Travel insurance shouldn’t be considered a luxury or an unnecessary expense, but an essential component of your travel plans to protect you against any unexpected events. You may be fit and healthy, but accidents can happen, especially when travelling in unknown locations or in places where you don’t necessarily have your bearings.

Not every country has an easy to access, cheap or navigable healthcare system, so travel insurance will protect you in the case of extortionate medical bills while you’re abroad.

While travel insurance is useful for every trip, below we’ll discuss 5 places that you absolutely shouldn’t visit without travel insurance.

5 Places You Shouldn’t Visit Without Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must for all holidays, but it’s more critical for certain destinations than others due to various factors, including:

  • Quality of healthcare

  • Cost of healthcare
  • Higher crime rates
  • Political instability
  • Availability of adventurous activities
  • Frequency of natural disasters
  • Complexity of legal system

Wherever you go and for however long, you’re always taking on some risk of falling ill or being involved in an accident, so travel insurance can help you out of a tricky situation. But when weighing up the factors that can increase the risk of harm or injury as well as the cost of treatment for any issue, some countries necessitate comprehensive travel insurance policies before embarking on a trip.

1. The Philippines – Manila

With tens of thousands of British travellers visiting the Philippines every year, the need for travel insurance should be clear, and is becoming increasingly indispensable.

The country offers tourists staggering natural beauty and an immense variety of cultural activities from the beaches to the cities, like the capital Manila. But with a range of adventurous activities to choose from, the risk of injury is greatly higher in the Philippines than in many other countries. Moreover, the city’s traffic and congestion increase the risk of accidents, making coverage for medical expenses resulting from such incidents essential, especially when considering the potential expenses of healthcare and the difficulty in accessing it.

In popular tourist destinations in the country, as well as larger urban areas like Manila, theft is a common concern for travellers, necessitating insurance for reimbursement for stolen items.

Plus, with ongoing political instability, in a landscape regularly struck by natural disasters unforeseen events like flight cancellations due to the environment or protests can disrupt plans, highlighting the importance of financial protection offered by travel insurance.

With travel insurance, visitors can explore Manila and other destinations with confidence, knowing they have comprehensive coverage and support in times of need.

2. Indonesia – Bali

Bali is another popular destination for tourists due to its stunning beaches, rich cultural heritage, vibrant nightlife, and plethora of adventurous activities. But Bali does not have the same standard of medical facilities as the UK, and medical expenses for accidents, illnesses, or emergencies can be substantial. So getting travel insurance ensures access to necessary medical treatment without worrying about the costs.

Bali’s natural beauty is coupled with natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and some tropical diseases. Travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellations, interruptions, or emergency evacuations due to such events, safeguarding travellers against financial losses and ensuring their safety.

Theft and loss of personal belongings are also common occurrences in popular tourist destinations like Bali, so travel insurance is essential to receive reimbursement for lost or stolen items, including passports, electronics, and valuables, which can help alleviate the enormous inconveniences when trying to return home.

3. Thailand – Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand’s bustling capital, with rich cultural heritage, exquisite cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, is another destination you don’t want to visit without travel insurance.

Many travellers explore East Asia on scooters and motorbikes as it provides a cheap and easy way to move around from one destination to another. But, although traffic in Thailand is on the left like the UK, the rules of the road can vary greatly, making travelling on the busy roads very risky. Medical coverage from travel insurance is crucial, as healthcare facilities and standards differ greatly and in the increased risk of accidents, illnesses, or emergencies, medical expenses can be significant.

Bangkok is also susceptible to natural disasters such as flooding as well as occasional political unrest; travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellations or emergency evacuations due to such events, ensuring the safety of travellers and protecting them against financial losses.

In busy cities, particularly, capitals, tourists are also regularly targets of scams and theft, so should take great care of their passports and valuable items. But with travel insurance, the cost and inconvenience of replacing these items is taken on by the insurance company, providing peace of mind so travellers can enjoy their trip to Bangkok without worrying about potential financial burdens or difficulties.

4. Vietnam – Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, attracts British tourists for its incredible architecture, history and natural beauty as well as the exceptional gastronomy. However, like any international destination, it entails risks that necessitate comprehensive travel insurance. Renting motorbikes for travel is very popular among young tourists but carries risks, highlighting the importance of comprehensive insurance coverage to address potential accidents or mishaps on the road.

You may think you’re a safe driver, but with the number of motorbikes on the road and the different driving regulations, mistakes and accidents happen easily, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, with a comprehensive travel insurance policy to protect you when you require medical treatment or repatriation.

Natural disasters like typhoons and flooding are also prevalent in Vietnam, so travel insurance for trip disruptions or evacuations is essential.

5. Cambodia – Phnom Penh

With a complicated and tumultuous history, Phnom Penh provides opportunities for exploring ancient temples, engaging with local communities, and reflecting on Cambodia’s past through its museums and memorials, making it a popular tourist destination for many British travellers.

The city is generally considered safe for tourists, but like any major city, it’s essential to remain vigilant against petty theft and scams that can result in major disruption to travel plans, especially if the traveller doesn’t have travel insurance. Phnom Penh, situated in a region prone to natural disasters and political unrest, may experience events such as floods or civil disturbances, so it’s important to check regular information on current affairs before visiting the country

Like other East Asian countries on this list, the medical facilities of Phnom Penh are lacking compared to those accessible in the UK and you may incur high costs when receiving medical care, especially for more serious illnesses or accidents. Obtaining medical coverage for such instances is therefore essential.

So How Does Travel Insurance Help?

Travel insurance is crucial, as it provides:

  • Coverage for medical expenses, including hospital stays and emergency transportation
  • Reimbursement for non-refundable trip expenses due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Compensation for lost, stolen, or delayed baggage
  • Coverage for extra expenses due to flight cancellations or delays
  • Evacuation during natural disasters or political unrest
  • Legal coverage for injury or property damage.
  • Potential for specialised coverage for high-risk activities like skiing or diving

To Summarise

Ultimately buying travel insurance is usually a choice left up to each traveller, but while you may feel comfortable taking the risk without it on a weekend in Dublin due to the proximity to the UK and the ability to access healthcare, there are some countries where you should definitely buy travel insurance.

Before booking any trip, make sure to take a look at the UK government’s country-specific travel advice regarding health, culture and safety, as well as the entry requirements, including whether you need travel insurance before entering the country so you don’t get caught unawares at the border. Check with your bank before holidaying abroad that your credit card will work abroad too to ensure you’ve got options in case of emergencies.

Bruford and Vallance Insurance Services Ltd.

At Bruford and Vallance Insurance Services Ltd, we want everyone to have the right cover for when they’re abroad to avoid any complications. To learn more about the travel insurance policies we offer, contact us directly today, or request a quote from us.

You can also read more of our handy tips, including how to make a claim on your insurance.