Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance For Malaysia 2023
If you’re based in Singapore, you’re likely to frequent our neighbouring country, Malaysia, for your vacations or even business trips. As travel restrictions are easing substantially during this COVID-19 pandemic situation, and the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia are reopened, more travellers are making their journeys to and fro again. The food is great, the currency is in our favour, and we get to do things that are forbidden in Singapore, like chewing gum and setting off firecrackers. Quick question: Do you buy travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage when you go to Malaysia?
COVID-19 Travel Requirements To Enter Malaysia
With the reopening of land borders following the launch of VTL flights between Singapore and Malaysia, there has been changes in requirements for travellers entering Malaysia, and that includes certified COVID-19 vaccination, the purchase of travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, the type of certified hotels which you book, mandatory PCR tests, and other procedures which we will cover shortly.
COVID-19 testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements
If you’re non-Malaysian, fully vaccinated and travelling to Malaysia, you are required to take a pre-departure PCR test (within 48 hours of departure to Malaysia), and a RTK-AG test on-arrival test (within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia). As long as the PCR and RTK-AG test results are negative, you can skip the quarantine period. Anyone travelling with you that is 17 years old and below will need to go through the same process, whether vaccinated or not vaccinated.
You’ll need to present proof (digital/printed) of your COVID-19 Vaccination as well, with the last dose (double dose) taken 14 days or 28 days (single dose) before travelling to Malaysia.
For those who are partially vaccinated, you’ll go through the same process as a fully vaccinated traveller, just that you have to be quarantined for 5 days and take the PCR test again on day 4 of the quarantine period and RTK-AG test on day 5. Do remember to apply for the quarantine on the Malaysian government website or through the MySejahtera App. You can either choose to be home quarantined in Malaysia or be quarantined at a designated quarantine hotel approved by the Malaysian government.
Unless you’re from one of the countries which are on a Visa-free entry agreement with Malaysia, you’ll have to apply for an e-Visa (Single entry/Multiple entry/Transit) to travel to Malaysia as a tourist.
- Visa-free entry
Those from ASEAN countries except Myanmar, plus other countries listed as one of the over 100 countries that have the "visa-free" agreement with Malaysia, do not need to apply for a visa to enter Malaysia as a tourist for a single entry. This is only if you’re staying in Malaysia for less than 30 days, 90 days or even 6 months (depending on which country you’re from).
- Single entry
If your country is not on the “visa-free” list, you may apply for the single entry visa to enter Malaysia mainly for a social visit. It is valid for a period of 3 months from the date of issue.
- Multiple entry
This multiple entry visa is valid for a longer staying period of 3 to 12 months, and it is mostly for India and China nationals who travel to Malaysia for social visits. Tour groups are not allowed to apply for this visa and there are a couple of requirements in order to apply for this type of visa: Proof of sufficient funds for staying in Malaysia must be shown, and a valid and confirmed return ticket must be purchased.
- Transit visa
This is only for travellers who enter Malaysia on transit to other countries. If you’re on transit without having the need to leave the Malaysian airport premises and continue with the same flight, you do not need a transit visa.
Designated Quarantine Hotels (DQH)
While serving your quarantine period of 5 days, you have the option to stay at any of the DQH hotels approved by the Malaysian government. This is only if you’re partially vaccinated. Some of the DQH hotels actually partner with some airlines and tour agencies, offering 5 days, 7 days, and 10 days quarantine packages, depending on whether you’re a fully vaccinated passenger who have received/yet to receive the booster shot, or an unvaccinated/partially vaccinated passenger.
Requirements for Air Travel to Malaysia
Travelling by air to Malaysia includes several requirements that include:
Best Malaysia Travel Insurance With COVID-19 Coverage
Travellers with pre-existing conditions can take advantage of its TravelEasy Pre-Ex® benefits which are provided as an add-on option, and get in-patient hospitalisation expenses overseas coverage of up to $150,000.
How To Choose Travel Insurance With COVID-19 Coverage For Malaysia?
When getting a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage, there are actually more factors to consider as it’s different from the usual pre-pandemic coverage. You can choose to buy COVID-19 coverage either as an add-on benefit or as part of an existing plan which you already have.
Here are 6 steps to help you get started:
Get vaccinated or apply for quarantine
To make sure that you’re fully vaccinated, you need to get your booster dose even after the previous 2 or more doses as the effectiveness of each dose wanes over time. Your last dose must also be taken 14 days before travelling to Malaysia. It’ll be worth the effort to ensure you’re fully vaccinated so that you can skip the quarantine process.
However, if you’re partially vaccinated with only 1 dose, you’ll need to go through the quarantine procedure which lasts for 5 consecutive days in a Designated Quarantine Hotel (DQH). Do check whether your vaccination doses are by Sinovac, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson or other manufacturers as there are only 8 types of vaccines approved for use in Malaysia, which means you can only be vaccinated with doses by these 8 manufacturers in order to enter Malaysia.
Look for adequate coverage and COVID-19 extension
Although pricing is important when considering a COVID-19 travel insurance plan, it’s also important to compare the benefits and reimbursement limits for claims like COVID-19 related medical expenses, trip cancellations, flight delays and baggage theft and/or damage.
Be insured for pre-existing conditions
Being diagnosed with COVID-19 is the last thing you would want or expect, especially when you have a pre-existing condition which may be worsened by the effects of the COVID-19 infection. Fortunately, there are a few travel insurers who provide coverage for claims relating to your pre-existing medical conditions such as pregnancy, injuries or illnesses sustained during the trip if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19.
Also, a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage that gives you in-patient hospitalisation expenses overseas coverage is great as it allows you to claim for medical, surgical, nursing or hospital charges, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.
Compare policy premiums
The cost of your travel insurance often depends on your destination and length of stay. Most travel insurance companies have 2 to 3 tiers of plans at different price points, with varying comprehensiveness and reimbursement limits. Some travel insurers will also split the nearby regions into ASEAN and Asia and charge you higher premiums for certain regions, while other insurers offer the same premiums for certain regions.
Have special activities coverage if necessary
Malaysia has many great spots for adventures including water sports and extreme sports, but the breadth of coverage needed largely depends on your itinerary. For instance, if you’re planning to go scuba diving in Johor Bahru, make sure you get a policy that covers diving sports like MSIG’s TravelEasy® Standard, Elite and Premier plans.
Consider trip cancellation, flight delay and damage/loss of baggage
Malaysia welcomes tourists all year round, but just like any popular travel destination, snatch thefts and other crimes are not uncommon. Given that Malaysia is prone to floods, coverage of damage or loss of belongings as well as trip cancellation or postponement and flight delay due to natural disasters are also important.
Best Malaysia Travel Insurance Benefits Coverage
Many of the travel insurance plans for Malaysia trips come with affordable premiums, except for those insurers known for their pre-existing conditions coverage plans or even having the highest overseas medical coverage in the market charge higher for more extensive coverage. Here’s a summary of which insurance plans are best for which specific types of coverage, so as to make it easier for you to decide on a suitable plan for your Malaysia trip.
*Estimated premium rates are based on a 4D3N single trip plan to Malaysia.
|Best Travel Insurance For||Travel insurance plan for Malaysia||Estimated premium rate|
|COVID-19 coverage||Starr TraveLead Comprehensive plans, Allianz Travel Comprehensive plans||$25 - $42 (Starr’s plans inclusive of COVID-19 coverage) |
$64 - $95 (Allianz’s plans inclusive of COVID-19 coverage)
|Best value||Etiqa Entry plan, Bubblegum Travel Insurance plans||$23|
|Family||FWD First Plan||$42|
|Elderly||MSIG TravelEasy® Standard Pre-Ex, Elite Pre-Ex, Premier Pre-Ex plans||$45 - $79|
|Pre-existing conditions||Tiq Pre-Ex Entry plan, Savvy Pre-Ex plan and Luxury Pre-Ex plans||$93 - $147|
|Travelling while pregnant||MSIG TravelEasy plans||$45 - $79|
|Highest overseas medical coverage||AIG Travel Guard® Basic, Standard, Enhanced, Supreme plans||$30 - $73|
|Budget travel||FWD Premium plan, Sompo Travel Essential plan||$18 (FWD Premium), $49 (Sompo Essential)|
|Flight diversion/cancellation/postponement||FWD Premium Plan||$18|
|Extreme sports||MSIG TravelEasy® Standard, Elite, Premier plans||$37 - $71|
What Is The Average Cost Of A COVID-19 Travel Insurance To Malaysia?
There are many travel insurance plans out there that currently offer COVID-19 coverage benefits at different price points, and it can be quite a hassle trying to compare so many of them one by one. So we’ve done the legwork for you and all you have to do is to pick one that suits you the most by comparing the best travel insurance on MoneySmart.
If you still need more help, we can use an example to illustrate (with our round-up of the 6 best travel insurance plans with COVID-19 coverage in Singapore). Assuming that you’re planning to go for a 4D3N trip to Malaysia with your friends, and you’re getting a single trip insurance plan for yourself.
|Travel insurance provider||Medical expenses due to COVID-19 coverage||Overseas quarantine allowance due to COVID-19||Overseas hospital cash due to COVID-19||Trip cancellation due to COVID-19||Total premium|
|Singlife||Up to $5,000,000||$500 total cap||$200 per day||Up to $20,000||$32 - $63|
|Allianz||Up to $1,000,000||N.A.||N.A.||Up to $15,000||$64 - $95|
|Bubblegum||Up to $150,000||$100 per day||$100 per day||Up to $5,000||$23|
|AIG||Up to $100,000||$1,400 total cap||N.A.||Up to $1,000||$30 - $73|
|FWD||Up to $100,000||N.A.||$200 per day||Up to $1,000||$18|
|Starr||Up to $1,000,000||N.A.||$200 per day||Up to $15,000||$25 - $42|
We’ve listed the 6 travel insurers in the order of the highest to the lowest medical expenses coverage provider. As you compare across the insurers’ benefits and premiums, the average cost of a travel insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage for a 4D3N Malaysia trip is about $32, assuming that we take the most basic plan offered by each travel insurance provider.
Estimated average cost of a travel insurance plan:
$23 + $18 + $30 + $64 + $25 + $32 = $192
$192 ÷ 6 = $32
For travellers going to Malaysia who prefer very comprehensive coverage for medical expenses in the situation that they get diagnosed with COVID-19, Singlife’s Prestige plan offers the highest coverage limit of $5,000,000.
As for more affordable premiums, plans by FWD, Starr and AIG are better options. Despite offering lower premiums than Singlife and Allianz, the medical expenses coverage by Starr is quite extensive with a hefty maximum limit of $1,000,000, which is pretty decent, considering there are others with a maximum claim benefit of up to only $75,000 or $100,000. Starr and Allianz also provide higher coverage of up to $20,000 and $15,000 respectively, for trip cancellation if you’re down with COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need travel insurance for Malaysia?
- It is recommended that you buy travel insurance when you travel to cover for times when you face flight delays, loss of baggage and worse, accidents. In terms of safety, you will rarely encounter violent crimes in Malaysia, but snatch theft and loss of belongings are not uncommon. Better be safe than sorry!
Are PCR tests covered in travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage?
- This depends on the travel insurance provider. For example, insurers like AXA and AIG do not cover expenses incurred for mandatory COVID-19 diagnostic tests or any pre-departure or post-departure testing. However, there are a few insurers like MSIG that offer free PCR test coverage for some of their plans i.e. Annual Trip plans. Others like Income travel insurance offer COVID-19 (PCR) swab tests at $124.2 along with a series of other types of pre-departure tests
What other tests do I have to do besides PCR tests, before my flight to Malaysia and upon arrival?
- You’ll have to take the Antigen Rapid Test (RTK-AG) whether you’re fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated. Before taking your flight, you’re required to take a pre-departure PCR test (within 48 hours of departure to Malaysia), and a RTK-AG test on-arrival test (within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia). Anyone travelling with you that is 17 years old and below will need to go through the same process, whether vaccinated or not vaccinated.
NOTE: Travel requirements may change at short notice. You may check https://mysafetravel.gov.my for the latest information if you're travelling to Malaysia from Singapore.
If I need to be quarantined upon arrival in Malaysia, can I claim for my quarantine stays with my COVID-19 travel insurance?
- Most insurers do provide overseas quarantine allowance in the COVID-19 travel insurance plans that they offer.
Is it safer to travel with travel insurance that has COVID-19 coverage?
- With the current pandemic situation, yes. Every country has its own prevailing entry requirements including required vaccination status, serving quarantine measures/Stay-Home Notice (SHN), undergoing a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or Antigen Rapid Test (ART) and other related procedures to ensure a safe entry for travellers. So having COVID-19 coverage in your travel insurance plan can provide you claim benefits for overseas medical expenses due to COVID-19, emergency medical evacuation & repatriation, overseas COVID-19 diagnosis quarantine allowance, overseas hospital cash due to COVID-19, trip cancellation/postponement/curtailment/disruption coverage due to COVID-19, and more.
How do I get COVID-19 coverage for my travel insurance?
- There are many ways you can get COVID-19 coverage for your travel insurance. You may either get COVID-19 coverage as an add-on benefit or as part of an existing insurance plan, through your preferred travel insurance mobile app, website or insurance agent. Some travel insurance companies offer COVID-19 coverage as an add-on benefit to an existing plan, while others include COVID-19 coverage benefits in their range of travel insurance plans.
Can Singaporeans travel to Malaysia now?
- With the opening of Malaysia's borders last 1 April 2022, Singaporeans can now travel to and from Malaysia with ease. Additional requirements may be asked depending on your vaccination status, so be sure to check https://mysafetravel.gov.my/ for more information.