While the government websites of every developed country recommend that their citizens obtain travel insurance prior to leaving the country, some countries are taking it one step further. In particular, the government of Malaysia requires citizens booking through Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel (MATTA) travel agents buy travel insurance prior to leaving their home country.
The president of MATTA recently mentioned in a media report that they had received numerous complaints from the traveling public who faced difficulties bringing their loved ones who died abroad back to Malaysia for burial. Travel insurance can go a long way toward helping those who travel with the high cost of medical bills, lost luggage, and travel delays too. If travelers want to have fun on their vacations and have safer business trips and come home safe and sound, they’ll want travel insurance to protect themselves.
Why Malaysia Made Travel Health Insurance Mandatory for Its Citizens
Malaysia come to the conclusion that their citizens are better protected with travel insurance when they leave the country. The travel insurance will cover the critical issues affecting a traveler’s welfare, including:
- Medical evacuation
- Return of deposits
- Compassionate visitation
- Accidental death and/or permanent disability
- 24/7 emergency number
The Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has many policies for Malaysians traveling abroad, including the fact that it will help its citizens with evacuation and repatriation in the event of injury or death, but the cost is borne by the traveler, their next of kin, or their family. These expenses are difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to afford because even a simple medical evacuation can easily cost as much as $50,000-$100,000 depending on how far the traveler must go.
Malaysian Travel Insurance Requirements
Per MATTA and in accordance with the Tourism Act of 1992, Malaysians are required to obtain travel insurance that covers:
- Emergency medical and hospitalization
- Travel expenses and reimbursement of air tickets and tour packages
- Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation
- Compassionate visitation benefits
- Accidental death
- Permanent disability
- 24-hour support
Under the new travel insurance scheme, coverage will apply based on how long the traveler is gone, the type of coverage they buy, and the destination they are visiting. For example, for a trip lasting five days, domestic Malaysian travelers need only pay RM10, RM20 within Asia and RM35 in other countries.
The travel insurance scheme is also open for foreigners who are visiting Malaysia on holiday.