Many Americans travel to Thailand for its centuries-old culture, sandy white beaches, exotic food, floating markets, world-class accommodations and vibrant nightlife.
Having a reliable travel insurance policy that covers disruptions protects the investment you’ve made so you can feel as Zen as the Buddha at the Grand Palace and enjoy what Thailand has to offer.
The average cost of travel insurance for a trip to the “Land of Smiles” should keep you happy—it’s $183, according to Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison provider. That’s for an average trip cost of $2,725.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Thailand
With so much to see and do in Thailand, you likely have been planning an enriching itinerary for your trip for over a year. With departure imminent, you would have your hotel and flights booked, along with pre-paid activities, perhaps a boat ride on the Asiatique Riverfront, or a tuk tuk tour of Bangkok.
What if you received devastating news that would force you to cancel your trip? For example, if your sister suffers a heart attack and is in intensive care, you would probably want to cancel the trip to be by her bedside. Disruptions due to weather, illness, injuries, job loss, death and more are covered by trip cancellation insurance. You can be reimbursed 100% of the non-refundable deposits you lose when you cancel your plans for a reason covered by the policy.
It’s important to know that not all cancellation reasons are covered under a standard travel insurance policy. If you have a fight with your significant other a week before the trip and don’t want to go to Phuket, you would not be covered for the cancellation.
If you want the greatest flexibility to change your travel plans and potentially cancel, it’s best to purchase a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance (CFAR) to your policy. As long as you cancel your trip at least 48 hours before your scheduled departure, you can recoup some of your trip expenses—usually 75%, but check your policy. The freedom to cancel with this upgrade will cost you an average of 50% more than a standard policy.
Travel Delay Insurance for Thailand Vacations
You will have to take connecting flights to get to Thailand, which increases the likelihood of delays. Let’s say you’re flying from Charlotte, North Carolina, to London to Seoul, and then on to Bangkok. If your flight from Seoul is canceled due to an emergency at the airport, you can use your travel delay insurance to be reimbursed for a hotel stay, meals and personal care items.
If you also miss a prepaid traditional Thai dance performance, you can file a claim for that as well.
Most travel insurance policies have a delay waiting period of six to 12 hours before benefits kick in. Check your policy for time parameters.
Trip Interruption Insurance for Thailand Trips
You may have packed every minute of your stay in Thailand with unique experiences, so you should protect your investment. “Thailand is a sprawling country, and you may opt to pay for a package or tour so that you can see as much of the country as possible,” says Lisa Cheng, spokesperson with World Nomads, a travel insurance company. Or you could be traveling on your own but paid a hefty sum upfront for your hotels and plane tickets, says Cheng. What if you have to cut your trip short?
Having to return home early from a dream vacation is high on the list of all-time bummers, but but trip interruption insurance can help ease the financial blow. If you are across the world and your college-age daughter is hospitalized with a severe illness, trip interruption coverage will pay for your flight home. It also reimburses you for forfeited non-refundable, prepaid deposits for activities you’ll miss. Trip interruption kicks in for emergencies listed on your policy, such as a family death or illness or an act of terrorism, among others.
Travel Medical Insurance for Thailand Trips
It’s always worthwhile to purchase a travel insurance policy that includes travel medical insurance when traveling abroad. That’s because your U.S. health insurance plan could provide little or no coverage in other countries. (Check your global coverage when you’re planning your trip.) And Medicare isn’t accepted in Thailand.
Travel medical insurance pays for medical care, prescriptions, medical tests and more if you get injured or ill during your trip. For example, if you are on a beach in the Phi Phi Islands and are bitten by a jellyfish, your travel insurance plan can cover a doctor’s visit and medicine.
“Whatever the case may be, travel insurance can support you with hospital referrals, ambulance transfers, medical monitoring and more,” says Cheng at World Nomads.
Evacuation Coverage for Serious Medical Emergencies
Being airlifted to a trauma center under any circumstance would be harrowing, and especially if you’re in a foreign country. That’s why it’s prudent to plan for a worse-case scenario by making sure your travel plan includes medical evacuation travel insurance For example, let’s say a motorcycle hits you on a busy street in Bangkok and you fracture a neck bone. Your travel insurance company can arrange a medevac to transport you to the nearest well-equipped trauma center.
Medevac transportation is expensive, so having travel insurance to cover the cost can save you tens of thousands of dollars, and perhaps much more.
Baggage and Personal Belongings Insurance for Thailand Trips
Baggage insurance compensates you the depreciated value of your belongings—up to your policy limits— if lost, damaged or stolen.
Bangkok’s Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace draw thousands of tourists each day, and Thailand’s renowned street markets are always bustling. Where crowds congregate, so do petty thieves.
“Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching can be a problem in parts of Thailand, so you may want protection for your baggage and personal belongings,” says Cheng. “The ultimate way to safeguard your valuables is to leave them at home, but travel insurance can be a backup for your personal effects when stolen.”
If you are a victim of theft, be sure to get a theft report from the police, tour operator or resort manager, as you will need this paperwork to file a claim with your insurance company.
Cheng says to check the exclusions section and benefit limits of your policy. Your reimbursement is typically capped at a certain amount and some articles may be excluded altogether from coverage. Note that cash is not reimbursed.
Baggage delay insurance allows you to recoup money you spend to buy necessities to make you comfortable while you’re waiting for your luggage to arrive. Note that baggage delay benefits apply after a required waiting period outlined in your policy, such as six or 12 hours.