Bali draws Australian travellers of all kinds; backpackers looking for a cheap holiday with friends, families looking to spend some quality time together and luxury travellers seeking a time-out from the daily grind of work.
But, just like any overseas travel destination, Bali also involves some risks and they aren’t just limited to the chance of experiencing the infamous 'Bali Belly'.
Travel insurance can provide cover for the various emergency situations you may experience while travelling in Bali.
Without Bali travel insurance, you could find yourself paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than planned on overseas medical emergencies, extra accommodation and food due to flight cancellations, or lost or stolen luggage.
This Bali travel insurance guide will help you to compare your travel insurance policy options for a Balinese holiday, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about travel insurance.
Table of Contents
- What is Bali travel insurance?
- Can I get Bali travel insurance?
- Why should I consider buying travel insurance for Bali?
- Which travel insurance benefits should I consider?
- Frequently asked questions about Bali travel insurance
- When should I consider purchasing travel insurance?
- Can I buy cover for riding motorcycles in Bali?
- Does travel insurance cover natural disasters?
- Does travel insurance cover endemic diseases and epidemics?
- Does travel insurance cover terrorism?
- Would I have cover for elective dental or medical procedures?
- What generally isn't covered by travel insurance?
- What can Bali travel insurance do for me?
- What do I do in an emergency?
What is Bali travel insurance?
Bali is part of Indonesia, the largest island country in the world with more than thirteen thousand islands. Whether you’re staying on the island of Ubud, Kuta or Seminyak or island hopping, Bali is often classified as being in the Pacific region for travel insurance. All of Indonesia is generally within the Pacific region for travel insurance, alongside various other countries including Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
Travel insurance can provide some cover for the unexpected costs of an overseas emergency, for example:
1) 24 hour emergency assistance
If you experience an emergency overseas you’ll be able to contact the 24 hour emergency assistance team to guide you.
They can help to coordinate your transport to a medical facility, organise translation assistance, fly relatives to your location if you’re seriously injured, or even arrange to transport you home to Australia if it’s required.
2) Cover for overseas emergency expenses
Travel insurance can cover the unexpected costs of an overseas emergency, for example:
- If you’re hospitalised due to an injury. For example, after being injured in a moped or motorcycle or motor scooter accident.
- Having to replace belongings after they were stolen from your hostel.
- Having to stay longer in Bali than expected due to a volcanic ash cloud interrupting flights. This occurred twice in 2015; once in July with the eruption of Mount Raung and another time in early November with the eruption of Mount Rinjani. Thousands of Australians were stranded after all flights in and out of the country were cancelled, and travellers were forced to spend extra money on accommodation and food to wait out the travel delays.
For a more complete list of what Bali travel insurance can provide cover for, see the list of benefits including limits and exclusions in your travel insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
Can I get Bali travel insurance?
Travel insurance for Bali is generally available to:
- Any age group. However, some travel insurers limit their cover to around 75 years old, so you may have to shop around.
- Travellers going on short holidays, or holidays stretching for up to two years.
- Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents or Temporary Visa Holders. See 'Can I buy a policy?' in our FAQ section for more details.
- Travellers with acceptable pre-existing medical conditions. This can include pregnant women who are thinking of travelling to Bali on a babymoon before their baby arrives. The pre-existing medical conditions covered by travel insurance vary between insurers, so always check the PDS before purchasing a policy.
- People intending to do various adventure activities such as riding a moped or motorcycle, scuba diving or bungee jumping (again, some activities are not automatically included in travel insurance or may have additional requirements, so check the PDS to be sure).
You will be able to find travel insurance policies for:
Why should I consider buying travel insurance for Bali?
Whether you’re staying in a resort or a hostel, lazing on the beach sipping cocktails, or going on an adventurous trek to see an active volcano, there are various risks you’ll be exposed to when travelling to Bali.
If you do experience an emergency while on holiday in Bali, your travel insurer's emergency assistance team may be able to direct you to local assistance, coordinate alternative transport, and act as a guarantor for overseas emergency medical expenses.
Some of the common unexpected situations you may experience in Bali include:
One of the most common illnesses in Bali is traveller's diarrhea, otherwise known as 'Bali Belly'.
If you eat contaminated food or drink tap water, you might start experiencing the symptoms of Bali Belly including nausea, stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea. These can lead to dehydration and other medical complications in serious cases.
In this case you may need to go to see a doctor for a consultation, go to hospital for treatment and to monitor your health or purchase medication.
If you do get gastro after enjoying the many food offerings on the streets of Bali, and are unable to return home as planned, your travel insurer may be able to assist with the medical expenses and the extra cost of your accommodation until you recover.
Your policy may also be automatically extended until you return home.
Bali travel insurance can provide assistance if you become injured.
You might fall over and end up with a fracture or broken bone, or become injured while enjoying an activity such as motorcycling, scuba diving, surfing or hiking.
As long as you were doing an activity that is covered by your travel insurance, your insurer may be able to assist you in finding and paying for medical assistance.
Emergency medical repatriation
If you’re seriously injured or sick and the emergency assistance team believe that the standard of care in Bali isn’t up to an appropriate standard, they may deem it necessary for you to return home to Australia for treatment.
In this case, your travel insurer can arrange your transport home and for you to be accompanied by a registered nurse.
Your belongings being lost, stolen or damaged
Bag-snatching has become a well-recognised form of theft in Bali. Someone may grab your bag as you’re walking or even snatch it from your shoulder as they drive past on a motorbike. These thieves tend to target tourists in and around the upmarket shopping areas.
There’s also the possibility of having your belongings stolen from your accommodation.
In many cases travel insurance may be able to provide cover for the losses. Just remember to obtain a police report within 24 hours of the theft to submit with your claim.
Experiencing complications with pre-existing medical condition
If you have a pre-existing medical condition that your insurer does provide cover for, and that condition leads to further complications while travelling, your travel insurer may be able to assist you.
Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing medical condition and can be covered by some insurers, often up to a set number of weeks. The pre-existing medical conditions that can be covered varies with different insurers and can include diabetes, food intolerances, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
If you take out a policy where your pre-existing medical condition isn’t covered, you’ll end up having to pay any medical expenses should you experience complications.
Always check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the full terms and conditions of a policy.
Due to Indonesia’s position on the ‘Ring of Fire’, an area of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin, Bali is notorious for its frequent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Flights to Bali were interrupted twice in 2015 for weeks at a time due to volcanic ash clouds.
Many travellers were left stranded until the airlines were able to fly again.
Natural disasters can result in flight cancellations and consequently, travellers spending more than expected on accommodation or having to cancel their holiday completely.
Your travel insurance policy may also include Personal Liability Insurance.
Should a claim be made against you for the death or injury of a person, or the physical loss or damage to property, travel insurance may be able to assist in the payment of compensation and legal expenses.
Which travel insurance benefits should I consider?
The travel insurance benefits you can receive for your trip to Bali will vary between insurers and the level of cover you select. Always read the insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement for full policy benefits and conditions.
Generally, you may wish to keep an eye out for these key benefits:
24 Hour Emergency Assistance
While overseas, you’ll have 24 hour access to the emergency assistance team.
They’re available to assist whether you have an emergency or you’re just not sure about something. If you’re sick and not sure where to find a doctor, or your luggage has been stolen and you’re not sure what to do, the emergency assistance team will be able to help.
Overseas Emergency Medical & Hospital Expenses
There are a number of diseases prevalent in Bali including Dengue Fever and the Chikungunya virus.
This benefit provides cover for unexpected overseas medical expenses such as doctor’s consultations, prescribed medications such as antibiotics, the cost of staying in hospital and medical treatment such as surgeries. In serious cases, you may also be repatriated home to Australia if necessary.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you will find various insurers that can provide cover for it.
Remember that pregnancy is considered a pre-existing medical condition by travel insurers. If you’re going to Bali on a babymoon before the arrival of your baby, you’ll be able to find travel insurers that can provide cover for potential pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia or hyperemesis gravidarum.
Cover for Unexpected Cancellations
Bali is noteworthy for its earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which can lead to unexpected travel delays and holiday cancellations.
The cancellation benefit can also provide cover should you, your travelling companion, or your relative, become unexpectedly sick or injured before you leave for Bali and you’re no longer able to travel.
Travel insurance may also provide compensation for the lost deposits that you’ve already made if you have to unexpectedly cancel your holiday.
Luggage & Personal Effects Cover
It would be devastating to lose your GoPro, camera equipment, laptop or phone while on holiday in Bali.
This benefit allows you to make a claim if your luggage or personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged.
Flights between Bali and Australia can be delayed for various reasons. This is particularly important when travelling to Bali due to the risk of your transport being delayed due to another volcanic eruption such as those that occurred in 2015 at Mount Rinjani and Mount Raung. This benefit provides cover for unavoidable expenses including extra accommodation, food and transport.
If your holiday is disrupted because you, your travelling companion or a family member back home is sick or injured, a natural disaster occurs or your travel documents have been stolen, you may be able to claim for any additional accommodation, travel or travel document replacement costs.
Alternative Transport Expenses
Are you going to Bali for a wedding? Or plan to be back in Australia for a birthday? If your planned transport is delayed or cancelled, alternative transport expenses cover can reimburse you for the cost of another mode of transport to ensure you get to your event or destination on time.
Cover for Adventure Activities
Are you going scuba diving in Bali? Or do you plan to go on a hike, go bungee jumping or hire a moped? In these cases you may find travel insurance doesn’t provide cover automatically. You may need to add on an additional Adventure Pack so that you’ll have cover should you become sick or injured while doing the activity.
Hospital Cash Allowance
Your policy may be able to provide you with some extra cash if you are hospitalised for more than a certain period to cover any daily hospital expenses.
Luggage and Personal Effects Delay Expenses
If your luggage is lost or misdirected, you may end up needing to buy extra clothing, toiletries, or supplies for your baby if you’re travelling as a young family. You can make a claim for these expenses if you have this policy benefit included.
Rental Vehicle Excess
Theft of Cash
Travellers are advised to take particular care of their wallet when they travel to Bali. If someone does steal your money or belongings, you can make a claim and be reimbursed if this benefit is included in your policy.
It can be frustrating having to replace a lost or stolen passport. At least with cover for travel documents, you know you’ll be able to claim for the extra cost involved in replacing it.
Loss of Income
If you become disabled in Bali after suffering an injury, such as from a motorcycling accident, then you may be entitled to a weekly benefit from your travel insurer.
A death benefit can be paid to your estate if you become injured during your Bali holiday and die within 12 months, or if you’re travelling and your transport sinks, crashes or disappears and you’re presumed dead and your body isn’t found within 12 months.
Every so often, a traveller can become involved in a legal case regarding someone’s death or injury or damage to property. The personal liability benefit may provide cover for settling or defending a claim against you, or the payment of compensation.
Frequently asked questions about Bali travel insurance
Many Australian travellers headed to Bali on a holiday ask questions about travel insurance and what it covers.
Questions about cover for popular activities like motorcycle and moped riding, adventure sports, health and safety risks, and pre-existing medical conditions are among the top most frequently asked questions. Many travellers are also unsure about the best time to purchase a travel insurance policy.
Find answers to these FAQs about Bali travel insurance below.
When should I consider purchasing travel insurance?
You can purchase travel insurance for your trip to Bali up until you board the plane or cruise ship taking you to the islands. If you’re overseas and remember you don’t have travel insurance, there are a few insurers who will still be able to provide you with a policy.
However, the earlier you purchase travel insurance the earlier your cancellation cover will be in place.
This means that should you become sick or injured before your trip and you’re no longer able to travel, or there’s a natural disaster in Bali and your flights have been cancelled, you can claim for:
- The costs of accommodation you’ve already paid
- The cost of any tours you’ve already booked
- The cost of your flights (or the frequent flyer points used on your flights)
- The deposit made towards your cruise
Can I buy cover for riding motorcycles in Bali?
Some travel insurance policies provide automatic cover for motorcycling, others may require you to purchase an additional premium to ‘add-on’ cover, while other travel insurers will exclude motorcycling altogether.
To be sure, check your travel insurer’s PDS.
General exclusions to motorcycle riding:
Various insurers will not honour your claim, even if they do provide cover for motorcycling, if:
- You were riding without a motorcycling license (you will need an International Motorcycling Licence or a temporary Balinese driving licence for motorcycling in Bali).
- If you’re breaking the law. In Bali it is illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
- If you’re intoxicated while riding a motorcycle, or have taken illicit drugs.
Does travel insurance cover natural disasters?
Travel insurance may provide cover for expenses related to natural disasters, depending on your policy and level of cover. For example:
- Injuries sustained during a natural disaster, or emergency repatriation for medical emergencies.
- Lost deposits for unused flights, accommodation or tour bookings.
- The cost of damaged or lost personal belongings, travel documents and luggage.
- The cost of extra nights of accommodation and meals.
Does travel insurance cover terrorism?
Various insurers exclude cover for terrorism. You would likely have cover for any medical costs associated with becoming injured as a result of a terrorist attack. However, you wouldn’t have cover for the costs of cancelling your holiday because you’re worried about a potential terrorist attack.
Does travel insurance cover endemic diseases and epidemics?
Dengue fever and the Chikungunya virus are prevalent in Bali. For this reason, travel insurers generally exclude cover for costs related to treating the disease. Before you travel you should seek the advice of a doctor on methods to prevent becoming sick from the viral epidemics in Bali.
Would I have cover for elective dental or medical procedures?
You may be able to find cheaper elective medical surgery in Bali, including breast enlargements, liposuction and botox, however this is generally excluded from travel insurance. So if you experience a complication as a result of the surgery, either while you’re in Bali or after you return home, you won’t be covered by travel insurance.
What generally isn't covered by travel insurance?
There are a number of instances that travel insurance will generally not provide you with cover.
These may include:
If you are breaking the law
If you become injured while breaking the law, you will generally not have your hospital and medical expenses covered by travel insurance. This includes riding a motorcycle without the required helmet, or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Remember that drugs including marijuana are illegal in Bali and possession, using drugs or selling them can land you with a long prison sentence or the death penalty.
If you are intoxicated or have taken illicit drugs
It’s not illegal to have a drink while in Bali, but if you’ve drunk alcohol excessively, your travel insurance will be void. That means if you’re under the influence of alcohol and you stumble and hurt yourself, you won’t have cover for medical expenses. Drugs are illegal in Bali and you will generally not be covered by travel insurance when you’ve taken drugs.
If you do an activity that isn’t covered by your policy
If you’re riding a moped and it’s not covered by your travel insurance policy, you’ll be responsible for paying your medical and hospital expenses. Ensure you have cover for the activities you plan to do in Bali.
If something of yours is stolen while unattended, your insurer is unlikely to reimburse you. If you leave your bag with your wallet and passport inside it on the beach while you go for a swim, this will be considered leaving your belongings ‘unattended’ or ‘unsupervised’. So make sure you keep your belongings with you at all times or keep them in a secure location.
Sexually transmitted infections
Travel insurance generally excludes cover for medical expenses related to sexually transmitted infections or diseases.
Regular medical check-ups
Because regular check-ups or filling regular prescriptions are not considered medical emergencies, travel insurance generally excludes cover for these expenses. If you require regular medication, bring enough of what you’ll need for your holiday before you leave.
Ignoring official warnings
Should the Australian Government release a warning on Smartraveller that certain areas are no longer safe to travel to and you choose to travel there anyway, your travel insurance may be void.
Perhaps the weather was bad or your accommodation didn’t live up to the pictures online. Whatever the reason you’re unhappy with how your holiday has shaped up, your travel insurance generally won’t compensate you because you didn’t enjoy your time there.
What can Bali travel insurance do for me?
Travel insurance is your resource to better deal with many of the unexpected situations you might experience while travelling in Bali.
Depending on your travel insurance policy and the level of cover, your insurer may be able to provide advice and direction in an emergency, as well as lessen the financial burden if you experience out-of-pocket expenses as a result of an emergency.
Your insurer may be able to:
- Organise emergency repatriation home
- Act as a guarantor for hospital bills
- Manage your medical treatment in Bali
- Provide advice and direction during an emergency at any time
- Organise your flights home or accommodation in an emergency
- Communicate with your family or employer
- Liaise with the nearest embassy or consulate
- Access interpreters in non-English speaking hospitals
What do I do in an emergency?
In the event of an emergency:
- Seek assistance immediately. If the emergency requires medical assistance go to a doctor or a hospital. You should report theft or lost belongings as soon as possible to your airline, hotel or hostel management and the police.
- Contact your travel insurer as soon as possible. They can assist you, manage your case and organise help.
- If required, contact the Australian Embassy.