specialise in insuring adventure-hungry explorers like us. They have been providing award-winning insurance for 30 years. What we like about this plan is that it does cover small amounts of personal cash. However, Gadget Cover is not available.
Columbus Direct actually offers a number of different travel insurance plans. Below we have focused on 1 of these and have set out the coverage amounts for the Globetrotter plan.
If you need more information or want to get a quote, then you can visit the website for yourself.
Iati Seguros is a Spanish based travel insurance company who we have personally used and loved. You will notice that they provide competitive cover amounts for the key travel insurance areas, and are competitively priced. So far we have heard nothing but good things about them.
They also offer multiple ones, but we have focused on the Standard Plan although we wholly encourage checking out all plans for yourself to identify the best one for your needs.
If you need more information or want to get a quote, then you can visit the website for yourself.
SafetyWing is a very interesting travel insurance company. They specialise in covering digital nomads and offer open-ended cover on a monthly subscription basis. Note that because they are primarily covering digital nomads, they don’t offer much in the way of trip cancellation or delay.
They do however excel on the health side of travel insurance, covering dental and some complimentary treatments, and they even allow young children to be covered for free. If cancellation and delay is not a concern for you or you will be spending some considerable time on your trip, then maybe SafetyWing are right for you.
If you need more information or want to get a quote, then you can visit the website for yourself.
Insuremyequipment.com is an online insurer for expensive equipment (like camera gear). You can get specific pieces of gear insured so you know exactly what will be covered. Note that this policy is for your gear only.
An Insure My Equipment policy works well in combination with other travel insurance. Insure My Equipment policies are an excellent choice for professionals and backpackers with more than $3000-$4000 worth of camera equipment or expensive laptops.
How To Choose The Right Bali Travel Insurance For You
Choosing the right travel insurance for your Bali holiday is like choosing a wife, it is something only you can decide (unless your Indian in which case your parents will do it). You need to work out how much your trip is worth, how much equipment you plan to take and what activities you intend to engage in.
And of course, you need to ask yourself how much can you afford – how much you can afford to pay for cover, and how much you can afford to be out of pocket in the unlikely event of a claim. Sometimes, the cheapest Bali travel insurance will be enough and sometimes it will be worth spending a bit more. Hopefully, the information provided in this post will help you to decide – if not, then I just wasted 5 hours of my life in writing it!
Final Thoughts on Bali Travel Insurance
There you have it - your guide to travel insurance for visitors to Bali in a nutshell. Well done for persevering; you've earned yourself your first Bintang at Old Man's!
Now that’s done and dusted, don’t forget that Bali is one of only 17,000+ islands in the breathtaking nation of Indonesia. We’ve written heaps of insider guides to Bali and its neighbouring islands, including where to stay in Bali and the best things to do in Bali. Off you go to plan your legendary trip!
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, I'll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I've actually used and never endorse crap. Your support helps me keep the site going.