Most trips go off without a hitch. People get from point A to point B while having fun along the way, returning home with body, wallet, and dignity intact. It’s what everybody wants, of course — no one looks forward to misfortune.
However, just like, car, property, or any other kind of insurance you may have at home, travel insurance in Vietnam is there for when and if the going gets rough. It guarantees peace of mind and lets you breathe easier and sleep better at night. You don’t want to have to learn the ins and outs of how to fix a problem in a country you may be unfamiliar with — especially if you’re already in a pinch.
Why Get Travel Insurance in Vietnam?
Having travel insurance is a great idea even if you’re doing something as simple as sightseeing. It’s doubly valuable if you’re doing something that involves a bit of risk — like hiking, surfing, or motorcycle touring.
Going without travel insurance may save money in the short term but, in the event, something goes wrong, it can be one of the costliest financial decisions you’ve ever made. We don’t usually like cheesy clichés, but it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
There are tons of travel insurance companies out there, each with different plans. Follow along and we’ll help you figure out what you need.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Vietnam travel insurance essentially covers emergencies you may encounter when you’re traveling. It sounds simple enough, but it’s more nuanced than just that. Most travel insurance plans will cover you for a specific amount of time you spend out of your home country. If you travel a lot, you can get more extended and flexible coverage.
Some examples of what coverage you should look for in travel insurance include:
- Accidents and injuries
- Emergency medical care and repatriation
- Credit card and passport theft
- Missing or delayed luggage
- Disasters, including natural disasters and terror attacks
- Trip cancellation
If you plan on doing any sports or outdoor activities on your trip you’ll need to let your insurer know first. That’ll help them determine your rate and will give your claim validity should you need to make one.
What Doesn’t Travel Insurance Cover?
While travel insurance in Vietnam gives you security and peace of mind, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to take unnecessary risks and otherwise behave foolishly. If you’ve been drinking and show up at the hospital with a broken arm, for example, the onus falls on you. Similarly, if you’ve been engaging in risky sports or activities that you didn’t mention to your insurer, they’ll be quite unlikely to pay out on a claim.
Essentially, you’ll need to prove that whatever misfortune befell you wasn’t your fault and that you were doing everything in your power to prevent it. You’ll also need to provide documentation to back up any claim. For example, if your bags get stolen, you’ll usually need to get a police report. It’s just the nature of the game: paperwork is an integral part of insurance.
It’s also important to note that travel insurance is not the same as health insurance. For example, your travel insurance won’t cover any pre-existing conditions: that’s what your health insurance is for.
Travel Insurance for Motorbiking in Vietnam
Onyabike Adventures Tip: If you plan on motorcycle touring in Vietnam — and hey, we absolutely think you should — you’ll certainly want travel insurance. Odds are you wouldn’t consider driving without insurance at home, and you shouldn’t do it here either.
Here are some important stipulations you’ll need to follow to make sure your travel insurance will pay out in the event of a problem.
Lots of people come to Vietnam and drive a motorbike without a license. Even lots of locals ride without a license. Police are becoming a bit more strict with local crackdowns, but it’s safe to say that a large percentage of foreigners driving in Vietnam do so without a license. Usually, things go just fine.
But if something unfortunate like an accident happens, your travel insurance in Vietnam will be a moot point if you drive without a license. That means you have to foot the bill for any costs arising from such a situation: medical, auto repairs, legal, or anything else.
However, being licensed in Vietnam is certainly doable. If you have a license to ride a motorcycle at home you’re eligible to ride one here as well. If you have a license and insured, you’re good to go. Feel free to contact us to find out how to get a license in Vietnam.
Taking Safety Precautions
It will probably come as no surprise that both your insurer and the law will expect you to wear a helmet when you’re riding a motorcycle. We almost certainly don’t have to explain why wearing a helmet is a good idea, but it bears repeating: your head is the most valuable thing you have and it’s not as hard as asphalt.
Riding With a Legal Company
If you choose to go on a motorbike tour with a tour company, you’ll want that company to be fully legal. Tour company legality may not be the sexiest topic but it’s one of the make-or-break differences when it comes to your travel Vietnam travel insurance covering you.
The vast majority of tour companies in Vietnam aren’t licensed tour companies. That means if you’re riding with them, you’re assuming risk since they haven’t done their due diligence legally. If you have an accident while riding with an unlicensed company, it’s essentially the same as riding without a license yourself. All the financial burden will fall on you. Furthermore, an unlicensed company is under no legal obligation to help you — meaning you could be without help when you need it most.
If, however, you’re riding with a fully licensed and legal company, your Vietnam travel insurance will do exactly what it’s supposed to. You can ride in peace knowing that you’re covered no matter what happens.
If you’re unsure whether or not the tour company you’re considering riding with is fully legal, simply ask. A fully licensed company will proudly tell you they are and will be able to prove it as well. A company that hesitates or is unwilling to furnish proof of their legality is likely not to be operating within the scope of the law. Plenty of motorcycle riders are comfortable taking risks, but taking a risk with insurance is the wrong kind of excitement.
Our Choice: World Nomads
Onyabike Adventures chose World Nomads as our official travel insurance partner in Vietnam, and we didn’t make the choice lightly. Quite a few factors went into the decision. We’re pleased to have them.
One of the main reasons we chose World Nomads is their attitude. They were travellers long before they were insurers. They get the traveller’s mindset: they’re not square and they’re very aware of what traveling is all about. You’re not dealing with a faceless corporate bank, but with real people who themselves are quite well-travelled.
Another reason we chose them is their flexibility. It’s one of the main selling points, and an important one: no one wants to pay more than they have to. Their plans can cover exactly what you need. You can make sure you’re covered without overpaying for unnecessary add-ons.
They’ve also got a fantastic, worldwide network with 24/7 live support. No matter where you’re heading, they can create a plan that’ll be right for the country you’re in. They’ve got experience with just about every corner of the globe and can steer you in the right direction no matter where you are.
Onyabike Adventures and World Nomads
To round it off, they’re socially responsible and forward-thinking. We like people who travel responsibly and help local communities. It’s not just fashionable, but it’s also the right thing to do: we do it ourselves.
World Nomads has raised millions of dollars for various noble causes, like improving water sanitation in Cambodia and saving sea turtles in Panama. They partner with charities and organizations that really make an impact at the local level. The donations come from travellers who have purchased their travel insurance in Vietnam. A few dollars each from lots of people can go a long way.
Overall, World Nomads ticked all the right boxes for us and we’re happy to work with them. Give them a shot and we reckon you’ll be happy with them, too.
Onyabike Adventures’ Thoughts
No one wants to imagine things going wrong on their trip. Preparing for the worst can help you enjoy the best. Having good Vietnam travel insurance can make sure your mind stays clear and focus on what it needs to be. After all, what’s the point of traveling if you’re not enjoying yourself?
If you’re riding with Onyabike Adventures, we’ll insist that you’re insured. That’s as much for your sake as it is for ours. It’s a fine idea anyway, and one that you’ll certainly appreciate in the unlikely event that something does go wrong.
We’re all about having a good time and doing it the right way. Let us know if you want to find out more about the best way to ride in Vietnam — we’re always happy to talk.