Health Insurance For Expats In Sri Lanka

The Best Health Insurance For Expatriates Living In Sri Lanka

Posted by Greg Jones on January 24, 2020

If you've searched the web for private medical insurance that covers expats in Sri Lanka then you are most likely for looking for trusted UK based health insurance providers that can cover your medical costs in Sri Lanka.

Living as an expatriate in Sri Lanka you want to avoid any nasty unexpected medical costs. In some countries these can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds for serious medical conditions.

Our advice when looking for private medical cover that covers expatriates living in Sri Lanka is to speak to a insurance broker. Health insurance is very complex and if you want absolute certainty that Sri Lanka is covered by your policy you should consult with a health insurance broker who can explain which policy providers will cover medical expenses for expatriates in Sri Lanka and which will exclude it.

There are many advantages to using a broker but the largest by far is that you're using their insurance training at no cost. They are paid by the insurer (Aviva or Bupa etc) rather than by you so it costs you no extra to use their brokering services.

  • Do you reside in many different areas? Some will give you a lower premium than offers. A insurance broker will be able to advise whats best.
  • Do you have a hobby that may invalidate your insurance policy? A broker will know this critical information.
  • If you are a couple and one of you has claimed on your policy this year would it be cheaper to separate you both onto two different policies?
  • You've developed a certain condition and want to know which policy provider offers the largest amount of cover for it. A broker will know this instantly saving you so much time and effort.

You can call around every medical insurance provider you can find and ask if they provider cover for expats in Sri Lanka, however this will be a very time consuming process. Each insurer will ask for your medical history because its not normally a simple yes or not if a medical condition is covered or not.

Its far far quicker to speak to one medical insurance broker which will know which providers on the market offer cover for expats in Sri Lanka and under what conditions they do or don't cover it.

Sri Lanka Information

Tourism in Sri Lanka is growing rapidly. For centuries, Sri Lanka has been a popular place of attraction for foreign travelers. The Chinese traveler Fa-Hien visited Sri Lanka as early as the 410's AD/CE, and in the twelfth century, Italian explorer Marco Polo claimed Sri Lanka to be the "best island of its size in the world".

The government initiatives in development of tourism date back to 1937 when the Ceylon Tourist Bureau was established. However, it was closed down in September 1939 due to World War II. After Sri Lanka's independence the promotion of tourism was again considered by re-establishing the Ceylon Tourist Board which took over the function of the Tourist Bureau.

In 1965, J. R. Jayewardene as Minister of State initiated the first major development of the tourism industry with the Ceylon Tourist Board Act No 10 of 1966 and the Ceylon Hotels Corporation Act No 14 of 1966, which formed the Ceylon Tourist Board and the Ceylon Hotels Corporation. Since then the Ceylon Tourist Board has functioned as the state agency, responsible for development and promotion of the tourism sector in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Hotels Corporation paved the way government investments build hotels needed to attract tourist.

In October 2007 according to Section 2 of the Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (Act No 10 of 1966) was replaced by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

In the past, ferry services between India and Sri Lanka for tourists have been introduced and suspended repeatedly because of their low usage. The low usage of the old ferry services could be due to the high cost of the former services. As of now, the only way for tourists to access India from Sri Lanka is by air. In 2019 negotiations about ferry services between Colombo and Tuticorin and between Talaimannar and Rameshwaram began. There is also a proposal to operate a cruise/ferry service between Colombo and Kochi in Kerala. The Indian and Sri Lankan governments are working close together to connect the two neighboring countries better. The Sri Lankan minister of Tourism Development John Amaratunga indicated that a ferry service will help tourists from both sides to travel at a very low cost.

When the government decided to develop the tourism sector as a separate sector of the country's economy by establishing the Ceylon Tourist Bureau in 1966, there were 18,969 foreign tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. There was an upward trend of tourist arrivals until 1982, with the exception of 1971. Between 1976 and 1982, tourist arrivals had increased 24% per year. The tourist traffic in 1982 showed that there was a remarkable growth in number of tourists, with 407,230 arrivals. However, with the beginning of the civil war in 1983, the growth of tourist arrivals declined and stagnated to around 300,000 – 500,000 arrivals annually.

The civil war that had lasted over 25 years was ended in 2009 as LTTE separatists were defeated by government forces. In 2009 the tourist arrivals numbered 448,000, and in 2015, 1,798,380, showing over 300 percent growth in six years.

There is a significant domestic tourist segment making excursions in Sri Lanka. In 2014 six million Sri Lankans traveled within the country as domestic tourists. The main purposes of travel by the domestic tourists are pilgrimage, family holiday, study works, and sightseeing. The main destinations of domestic tourists are Anuradhapura, Kataragama, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Sri Pada, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla. Domestic tourism is noticeable during school vacations and on weekends.

Sri Lanka saw a massive slump in tourists in the wake of the terrorist bombings. Authorities say there was a 70% drop in tourists after the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, but the tourism industry witnessed a modest revival afterwards.

Sri Lanka’s tourist fell by 70.8% from a year earlier to 71,370 in March 2020, amid COVID-19 crisis, the data released by the  Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed. March marked the third consecutive month of drop in tourist arrivals. In January, arrivals fell by 6.5% to 228,434 and in February arrivals dropped by 17.7% to 207,507. Since April 2019, following the Easter Sunday terror attacks, Sri Lanka has witnessed monthly decline in tourist arrivals year-on-year in comparison to 2018 and 2019. Sri Lanka tightened tourist arrivals from mid-March and suspended all passenger arrivals from all countries on March 19 in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the largest source market for tourists was India, followed by the Russian Federation and United Kingdom. Almost 98% of tourists travelled by air to Sri Lanka. Europe became the largest source of tourist traffic to Sri Lanka with 60% of the total traffic received in March 2020. Asia and Pacific accounted for 34% of the total traffic, Americas 4.6%, Middle East 0.9% and Africa 0.5%. In comparison to March last year the highest decline of 85.7% was recorded for Middle East region while Americas recorded a decline of 83.4%. Africa recorded a decline of 77.9% whereas Asia and pacific recorded a decline of 75.4%. A decline of 64.3% was recorded from Europe. The effect of the outbreak of COVID-19 is clearly evident as all countries have recorded a decline in arrivals. However, it is noteworthy that arrivals from Kazakhstan have recorded an increase of 79.7%. It is noteworthy that China which dropped from the top ten tourist generating markets of Sri Lanka in the month of February has climbed up to the ninth position among the top ten markets despite the outbreak of COVID-19.