- Thorntom Wilder
Cambodia travel insurance is an absolute necessity and must be purchased prior to travel with a reputable provider in your home country. You are unlikely to find adequate insurance cover in Cambodia and the costs of evacuation can be high should you encounter unexpected trouble.
We strongly recommend all travelers to Cambodia to have medical insurance that will include cover for medical evacuation in the event of serious illness or accident. There are several high quality children's hospitals (supported by foreign donations) in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, but generally high quality medical care is limited and expensive.
In the event of serious ilness or accident medical evacuation to Bangkok is recommended (the Bumrungrad hospital there is excellent). This may be straightforward from Siem Reap but require private air transport from remote parts of the country. Medical insurance cover is now available in Cambodia but is targeted mainly at the long-term expatriate market.
With minimal insurance cover for vehicles it is essential to have good personal cover. ABOUTAsia has no insurance cover for its guests as meaningful cover is simply not available here.
Petty theft is a problem as in any third world country. Some areas of Phnom Penh are not recommended to visit after dark, but opportunistic theft is not unknown in tourist areas in daylight. A modern digital SLR camera may represent many times more than the average Cambodian earns in a year. As with anywhere in the world, sensible precautions are advised including insurance for valuable items.
While Siem reap remains a very safe destination for the tourist, with crimes agains the person rare, it is not unknown to have a bag or camera snatched even in broad daylight.
You MUST arrange your own insurance cover for personal accident when traveling. Vehicle insurance is not compulsory in Cambodia and when present covers only a few thousand dollars. Hire cars and bikes may not be insured at all even for third party liability. This does mean that people hiring cars or bikes may be liable for repairing and/or replacing the vehicle in the event of an accident - and explains the recommendation from the police that tourists do not drive. Along with very different local traffic customs, insurance is one reason we recommend people not to hire vehicles in Cambodia. The problem with tourists having accidents has caused the Siem Reap province to ban motorbike hire, and we will not make arrangements of these kinds for visitors to the country.
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