Bali is one of the top 10 international destinations for Kiwi travellers and is a popular destination for a short getaway.
If you’re planning a holiday to Bali, one of the first items packed in your suitcase should be travel insurance. It provides essential financial protection against a range of common travel risks, from ‘Bali belly’ and stolen luggage, to scooter accidents and medical emergencies, ensuring peace of mind from the moment your holiday begins.
Read on to find out more about finding the best travel insurance for Bali.
More information about Travel Insurance for Bali
Planning an overseas trip is a time of excitement and anticipation, so the last thing you want to be doing is thinking about what could happen if something were to go wrong on your holiday. And when you’re travelling to a location like Bali that’s so close to home and also incredibly affordable, do you really need to bother with travel insurance?
Yes, you do. Why? Because travel insurance provides protection against a broad range of risks faced by every traveller who visits Bali, including:
- Overseas medical expenses. Medicare doesn’t cover you overseas, so if you fall and break your arm on a slippery Kuta street or if your hospitalised with a severe case of ‘Bali belly’, you could face expensive medical bills. Luckily, travel insurance can cover your emergency overseas medical costs.
- Medical evacuation and repatriation. If you suffer a serious illness or injury in Bali and the best course of action is for you to be medically repatriated back home to New Zealand, the cost can be astronomical. But the good news is that it’s covered by travel insurance.
- Cancellation costs. No matter where in the world you travel, sometimes unforeseeable events can cause you to cancel your trip. From natural disasters to the unexpected death of a relative, travel insurance covers your cancellation fees and lost deposits if you’re unable to travel due to circumstances beyond your control.
- 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 give you the funds you need to buy emergency items like clothing and toiletries.
- Theft. Had your bag or wallet stolen in the busy crowds at one of Bali’s popular tourist hotspots? Petty crime is a common risk in Indonesia, so travel insurance covers the theft of cash, passports and personal items.
- Water sports. Planning on surfing, snorkelling, parasailing or jet skiing on your Bali trip? You’ll be able to find travel insurance that covers you when you participate in all of these activities.
- Riding a motorcycle or scooter. If you’ll be getting around Bali on two wheels, some insurers will cover you for travel on motorcycle or scooter (conditions apply).
- Personal liability. If you’re held legally liable for injuring someone else or damaging their property while on your Balinese holiday, the financial consequences could be disastrous – unless you’re protected by the personal liability cover included with travel insurance.
Bali ash cloud
When Mt Rinjani on the island of Lombok erupted multiple times in 2016, it caused chaos for New Zealand travellers who had booked flights to and from Bali. The resulting ash cloud caused cancellations and disruptions to scores of flights in and out of Bali, leaving thousands of travellers with significant out-of-pocket expenses.
While those people who had taken out travel insurance before the first eruption were generally covered for those expenses, travellers who took out a policy after the ash cloud formed were not eligible for any benefits.
Cost will always be a factor when choosing travel insurance for Bali, but it should never be the only factor you consider. You should also look at what a policy covers, and to what levels, before deciding whether it’s right for you.
Of course there are! Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover every single little thing that could conceivably go wrong on your Bali trip – if it did, the premiums would be huge – so make sure you’re aware of when your policy won’t provide any cover.
Bali travel insurance won’t cover you if:
- You ignore a government warning. If you travel to an area or region that the New Zealand Government has warned against visiting, your policy will not provide cover. Check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s SafeTravel 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. There are around 1,500 deaths in traffic annually in Bali, 1,200 are motorbike users. The roads are 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.
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.
- 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 Ministry of Foreign 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.
The majority of New Zealand travellers to Bali experience relaxing, trouble-free holidays. But it’s important to be aware of a few safety risks before boarding a flight to Bali:
- 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 Kiwi 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.
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.
- Stay alert. The terrorist threat level throughout Indonesia remains high, so keep your wits about you at all times.
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 and complexity 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.
If you need help in an emergency in Bali, make sure you have the following phone numbers handy:
- Your travel insurer: You can contact your insurer’s 24/7 emergency hotline if you need emergency medical or travel assistance. Check with your insurer for details of the number you need to call.
- Police: 110/112 (SMS 1717)
- Ambulance and rescue services: 118
- Firefighting: 113
- Medical emergencies: 119
- Tourist Police (Bali): (0361) 759 687
- Tourist Police (Jakarta): (201) 526 4073
- New Zealand embassies and consulates:
New Zealand Embassy Jakarta
Jalan Asia Afrika No 8,
Gelora Bung Karno
Jakarta 10270 INDONESIA
Telephone: (+62 21) 299 55800
Emergency after hours: (+62 21) 2995 5800 ext 111
An appointment for consular services can be made by calling (+62 21) 299 5800. Follow the prompts.
The best travel insurance for Bali depends on the type of holiday you have planned. Consider the following factors when choosing a policy:
- Where 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 extra to buy high-level cover?
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.
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 holiday maker 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.
Bali has two distinct seasons, the peak season and the off season. Their details are as follows:
|Peak season (Dry season)|
- June to September.
- The weather is hot but not humid allowing the Balinese culture, nightlight and its friendly people to shine.
- Surfers enjoy great waves.
- Backpackers come to Bali for cheap* holidays.
|Off season (Wet season)|
- October to March.
- Humid and tends to rain some days, mixed with days of sunny weather.
- Cheaper* flights and smaller crowds.
- Many people stay in mountain retreats for a relaxed getaway during this period.