Vietnam travel insurance

Compare quotes for Vietnam

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 26 October 2022  | 3 mins read

Does Vietnam require travel insurance?

It’s not a legal requirement to have travel insurance for your trip to Vietnam, but it’s a sensible precaution.

You never know what might happen on your holiday. Having insurance in place can give you peace of mind that you’re protected for a number of different circumstances.

It’s not nice to think about, but you could fall ill or have an accident while in Vietnam. If that happens, travel insurance could pay for your medical treatment and also cover the cost of getting you back home if needed.

If your luggage, passport and other belongings got lost or stolen, travel insurance can pay to replace essentials.

Plus, if you’re forced to cancel your holiday before you leave, or to come home early, then your policy could reimburse you, so you’re not left out of pocket.

Personal liability as part of your travel policy will pay for legal costs if you injure someone or damage their property on your trip and they sue you for damages.

Key points

  • Getting travel insurance for your trip to Vietnam isn’t compulsory but it’s a wise precaution that can cover you for all sorts of eventualities
  • It can pay out for medical expenses, holiday cancellation and lost or stolen luggage
  • Check that your policy covers you for any activities you’ll be doing in Vietnam or it could invalidate your claim

What is usually covered in a travel insurance policy?

It depends on the policy, but most cover:

  • Emergency medical and expenses
  • If you fall ill or have an accident and need medicine or hospital treatment
  • Repatriation
  • Pays for your expenses to get home if an illness or accident necessitates it
  • Cancellation or curtailment
  • If you need to cancel before you go (because of illness or a bereavement, for example) or if you need to cut short your trip and go home early, you’ll be compensated
  • Delayed or lost luggage and personal possessions
  • Helps pay for replacement items
  • Delayed departures
  • Compensation for being delayed over a certain number of hours
  • Personal liability
  • Pays out if you’re liable to pay damages to someone for injuring them or damaging their property while on your trip
  • Legal expenses
  • Up to the amount specified to pay for legal costs if you need to claim damages because of something that happens to you on holiday

What level of cover do I need?

You’ll need a worldwide travel insurance policy for Vietnam and there are a few different types of cover you can choose from.

For example, if your holiday to Vietnam is the only trip you’ll take this year, then a single-trip travel insurance policy will cover your needs.

However, if you’re planning on taking more trips in the next 12 months, then an annual travel insurance policy could be a better option and save you money overall.

It will cover your Vietnam holiday plus all the other trips you take in a year, whether in the UK or abroad. There’ll be a limit on the duration of each trip - usually between 20 and 60 days depending on the policy.

If you’re taking a much longer trip where Vietnam is just one country on your itinerary, then backpacker insurance - sometimes called gap-year or long-stay insurance - would suit you. It’s designed for people travelling for extended periods (up to around 18 months) and visiting various countries on their trip.

Travel insurance to cover activities in Vietnam

It’s important that you check that your travel insurance policy covers all the activities you intend to do while you’re in Vietnam.

Many sports and leisure pursuits will be covered as standard. But for riskier activities, you may need to pay an extra premium. Otherwise, you won’t be covered for any illness or injury that happens because of the activity.

So, whether you’re taking an energetic trek up Mount Fansipan, exploring the underground rainforest in Son Doong - the world’s largest cave , or kayaking through the emerald waters of Halong Bay, check that your travel insurance policy covers your adventures.

Medical cover and healthcare in Vietnam

The healthcare system in Vietnam is of a reasonable standard. But levels of service differ between cities and rural areas.

If you require complicated treatment for a serious issue, you may have to be moved to a city hospital or even to another country.

That’s why having a good level of travel insurance in place is vital to ensure you have the means to pay for treatment and travel expenses.

Do I need vaccinations for Vietnam?

It depends on where you’re going and your itinerary. You should speak to a specialist travel clinic or your doctor well before your trip.

In general, recommended vaccines are:

  • Diphtheria and tetanus (you can get a combined diphtheria, tetanus and polio booster)

You may also consider:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

In some circumstances and in certain areas you could also be advised to get vaccinations for:

  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Rabies

There’s a low risk of malaria in some areas of Vietnam, also dengue fever and the Zika virus are present, so you’ll need to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Do I need a visa?

As a UK national, you’re allowed to stay in Vietnam for 15 days without the need to apply for a visa.

If you want to stay for longer (up to 30 days as a tourist), you’ll need a visa.

You can apply for an e-visa online at the Vietnam national web portal on immigration.

Tips to help you stay safe in Vietnam

Vietnam is considered a safe place to travel and crime rates are low.

But, like any country, there are issues with pickpocketing in the larger towns and cities.

Motorcycle and moped drive-by bag snatches are also something to be aware of in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City. If it happens to you as you’re walking alongside or crossing a road, it’s best to let go of your bag as you risk being injured if you try to hold onto it.

Other things to be aware of are taxi scams, where some cars have rigged meters. Use a trusted company with a sealed meter.

Dress is conservative in Vietnam, especially outside of the cities. Respect the culture and wear modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees.

Does travel insurance cover scooters in Vietnam?

The motorcycle is one of Vietnam’s most popular modes of transport and it can be a fun way to get around. There are plenty of places to rent one as a tourist.

However, the roads in Vietnam are some of the most dangerous in the world. Traffic can be chaotic in the cities and rural roads can be rough and narrow. Statistics from the World Health Organisation show you’re eight times more likely to die in a road traffic accident in Vietnam than in the UK. And a substantial number of British tourists have died or been seriously injured in motorbike accidents in Vietnam.

To ride a motorbike in Vietnam you’ll need to show your UK driving licence and a UK-issued International Driving Permit (IDP).

You should be an experienced motorbike rider and wear a good quality helmet.

Be sure to tell your travel insurer that you plan to ride a motorbike in Vietnam by adding it to your list of sports and activities when getting a quote. Some insurers may not offer you cover, but others may cover you for an additional premium.

There may also be other restrictions to look out for. For example, a standard policy may not cover you for touring on a motorbike through Vietnam, or if you’re using a motorbike as your main mode of transport while in the country.

Personal liability while you’re riding will usually not be covered so you’ll need to make sure you get the necessary insurance from the hire company or owner.