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Travel Insurance to Vietnam

Vietnam on the world map

Vietnam is one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. Its population is friendly, especially in large resorts and cities. Several foreigners visit Vietnam for the purpose of tourism annually. In fact, statistics revealed that Vietnam hosted approximately 1,024,899 foreigners in October, 2017 with an increase of about 5% and 24.7% over the last month and the same period of the previous year respectively. Over ten months, total international arrivals were estimated at 10,473,230 arrivals with 28.1% increase over the same period of last year.

Vietnam has a significant tourist reviews in both service and natural aesthetics. This is evident in places like Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa hills and Halong Bay. Foreigners who intend to tour around these extraordinary places or visit for other purposes are required to acquire a valid travel insurance policy in order to cover the cost of sudden medical expenses that could exceed their itinerary budgets. More so, it is better to extend the coverage of travel insurance with other additional options, especially for vacations or visits of long duration.

General Information about insurance to Vietnam

The Vietnam migration rules stipulates that foreigners are mandated to enter the Vietnamese territory with a valid insurance policy. It is recommended to obtain travel insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $30,000.

The travel insurance policy is meant to provide the tourist or foreigner with coverage for medical expenses like inpatient and outpatient treatments, doctor’s consultation and other risks that may result in repatriation and emergency evacuation. In addition, it is recommended to obtain a travel insurance two weeks before departure.

Types of Travel insurance

The two major types of travel insurance policies are:

  • Single Trip insurance
  • Multi-trip insurance

Cost of travel insurance policies

The cost of obtaining a valid insurance policy varies from one insurer to the other, and depends on several driving factors. These factors are highlighted below:

Some Insurance companies may offer travel insurance services for various premiums, depending on their interests, organizational goals and business strategies. Some companies may require the insured to pay certain amount of deductibles, while other insurers may not require the insured to pay deductibles before the actual coverage can begin to take effect.

The age of the individual seeking the insurance policies determines the cost of the insurance policy. For instance, the premium for an adult will be less expensive than the premium required to cover a child or an old person above 64 years.

The cost of insurance per day for a long trip may be inexpensive when compared to that of a short trip. For example, if trip A is scheduled for 30 days, and trip is scheduled for 7 days on the contrary. The insurance cost for one day may be inexpensive for trip A. However, the cost of insurance for one day may be expensive for trip B.

Extending the insurance coverage to individuals above the age to 2 years, will require an increased premium. More so, a high premium is associated with multiple companions. For instance, some insurance companies provide the capability for the insured to extend the insurance policy’s coverage to children below 2 years, without incurring an additional cost. Contrary to this, a huge amount of premium will be required to extend coverage to other family members, close relatives or friends, and the cost of such extension will be multiplicative.

The travel insurance policy can be supplemented by including non-medical options to protect the policyholder from certain event that may be financially catastrophic.

Several Insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, but a handful of them provide policies with the capabilities to cover several kinds of pre-existing conditions at an increased premium.

Note:
The cost of the travel insurance policies could be determined through the insurance company’s customer care.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

The risk of forfeiting a fare may be associated with purchasing a ticket for a scheduled trip. After paying for a fare, the insured tourist may forcefully abandon his/her itinerary due to occurrence of circumstantial events beyond his/her control. The following reasons may cause the forceful cancellation of a scheduled trip:

  • The insured may be declared unfit for the trip by a doctor.
  • The death of either the insured or his/her or family member or close relative.
  • Sudden sickness of the insured’s child.
  • The insured may be summoned as a witness to testify in the court of law.
  • The insured may be ordered to undertake a critical military assignment on behalf of his/her nation.

Note:

  • The insured must inform the carrier, and cancel the trip in actual sense.
  • The insured must provide adequate documentation and necessary reasons for cancelling the trip.
  • The insured must not be seriously ill while purchasing the fare.

Additional Options for extending the travel insurance coverage

Other options can be included by the insured to enhance the coverage capacity of the travel insurance policy.

These Additional options include:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Dental Insurance
  • Sport Insurance
  • Personal liability insurance
  • Luggage insurance
  • Accident insurance

The dental insurance options provides coverage for expenses on regular dental and oral care procedures. The standard travel insurance policy will not provide orthodontics and other cosmetic dentistry services, it will only assist in times of emergency by providing pain relievers for the insured.

Hence, in order to perform certain kinds of dental procedures like crown, root canal treatment, bridges, cavity fillings, tooth extractions, x-ray, regular cleaning and other orthodontic procedures, it is better to include the dental insurance.

The luggage of any traveler is subject to the risk of loss or damage by accidents and theft respectively. Provided this insurance is included, it will cover the expenses associated with losing the insured’s luggage.

For instance, the tourist may loss some luggage contents like clothes, medications, credit card or other important documents. In such cases, if this insurance is included, it will provide compensation, especially if the contents of the luggage are not misplaced due to negligence of the insured.

The compensation provided by the insurance is valued at a certain sum less the depreciation of the missing item. For instance, if the insured losses his/her clothes, the insurance will provide compensation based on the current value of the clothes.

The insurance doesn’t provide coverage for the loss of expensive properties like jewelries or other properties meant for commercial purposes.

If the insured intends on travelling with expensive jewelries or electronics like laptops, they should be kept close to the insured in a hand luggage and not in the cargo section of the plane.

The sports insurance, if included; will provide coverage for expenses involved in treating severe injuries sustained by the insured during a sport or outdoor activity. Tourists planning to participate in one form of rigorous exercise or the other should endeavor to insure the associated risk by opting for the sport insurance option. For instance, if the insured intends to climb rocks at Vietnam or participate in motor biking, it will be wiser to add this option, because in cases of an accident, the default medical coverage provided by the travel insurance will not be able to settle the expenses for treating severe injury. It will not provide subsequent compensational benefit, especially when the sport accident leads to certain kinds of disabilities.

The accident insurance provides coverage for treatment of severe injuries sustained during an insured event.

Will the medical insurance cover treatment for accidents, and why is accident insurance necessary?

Yes it will, but subsequent compensations for resulting disabilities, dismemberment, loss of limbs, sight and extremities will not be provided by the travel insurance alone. Rather, if the accident insurance is included in advance, it will provide such compensations. For instance, if a tourist losses his sight and sustains multiple fractures during a car crash along the Ma Pi Leng Pass. After covering the expense on necessary treatment for trauma and injuries, the accident insurance will go a long way to provide compensation for the loss of his/her sight, due to inability to return back to previous occupation.

Personal liability Insurance

An insured tourist may inadvertently destroy or inflict injuries on a third party, and get sued. And he/she may incur the cost of treating the third party or replacing the victims damaged property. Similarly, the insured may commit an offense in VIETNAM out of ignorance, but we know that ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. In such an unfortunate situation the personal liability will cover the cost of settling any arising court case or punishment by the law. If necessary, the personal liability insurance will provide a competent lawyer to negotiate on the insured‘s behalf in such an unfortunate situation, provided this option is included by the insured prior to the insured event.

The option may not provide coverage in the following cases:

  • Cases of immoral misconduct.
  • Involvement in criminal offences, especially in connection with any form of syndicate or drug cartel.
  • Involvement in a terror plot.
  • And other cases.

Try and read the terms and conditions of the policy to gain more insight on these section.

  • Transportation cost to medical facilities.
  • Outpatient treatments in clinics.
  • Repatriation as a result of death.
  • Dental services and pain relieving treatments in cases of emergency intervention
  • Assistance and expenses associated with recovering lost documents.
  • Assistance and expenses for legal aid.
  • Search and rescue operations, only at additional cost to the original premium.
  • The insurance company will deny the coverage of a medical expense which arises from self-inflicted injuries.
  • Death as a result of suicide will not be compensated by the insurance policy.
  • False declaration of health status. If the insured provides false information about his/her health situation, the insurance company will refuse subsequent coverage.
  • Pre-existing conditions are not covered by several insurers, and only a handful of these insurers would cover pre-existing conditions at a high premium.
  • Treatment of chronic or mental diseases.
  • Injuries sustained from accidents as a result of drug abuse or excessive intake of alcoholic products will be denied by the insurance company.
  • The insurance company will not be responsible for covering the expenses associated with treating menstrual abnormalities, impotency, birth control and artificial insemination.
  • Travelling for the sole purpose of receiving medical treatment will not be covered by the insurance company.
  • The insurers may deny the expense on treatment of accidents, especially if the insured drives without a valid driving license.
  • Accidents as a consequence of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication.
  • Negligence on the insured’s part. For example, if the insured don’t pay attention to risk reports and updates provided by his/her insurer.

Actions performed in the case of an insured event

First of all, contact the representative of the insurance company and provide detailed information regarding the insured event. Also, be sure to report any contraindications or allergies to certain kinds of medications. Duplicate (if possible) your appeal by sending an e-mail format of the complaint in addition.

At the time of the appeal, be ready to provide the costumer care with the following details:

  • Name of insured person.
  • Number of the insurance policy and the name of the insurance company.
  • Current location.
  • Phone number that will be used in following up details about the insured’s situation.

After this procedure the insured will receive instructions from the representative of the insurance company concerning the medical institution to visit. If the medical institution is far from the insured’s location. The insured must specify the mode of transportation required to deliver him/ her to the proposed medical institution. The insured must also make inquiries concerning who will incur the cost of such a fare.

Keep all documents and evidence concerning the payment of transport to the medical institution.

Note:
If the Insured is directed by the customer care to a medical institution in which it is necessary to make cash payment, for subsequent compensation of expenses; the Insured must obtain the following documents:

  • An invoice for payment confirmation.
  • Doctor’s statement indicating the diagnosis in English.

Do not go to any medical institution, except the institutions recommended by the insurer’s customer care. Such actions may require the insured to bear the cost of the medical services without receiving subsequent compensation from insurance company.

Cost of Medical Services in Vietnam

Treatments in state hospitals are inexpensive when compared to other countries. For instance, a comprehensive medical examination involving the use of ultrasound and fluorography; and doctor’s appointment will cost about 8 dollars for the first time. Then subsequent examination will cost about 20 dollars with more sophisticated devices. In cities like Dalat, doctors consultation, medications and cardiogram may require approximately 15 dollars, but at a lower quality of service. In Hanoi, blood test and ultrasound may cost about 30 to 40 dollars, and injections against allergic reactions may incur a cost of 22 to 32 dollars. In cases of injuries bandage application will cost 9 to 16 dollars. All these services will be several times expensive in international and private hospitals.

Emergency Telephones

The following telephone numbers listed below, may be very useful during emergencies in Vietnam:

Services
Number
Police
113
Ambulance
114
Fire service
115

Note:
Travelers are advised to obtain contact information from their home embassies or consulates at Vietnam.

Safety

Before traveling to Vietnam, the insured must determine if he/she has acquired the adequate dosage of all required Vaccines. The vaccines will serve as a means of protecting or enhancing the immune system of the insured against infectious diseases.

The insured is recommended to consult the expertise of a doctor, 1 to 2 months before the trip, in order to determine the required vaccine and dosage based on the purpose of the trip, external factors, health and planned activities.

Regardless of the low risks of acquiring yellow fever, the Vietnamese government requires all immigrants to acquire the adequate dosage of this vaccine. Standard vaccines for preventing influenza, chicken pox, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus should be obtained and updated.

Vaccination from Hepatitis A or immunoglobulin and hepatitis B is recommended for all unvaccinated people who travel for a long time or work in Vietnam, especially in disadvantaged regions where such diseases could be transmitted through food, water or during medical procedures.

Vaccination from typhoid and Japanese encephalitis is recommended when visiting rural and forested areas.

Tourists should vaccinate themselves, children and pet against rabies. Malaria is predominant in the rural areas apart from the deltas of the Red river and coast of north Nha Trang and Mekong Delta.

Adequate dosage of anti-malaria drugs should be taken to prevent malaria. In addition, long sleeves and other forms long clothes that covers the hands, legs and necks should be worn. Tourist are also advised to live in air conditioned rooms with mosquito nets.

The Vietnamese dishes are similar to Chinese cuisines. Some of these dishes could contain a lot of spices, which could cause some allergies.

Do not purchase food from street vendors due to strange sanitary norms that could be associated with preparing such foods. Tourists are also advised to mind the kinds of fruits and vegetables they eat. Some fruits like durian could increase the blood sugar level of consumers. Fruits should be washed and peeled before eating. Significant quantities of limes can also be purchased for the purpose wiping dishes and wounds to kill germs and bacteria like e-coli. Tourist should also avoid water from streams, well or taps, rather; water from sealed bottles of reputable water supply industries.

Annual temperature ranges from 260 C to 290 C, with two major seasons, namely: Dry and Rainy season. It rains during the period of May to October in the northern and southern parts of Vietnam. It also rains during the month of August to January in the Central part of Vietnam. Typhoons are often experienced along the coastal areas of Vietnam during the periods of mid-October to end of December. Tourists are also advised to pay attention to weather forecast and early warning of storms.

Some of the criminal activities committed in Vietnam are enumerated below:

  • Petty theft
  • Pickpocketing
  • Property snatching
  • Gambling
  • Rape
  • Confidence tricks
  • Drugs

Medicine in Vietnam

Pharmaceutical enterprises produce both natural and chemical medications in Vietnam, and as such; eastern and western medicines are quite advanced in the region.

Recently Vietnam has developed an advanced level of medicine, especially in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. According to the world health organization, 85% of medical personnel are highly qualified doctors compared to 14% in Bangladesh. They are also fluent in English and some other languages like Russian.

The public hospitals are inexpensive than the private hospitals, and these public hospitals are located in the cities. Hence, if the tourist is in the country side, a quite expensive fare will be required to reach these hospitals.

Hospital

There has been excellent reviews concerning the level of health care services rendered in the Franco-Vietnamese and Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh. Their medical services are two times cheaper than the services rendered in Thailand.

The Vietnam-German Friendship hospital offer complex services like surgery and organ transplants with high probability of success.

In state hospitals, results of medical tests and other kinds of analysis are quickly prepared. And as such, the patients can wait for their results after performing certain tests. Vietnamese medicines are occasionally better than medicines offered in some other parts of Asia. Contact either the hotel reception or insurance provider to determine the location of a hospital. Hospitals can also be located on the map. Their locations are indicated with Red Cross symbols on the map.

Pharmacies

There are so many medical products in the Vietnamese pharmacies. It is better to take a sample of the desired medicine along, while going to the pharmacy to purchase medicines, in order to avoid misunderstanding and errors as a result of language barriers. Medications are inexpensive and it is better to purchase imported medicines. For instance, a sachet of French Smecta and Imodium cost $0.5. If the desired medical product is unavailable, knowledge of the medicine’s chemical composition will be required to purchase the right medicine.

Pharmacies are usually opened for over 18 hours, but a few pharmacies operate throughout 24 hours.