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Compare Travel Insurance Media Room Travel Insurance Sri Lanka

sri lanka travel insurance

2 September 2021 By Crystal Moran

Looking for travel insurance to Sri Lanka? Whether you're looking forward to pristine beaches, thick rainforests, rich cultural sites or tasty street food, Sri Lanka has it all, and has established itself as one of the most popular destinations for Aussies in South East Asia. Travel is however never without risks, and recent terrorist attacks have highlighted the benefits of getting the right travel insurance for your Sri Lankan holiday.

Travel Insurance for Sri Lanka | Adventure Activities in Sri Lanka | Terrorism Cover | Visas for Sri Lanka | Vaccinations for Sri Lanka | Choosing Travel Insurance for Sri Lanka | Emergency Contacts | Sri Lanka Travel Insurance FAQs 

why you need travel insurance to sri lanka

Medical coverage

Most international travel insurance policies cover emergency medical expenses overseas. In Sri Lanka, the risk of contracting tropical diseases like Dengue Fever is high, as is the risk of contracting food or waterborne illnesses that Australian bellies may not have acclimatised to.  If there is any one reason to take out travel insurance, overseas medical expenses and emergency repatriation is it.

In addition to taking out standard travel insurance, in the wake of COVID-19, incoming visitors to Sri Lanka must pay for the mandatory COVID-19 local travel insurance cover at USD 12 for a policy of USD 50,000 up to a period of one month (including children below 2 years) upon arrival.

Travel documents and transaction card cover

Card skimming and other forms of credit card fraud are frequently reported by travellers to Sri Lanka. Comprehensive travel insurance policies typically include cover for fraudulent activity on your transaction cards, and benefits for theft of cash from your person.

Cancellation and delay benefits

With a long monsoon season and a high risk of earthquakes, getting a comprehensive travel policy which includes natural disaster cover can protect you if your trip has to be cancelled or delayed.

Evacuation cover

DAFT warns that the healthcare standards in the capital city, Colombo, may be below Australian standards. Look for a travel insurance policy which includes medical evacuation benefits in the event you need to be evacuated back to Australia.

Sri Lanka Activities travel insurance

Many travellers visit Sri Lanka for its stunning natural landscapes and outdoor activities. However, before you go on the adventure of a lifetime, make sure your travel insurance will cover you for it. Many insurers exclude specific activities at higher altitudes, deeper depths or in other higher-risk scenarios.

Hiking and trekking

Sri Lanka abounds with incredible places for hiking and trekking, such as Kitulgala Forest, the Knuckles Mountains, and Sinharja Rainforest. If you're going hiking and trekking, check the altitude limits on your travel insurance.

Snorkelling and scuba diving

With warm Indian Ocean currents, stunning reefs and many coastal shipwrecks, such as the Pecheur Breton, Panadura Nilkete, and HMS Hermes are just some of the reasons Sri Lanka is a scuba diver's delight. Check the automatically allowed and add-on depths in your travel insurance policy before you buy, and make sure you follow their conditions to stay covered - some brands won't cover you if you fly within 24-48 hours of your last dive. Visit our adventure activities travel insurance page for more.


While not necessarily everyone's idea of an adventure, for many people, going on a cruise is the gateway to a world of travel and exciting shore excursions. Colombo is a popular cruise docking point, so if you're hitting the seas, check whether your policy automatically includes cruise travel insurance, or whether it needs to be added on. If your cruise has optional activities, such as ziplining or on-water activities, check that it's covered by your policy. Visit our cruise travel insurance page for more.

Scooter or motorbike hire

Thinking of hiring a motorcycle, moped or scooter? Every insurer has different rules about who can hire a two-wheeled vehicle, depending on whether they have an Australian or Sri Lankan licence, whether it's for a car or a motorbike, and what class of engine the vehicle is. So check the conditions of moped and scooter, or motorbike travel cover on your policy.

which travel insurance covers terrorism?

In the aftermath of the Easter Sunday 2019 terrorist attacks, many travellers are concerned about the threat of terrorism. While many insurers have general exclusions for acts of terrorism, some insurers still offer coverage. Several insurers on the market, including Insure4less, Travelinsuranz, and New Zealand provider TINZ, do give travellers provision to claim for cancellation in the event that a governmental ‘Do Not Travel’ warning was issued after you had purchased your policy. Additionally, many travel insurers will provide cover for medical expenses, or medical evacuation back to Australia.
General Advice Warning: The contents of this article were accurate at the time of writing. Insurers change their policies from time to time, so some information may have changed. You should always read the Product Disclosure Statement of your chosen insurer to understand what is covered and what isn't. The information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making a decision you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your personal circumstances.

visiting Sri Lanka

There is no denying that COVID-19 has changed our lives and the way we travel around the world forever.  As countries begin to open their doors to global travel once again, Sri Lanka has taken precautionary measures with their tourism safety protocols to make your island getaway safe and secure.

All travellers to Sri Lanka must present a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test report in English when checking in. The test must be conducted within 72 hours of your departure or you will be unable to board your flight. 

Australians travelling to Sri Lanka need an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Generally speaking, if you're an Australian passport holder travelling for tourism, you'll be exempt from paying the ETA fee, but you do need to fill out an application prior to travelling to reduce any delays at the airport. The ETA is valid for 30 days, but can be extended up to 90 days.

It is important to note that Visa rules may have changed since COVID-19. Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. Check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. If you don't meet the conditions, the Australian Government is unlikely to be able to help you.

Vaccinations for Sri Lanka

A COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory to enter Sri Lanka. However, being fully vaccinated will allow for fewer restrictions upon arrival i.e. no need for full 15 days quarantine.  For Australians who have completed the recommended doses of one of the approved COVID-19 vaccinations, you will only be required to stay at a Certified Safe & Secure L1 hotel for one day or until your on-arrival PCR test produces a negative result and you receive a Discharge Notification.  For travellers that have not completed the recommended vaccination doses, you will be required to quarantine for 15 days.

If you are travelling from a country where there is a high risk of Yellow Fever. However, the World Health Organisation and Centre for Disease Control recommend a range of different vaccinations for travel to Sri Lanka, depending on what you plan to be doing.

Routine vaccinations

Make sure you're up to date on your routine vaccinations, for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis (TDAP), Chickenpox (if you haven't contracted it), Polio and your yearly Influenza (Flu) shot.

Most travellers

Due to the risk of contaminated food and water, vaccinations for Typhoid and Hepatitis A are strongly recommended. If you're not able to get them in time, it is recommended that you stick to bottled water and cooked foods.

Some travellers

If you arrive in Sri Lanka after travelling in a country with a risk of Yellow Fever (even if you're just transiting through, and your transit is more than 12 hours), you require a Yellow Fever vaccination. Additionally, if you plan to travel in particularly rural areas or engage in any animal handling, the Rabies vaccine is highly recommended. The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for anyone engaging in sexual activity with a new partner, or getting tattoos or piercings. If you plan to stay in Sri Lanka for more than a month, the CDC also recommend speaking to your doctor regarding whether the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine would be appropriate for your trip - it will depend on your travel dates, activities and areas you're travelling to.

choosing the best travel insurance for Sri Lanka

Not sure how to choose the best travel insurance for your trip? Here are a few things to watch out for:

Single trip or annual policy

If you're a frequent traveller (leaving Australia on many shorter duration trips), an annual travel insurance policy may be more convenient or cost-effective. However, if you're only one to three trips, getting individual single trip policies may be cheaper. Compare single and multi-trip travel insurance quotes from some of Australia's leading providers for the best deals.

Basic or comprehensive

Are you a budget-conscious traveller just looking for medical cover, or are you looking for a comprehensive policy with all the bells and whistles? Comprehensive policies include benefits for family emergencies, cancellations and delays, lost and stolen luggage, and public liability.

Pre-existing medical conditions

While some insurers completely exclude pre-existing conditions from cover, while others have a small range of automatically-covered conditions. An increasing number of insurers offer travel insurance for pre-existing conditions with an online medical assessment - if you're travelling to Sri Lanka and have a condition, getting it listed on your certificate of insurance can protect you should you need to cancel your trip before you travel, or if you experience a medical issue overseas.

Optional add-ons

Taking a camera to take photos of Sri Lanka's breathtaking scenery, or want your mobile phone insured but your policy has a $1000 per item limit? Look out for whether you policy has an optional benefit called 'high-value item cover'. This benefit allows you to list your item for its full value on your policy for an additional premium, and means you're not subject to depreciation for those items. 

Emergency help for Australians In Sri Lanka

If you're in an emergency situation, give your insurer's 24/7 emergency hotline a call. They can offer guarantees to hospitals, organise evacuations if medically-necessary, or assist with claims information. Also, keeping these details handy may help, depending on the emergency:

Important numbers

Country code: +94
Ambulance / Fire & Rescue: 110
Police: 118 / 119
Tourist Police: 011-2421052
Government Information Centre: 1919

Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka

21 Srimath RG Senanayake Mawatha
Colombo 7
Phone: +94 112463200 for general enquiries or +94 11 246 3270 for visa enquiries.

Sri Lankan High Commission in Australia

Sri Lanka High Commission
No. 61, Hampton Circuit
Yarralumla, Canberra
ACT 2600
Phone: +61 2 6198 3756
Email: [email protected]

Sri Lanka Travel Insurance FAQs

Can I get travel insurance for Sri Lanka?

You can generally get travel insurance that will cover you for Sri Lanka. The exception to this is when there is a 'Do Not Travel' warning from the Australian Government's Department of Foreign Affairs. Some insurers will also not cover you if there is a 'Reconsider Your Need To Travel'. So before you buy, check your policy terms, particularly if you're purchasing a while in advance of your trip. It's also good to check what your policy's rules are if a travel advisory changes - that is, if there was no warning when you bought the policy, and then one occurred prior to your trip or while you were travelling. Some insurers do not cover you regardless of when the warning came into effect.

What I have an emergency travel claim in Sri Lanka?

If you're in a medical emergency in Sri Lanka, all reputable travel insurers have a 24/7 hotline you can call or email. Get yourself to a hospital, and contact the emergency hotline. These teams, typically staffed with medical and logistics professionals, can approve guarantees of payment to the hospital, liaise with your doctors and family, and arrange transfers or evacuations back home. If you are hospitalised, you must get in touch as soon as possible, otherwise insurers may decline your claim.

Can you still go on holiday to Sri Lanka?

Not sure whether Sri Lanka is safe to travel to? Visit Smartraveller for the latest updates on travel health and safety. 

Do I need a visa for travel to Sri Lanka?

If you're an Australian passport holder, you generally wouldn't require a visa for a short tourism trip. However, you will require an ETA. Read more on visas to Sri Lanka here. 

Does travel insurance cover acts of terrorism in Sri Lanka?

While most insurers have a general exclusion for terrorism, some insurers do offer coverage in specific circumstances. Read more on terrorism travel insurance here.

What vaccinations do I need for Sri Lanka?

Most doctors recommend that you have your routine MMR, TDAP, Chickenpox, Polio and Influenza (Flu) shot. Additionally, some travellers are recommended to have additional vaccinations for Sri Lanka, depending on the activities they're doing.

Does travel insurance cover monsoons or landslides in Sri Lanka?

Provided you purchase your comprehensive travel insurance policy before a natural disaster like a monsoon or landslide occurs, you'll generally be covered. If you purchase after it has been published in the media or appeared as a government warning, this would generally be considered a known event, and you're unlikely to have provision to claim.

Contributor Crystal Moran

Crystal Moran

With a research and journalism background, and certified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice, Crystal is passionate about investigating customers’ tricky travel questions and helping them find the answers they’re looking for. A writer and filmmaker whose favourite trips have been to film festivals in Cuba and South Korea, and campervanning around the USA, she loves getting to know new people and seeing a glimpse of the world through their eyes.

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