Everything You Need To Know About Travel Insurance in Malaysia - GoBear's Ultimate Guide

Let's dig into the details of travel insurance. This guide tells you how to choose the best travel insurance, what does it cover and how to file a claim.

What is travel insurance?

A policy that covers accidents to the insured and losses arising from a journey whether by air, sea or land.

Why is it important?

Protection against your worries or unforeseen events (see below 1d) during your trips.

What are the different types of travel PA available in Malaysia?

One-way / Single trip vs. Annual plan

  One Way / Single Annual
Duration Per Trip Up to 6 months Up to 3 months
Advantages
  • Cost-effective for those who do not travel frequently
  • Suitable for long trips abroad
  • Cost-effective for frequent travellers (with multiple trips)
  • Suitable for short getaways abroad
  • Unnecessary to get a new policy before every trip for a year
  • Proportionate refund is allowed in the event of cancellation
Disadvantages
  • Expensive if trips are short or frequent travel with multiple trips in a year
  • Requires a new policy with every overseas travel
  • Costs more if you don’t travel enough
  • Not ideal for those who travel more than 3 months per trip

 

Individual vs. Family or Group

  Individual Family
Definition One or a group of adults At least 1 adult and any number of children*
Age Coverage 19 to 80 years

Adult: 19 to 65 years*
Child: 30 days to 18 or 23 years (for full-time students) *
Elderly: 66 to 80 years*


Note: Sum insured for children and the elderly are normally at half of the adults

Advantages Multiple travel plan options A lower rate with higher coverage benefits shared amongst family members in total
Disadvantages Higher premiums for better coverage Limited product choices

 

Conventional vs. Takaful

  Conventional Takaful
Principle Profit for shareholders Mutual for participants
Basis Risk transfer Co-operative risk-sharing
Value Proposition Profits maximisation Welfare and spiritual satisfaction
Regulation Secular Shariah
Ownership Shareholder Participants
Management Status Company Management Operator
Form of Contract Contract of Sale Wakala or Mudarabah
Investment Interest-based Shariah compliant
Surplus Shareholder account Participant account
Anything Special? - Umrah/Hajj trip to Mecca with Badal Haji benefits

 


Notes:

  • Badal Haji: Obligatory Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) on behalf of those who are unable to perform the Hajj due to sickness, old age or dies before fulfilling part of the Five Pillars of Islam duties
  • Mudarabah: Islamic contract which one party supplies money (investor) and the other provides management expertise (entrepreneur)
  • Wakala: Agency or delegated authority where the principal appoints a wakil to carry out specific job on behalf
     

When and what does it cover?

Many travelers may not be aware that they are covered for up to 60 days prior to trip commencement. It is always prudent to buy your travel insurance once the trip is confirmed to safeguard yourself against unforeseen circumstances. For example, in the event of a last-minute flight cancellation or medical-related illness before your trip, you will be protected by your travel insurance policy. 

What is covered before you depart for your trip?

  • Trip cancellation – Typically 30 or 60 days before departure date or the policy issuance date, whichever is later
  • Personal Accidental Death & Permanent Disablement – 3 hours before you leave your home or office for a direct journey to the place of embarkation
  • Missed Departure – due to a public transport service disruption

What is covered during your trip?

  • Personal Accident benefits
  • Medical Expenses (Overseas/Domestic) - hospital income, alternative medicine, compassionate visit, etc.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation 
  • Loss/Damage to Luggage and Belongings
  • Trip Cancellation/Postponement/Curtailment
  • Travel inconveniences allowance – flight, baggage, etc.
  • Insolvency/Closure of travel agency
  • Personal liability
  • Terrorism/Hijacking/Kidnap, etc.
  • Travel assistance service – 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Bonus cover – Lifestyle benefits (e.g. golf, home, pet, child, cards, rental car), misuse of hotel facilities, loss of entertainment tickets, etc.

What is covered after your trip?

  • Personal Accident benefits
  • Loss or damage of baggage and personal effects
  • Baggage damage by a common carrier
  • Follow-up medical treatments in home country – after an occurrence of an incident
     

What should I be aware of before making my payment?

 

Application requirements are as follows:

 

Covered RegionsEligibility

Age

Adult: 18 to 65 years old*
Kid: 30 days to 18 or 23 years (for full-time students) *
Elderly: 66 to 80 years old*


Note: Age may affect both eligibility and limit of coverage
 

Citizenship Malaysian, PR and foreigner

     *Subject to insurer’s Policy Wordings     

 

2. Covered Regions

Domestic, Asia, Europe, worldwide including or excluding USA and Canada.
Multiple destinations are allowed given that the trip must depart from and end in Malaysia.
 

3. General Exclusions

Any loss, injury, damage or legal liability arising directly or indirectly from; 

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • War, act of foreign enemy, radiation or contamination by radioactivity
  • Acquired Immune Deficient Syndrome (AIDS), Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Suicide or self-inflicted injury, pregnancy
  • Professional or hazardous sports, racing
  • If you are a member of the aircraft crew
  • Under the influence of alcohol or drug, mental insanity
  • The consequential loss or damage of any kind
     

4. Claims procedure

  1. Notify the insurer immediately – emergency hotline or online
  2. Prepare the relevant supporting documents
    • Boarding pass and e-ticket for all claims
    • Original medical receipts and doctor's diagnosis if medical-related
    • Letter from airline confirming the duration of flight change and reason of change
    • Property irregularity report if your baggage is delayed/damaged
    • Original receipts for additional accommodation, transportation, communication expenses, replacement cost for loss of travel documents
    • Police report (lodged within 24 hours) on loss-related incident.
  3. Submit to the insurer within 30 days of incident

 

How is your travel insurance premium calculated?

Gross Premium Premiums are determined by the type of trip, travel duration and destination. Optional covers are also available for certain insurers to cover extra events such as extreme adventure sports, home contents cover, and more which can be added onto your travel insurance with extra premiums.
Commission 25% discount available via online or direct
GST RM10 per policy, e.g. group policy (excl. family plan)
Stamp Duty 6% on gross premiums

 

Tips to Get Sufficient Coverage

Consider these questions when sourcing the most suitable insurance for yourself

1. Where are you travelling to?

What is the crime rate or culture in the country travelled to – is it commonly known for thefts? Does it face frequent terrorism issues? One of the most well-known features of travel insurance is cover for personal effects and luggage. In the unfortunate event of losing your travel documents or theft of cash, your insurer will be able to reimburse you for the expenses spent and financial loss experienced. 
Are there any known virus outbreaks within the country?

2. When will you be travelling?

If the country that you will be visiting has four seasons, what is the expected weather forecast?
What are some of the unusual events that might take place during this period of time?
For example, if your flight out of Hong Kong is grounded due to the raging typhoon season, you would want to make sure that you can claim compensation for the delay. 

3. Who are you travelling with?

If you have senior citizens (above 70-years-old), young children (below 1-year-old) or someone with special needs such as pregnant women travelling with you, ensure that they are covered under the travel insurance. For instance, if you are travelling with your extended family consisting of your beloved grandparents, some insurers only provide reduced over (or do not cover) for senior citizens above the age 70. Do make sure that they have adequate coverage in emergency events.

3. What’s your trip itinerary?

What are the activities you will be participating in? Will you be skydiving, going on a cruise, or taking part in other adventurous activities? New Zealand is a popular skiing destination and certain insurance policies will provide extra cover for medical emergency support, travel delay, and more.

4. Bonus tips when making a successful claim

Be prepared! Submit your claims ASAP and always keep a copy of the insurance policy and receipt with you, in both hard and soft copies. Notify the police for theft or loss claims and always ensure that the insurer accepts any medical claims first. Appeal with the insurer if you feel that your claims were unfairly rejected. And as a precaution, save the 24-hour emergency hotlines in your phone, in case you need it.
 

Time To Get A Travel Insurance

Ideally, get covered at least 14 days before your departure from the below channels. Some insurers do provide immediate protection right before your departure.

Channels Advantages Disadvantages
Agents Advice will be given on how to choose the most suitable plan Costs could be slightly higher due to agent commission. No discount
Airlines Convenient as it is sold as a package with flight tickets A stripped-down version from the direct insurer. They do offer comprehensive travel coverage but covered benefits may lack when compared to buying directly from the insurer
Credit Card A complimentary privileged benefit to Principal or even Supplementary cardholders A further stripped-down version from the airline travel insurance. Such plans normally only provide cover for events like accidental death or permanent disablement, trip cancellation, medical expenses incurred while overseas, loss of baggage, delayed baggage, travel delay, and is made available only for the Principal Cardholder
Online / Over The Counter 25% discount off or exclusive promotional giveaways Do your own homework. You would have to do your own research to establish a plan that suits your travel needs.

 

Last update on Mar 19, 2019