Your medical insurance in your own country may not be valid in China; check with your insurance company.
A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss, trip cancellation and medical problems is sensible. Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries such as the USA, which have extremely high medical costs. A wide variety of policies exist, so check the small print. In addition, buy travel insurance as early as possible before you start your travel. In China, better travel agencies may buy insurance for their clients.
China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) issued a regulation in May, 2001 which instructs all travel agencies to buy insurance for their clients, effective September 1, 2001. According to the regulation, in order to secure tourists' interests and legal rights, especially those traveling to dangerous places, the National Tourism Administration issued a notice requiring all tourism agencies to buy "travel agencies' liability insurance." This insurance policy replaces the original Personal Accidence Insurance and becomes the new legal-based practice in China.
According to the notice, tourism agencies must compensate tourists, or their dependents, for losses in the following situations:
- If physical injury or death occurs, tourism agencies must cover related costs of medicines, medical treatment, travel and accommodation charges;
- They must cover losses if tourists' belongings are lost, broken or stolen;
- They must cover all legal costs for their tourists if lawsuits are brought against the agencies.
The administration also stipulated related compensation standards:
The limit for compensation to a tourist on domestic trips is set at RMB:¥80,000 (US$9,700); and RMB¥160,000 (US$19,400) for a tourist traveling overseas.
At the same time, the administration stipulated compensation limits for tourism agencies.
A tourism agency's annual compensation must be within 2 million Yuan (US$243,902) if it specializes in domestic trips, while an international tourism agency's limit is 4 million Yuan (US$487,804). If tourism agencies launch highly risky travel services, they must co-ordinate with relevant insurance companies about related compensation standards and limits.
This newly enacted regulation will definitely improve the travel security environment in China.