You’ve got your Cambodia eVisa sorted, you’ve had all your vaccinations, you’ve packed clothes for all weather eventualities. But have you taken out a travel insurance policy?
If you forget to pack your umbrella or your sunglasses, it is not the end of the world. However, if you don’t buy travel insurance and then land at Phnom Penh to find your luggage is lost, you will find yourself wishing that you had taken out a policy!
Not to mention if you find yourself in an accident or the victim of a crime. Holidays are for exploring and getting out of your comfort zone, but you want to be able to enjoy your time away with peace of mind. You’ve waited all year for this getaway!
Getting the right type of cover in advance ensures that any personal valuables are covered during your stay in the kingdom and that you can access the best medical treatment available in the event of an emergency. Read on for more information on how to protect yourself during your time away.
Cambodia Travel Insurance Cover
Getting the right insurance cover that includes all the activities you are going to undertake is vital when planning a trip to this Southeast Asian country.
Accidents can happen to anyone. Cambodia is a developing country and in a worst-case scenario, you want to know that you will receive adequate care. Investing in travel insurance is investing in your well-being, which you really can’t put a price on.
Some things to consider when deciding what type of policy to take out are:
1. How long is your trip?
Is it a short but sweet sojourn into Cambodia or a longer voyage? Insurance providers have different packages for short trips, long stays and even annual multi-trip options.
2. Are you travelling to other countries too?
If you are doing a big trip covering not only Cambodia but, say, Vietnam and Thailand too, then you should research providers that insure you for all 3 countries together.
3. Are you a solo traveller or travelling as a couple or as a family?
Travelling as a group can save you a significant amount. Travel insurance companies often have special deals for couples or families and with some policies, kids even go free.
4. What types of activities do you intend to do whilst you’re in the kingdom?
Check what is covered. If you are doing any special activities, such as macro diving on the island of Koh Rong, then this may not be covered. Always check the small print before signing up for a policy.
Even if you are travelling on a budget, you should never under-insure yourself to cut costs as you may end up paying more in the long run!
Health Insurance in Cambodia – Why You Must Get It
Public healthcare in Cambodia is generally of a low standard. You can find better medical care in the country’s private health facilities, however, the cost of medical attention can be expensive.
All tourists are advised to purchase insurance that covers medical treatment before travelling to the region.
In severe cases, evacuation to Thailand or Singapore may be required as many treatments aren’t available in Cambodia.
As well as being extremely distressing, medical evacuation can run you up a bill of thousands of dollars!
Make sure you have the appropriate vaccines before you travel. You should arrange them well in advance of your trip; 4 to 8 weeks is the standard recommendation.
When you arrive, take preventive measures to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, which can carry dengue and malaria. Carry important medical documents with you, as well as a list of medications that you regularly take. Bring adequate supplies of any prescription medication as supplies are limited in pharmacies and counterfeit or expired drugs can be an issue.
Should you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, the number to call is 119. In the event that you require medical care, be sure to contact your insurance provider promptly.
Street Food in Cambodia
Like to try the local specialities when you’re away? Take care with what you order as rat meat is a Cambodian speciality, as well as tarantulas deep fried in garlic.
Prefer to stick to more familiar foods like chicken? If you order a poultry dish, check that it is cooked thoroughly all the way through as there have been outbreaks of bird flu amongst poultry in the country.
Travellers’ diarrhea is a common ailment for tourists visiting Cambodia.
Here are some things you can do to avoid getting a bad stomach:
- Make sure that food is cooked thoroughly.
- Avoid raw food products.
- Only drink bottled water.
- Avoid drinks containing ice.
Crime in Cambodia
Theft is common across Asia and this includes Cambodia. Keep an eye on your valuables at all times whilst you are away. It is better to leave them in a safe in your hotel whenever possible or not to bring them at all.
If you plan to bring your smartphone or camera out with you each day to snap the amazing sites, make sure they are insured! Look out for passing motorcyclists; walking nonchalantly along the road with your iPhone in your hand is not a sensible idea!
Before you set off on your trip, it is recommended to make a photocopy of the receipts of any valuables you will be taking with you. The insurance company will ask for this if you make a claim.
You should also carry a photocopy of your passport with you while you are out and about, but keep the original safely stored away in your accommodation.
Be on your guard when taking public transport and keep a careful eye on your possessions.
Aside from petty crime, there have been some instances of armed robbery and sexual offences in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.
While this is rare, it is important to take care after dark. There are measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of this type of crime:
- Travel by car rather than on motorcycle taxis.
- Travel in groups wherever possible.
- Stick to well-lit public spaces when walking at night.
- Avoid beaches in the Sihanoukville area at night.
In the unlikely event that you are targeted by a kidnapper or armed street criminal, it is advised that you adhere to their demands. The emergency line to dial to contact the police is 117.
Safety in Rural and Border Areas of Cambodia
Planning to visit more rural parts of the country? In addition to making sure that you have the correct vaccinations beforehand, you should also be aware of some safety precautions.
Exercise extreme caution in rural areas as mined areas are often unmarked. It is important to stay on the marked paths to avoid landmines and don’t pick up metal objects. This is the case in the areas surrounding the temples too, so resist the urge to wander around the undergrowth next to religious icons.
Planning to cross the border between Cambodia and one of its neighbouring countries?
Conditions can be basic at the more remote crossings, so ask locals for advice before you head there and only use recognised roads. If you are travelling to Thailand, ensure that you follow the instructions of the local authorities.
Travel Accidents in Cambodia
Planning to bike along the highways around the Tonle Sap Lake? Motorbiking can be a great, flexible way to get around in Cambodia. However, before you decide to rent a bike or scooter, you should make sure you know what your travel insurance covers and how to seek assistance in the event of an accident.
To ensure you are covered you should:
- Secure a motorbike license in your home country.
- Once licensed, get an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) specifically for motorbike riding.
There are some travel agents and renters that can arrange a Cambodian license for you for a fee; however, this isn’t “by the book”.
Some policies will not cover this type of activity as standard, so you may have to pay a premium. If you are planning to drive a car while you are away, make sure to bring your driver’s license. Drive with care and attention as traffic is chaotic and medical facilities are basic should an accident occur.
If you are hiring a bike, scooter or car overnight, make sure that your accommodation has secure parking. Don’t leave your helmet or any valuables in plain sight as any thieves passing by may take a liking to it!
Best Travel Insurance Company in Cambodia
Now that you’ve read through our information regarding keeping safe as a tourist in Cambodia, you may be looking for the best travel insurance provider to purchase your policy.
Here are some of the companies that offer cover for Cambodia:
- World Nomads Insurance is renowned for having very comprehensive coverage.
- Forte Travel Insurance Cambodia – the kingdom’s premier insurance company – choose between the standard and super plan.
- AIA Insurance Cambodia.
Remember, there are different types of policy you can get depending on how many are in your travel party, so keep your eyes out for the best deals. Just like with purchasing your travel visa, the entire process can be completed online.