So your tour is confirmed, flights are booked, and bags are packed. Everything looks ready and good to go. But, hey, did you arrange travel insurance? Oh yes, you had lots of options, but got lost back then in tons of insurance pitches.
After talking to previous customers, and taking into account our knowledge of destinations, we think these four easy steps can help you get started.
Four Easy Steps for Choosing Travel Insurance
Many times we have been asked how to choose travel insurance for family trips to Asia. Instead of advertising for any particular companies, we have come up with four easy steps that will help you make a wise choice.
Understand the Differences Between Insurance Options
Feeling swamped in a jungle of different insurance policies? Take a quick overview of the different travel insurance products below.
Travel accident insurance
This provides insurance against accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D). Sudden loss of life or baggage, due to transport failure or flight accidents, is covered.
Most credit card companies or insurance agents offer this insurance as a basic starting point. Policies and costs differ, but normally this is affordable. It is more attractive to families who are often on the move, for it offers continuous and long-term protection.
Travel medical insurance
Be aware that your normal medical insurance is unlikely to cover your trip to Asia. Travel medical insurance, which is often cheaper than normal insurance, can be a wise addition to your standard insurance plan.
Your health disagreeing with Asian climate or food may manifest itself in anything from mild discomfort to serious disease, including the ubiquitous diarrhea or food poisoning. Travel medical insurance should be on your shopping list, especially when traveling with young kids.
Medical evacuation insurance
Medical evacuation insurance is like a deluxe version of common travel medical insurance, focusing on evacuation and repatriation. It may include the costs of being hospitalized, emergency medical reunion, returning children back home, or AD&D benefits.
Costs vary according to destination. If you are traveling to a destination with an unstable political situation or with frequent natural disasters, this is a higher-priority consideration.
Package travel insurance
Package travel insurance is a clear-cut plan that covers almost all aspects of your travel, including medical expenses, baggage losses, flight and trip cancellation, and interruption to overseas SOS rescue. Such a comprehensive insurance plan can set your mind at ease.
Some plans also offer expanded coverage for participation in sport and special equipment (e.g. golf clubs, camping gear and fishing kit). It is generally a wise choice for families.
If you happen to be a globetrotter and are always on the move, annual travel insurance may also suit. Most annual insurance plans provide a year’s worth of protection, as offered by other plans, yet the average price per person per month is much less. This keeps things simple and is particularly good for vacations longer than three weeks.
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
I have never hear of this company…
I have never hear of this company before , and after reading all these reviews ,I decided to give it a try . The professionalism and communicative skill received by one of the agent , Sharon of Asia Highlights , convince me that She was the right travel agent for my trip in Asia . Very quickly she communicated with me and got all the detail of my desire vacation . Sharon made me a great itinerary with great experiences that I am dreaming to experience and I am looking forward to it . Thanks Sharon for been so great and crafting me a dream vacation with great suggestions.More
orge alvarez, May 2023
Coco Yang worked tirelessly to…
From the moment I landed in Bangkok, Ms Noi Ying was there to welcome me and get me settled into my hotel. We enjoyed several days together touring Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. In Chiang Mai, Mr Ekachai took my son snd I on an amazing trip to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and to visit a community Lanna home, gardens and a hands-on cooking class preparing an authentic Thai meal. Lisa arranged a last-minute speedboat tour of 5 breathtaking islands in Phuket. From start to finish, the guides exceeded my expectations!! Thank you, Asia Highlight!! Debbie WoodsMore
Debbie Woods, May 2023
Sharon from Asia highlights has been…
Sharon from Asia highlights has been amazing. She offered her amazing ideas to other tours I wanted. We have planned the perfect 9 day itinerary to Thailand. She worked in my budget and was very flexible when I had to change my flights. Thank you sharon. Can’t wait for the trip.More
Heather Stern Wilensky, Apr 2023
Ms. Ning first review 4-2023
Ms. Albee Ning has been doing a great job accommodating my requests and itinerary changes. Remember the first itinerary is a rough draft and you may modify it to suit your tastes. Remember you can not do it all and see everything in 3 weeks. If the flight wasn't so long I would visit Southeast Asia more often. I will update my review in a few months. We don't leave for 9 more months. Asia Highlights is working well for me so far!More
Chiefray, Apr 2023
Perfect Trip To Thailand…
We had so much fun in Bangkok with Tanni and Tom as they kept laughing at all of our silly jokes. Paul, our guide and Chiang Mai was really thoughtful, fun and full of great information about the temples and sights. Thanks so much! Brian and MichelleMore
Scott Orchard, Mar 2023
I highly recommend Asia Highlights
I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I worked with Alisa and she is fantastic! I was planning my honeymoon trip, and I changed the destination multiple times. Each time, Alisa provided me an updated itinerary with activities that matched my interests. Whether I had a small change to an activity, a question about one of the arrangements, or a change or destination, Alisa was helpful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable, providing me with updated options in an extremely timely manner. In the end, despite the fact that I changed my mind on location multiple times, I ended up booking a 17 day trip to Thailand for this upcoming November. I am extremely excited to experience everything that Alisa planned for us. I recommend Asia Highlights to everyone and look forward to using them again on any other trips to Asia in the future. Thank you Alisa and Asia Highlights!More
Britt Rosen, Mar 2023
Three weeks encompassing Vietnam
A special shoutout to our last guide in Bangkok - Ms. Ka-Noon who spoiled us with her kindness and then got us through check in and security for our flight home in record time at that huge Bangkok airport.More
Deby, Feb 2023
Over the last 5 years we've used Asia…
Over the last 5 years we've used Asia highlights twice. And both times we've had fantastic vacations. Would not want to do it any different when we travel to Asia from now on. Sharon was fantastic. She was a wonderful agent who helped us nail down our trip and make everything go as smooth as possible.More
Todd Atwell, Feb 2023
Family Trip to Thailand
Our trip to Thailand comprised three generations of the family , ten people and an age range of 4 to 70 so a potentially difficult brief.Our itinerary over two weeks involved four locations, and a number of different trips and tours.From out arrival at an extremely busy Bangkok airport Asia Highlights were terrific.In each location we were met by a smiling , knowledgeable and professional guide who simply made everything easy and stress free for everyone.Our transportation was clean and comfortable . Transport was always ready for us at the agreed time and the drivers were excellent.There were so many highlights enjoyed by all the age groups. The floating houses , railway market and elephant sanctuary were particular favourites.We had one minor glitch with the accommodation in Phuket which was immediately dealt with by Tip. I think we would have struggled to resolve the problem by ourselves. So, thank you Asia Highlights , Cathy, Tip and tour guides Tanny, Sam and Lisa. It was a memorable holiday and we will be back.More
Roger Pyle, Feb 2023
Trip of a lifetime from Asia Highlights!
I recommend highly Asia Highlights as a travel company. Our travel consultant Albee took the time to connect with us during the planning process to make sure we were comfortable with our itinerary. When we arrived, we were met by our guide and all the details were attended to. They picked great hotels and tours. I often describe our trip as the trip of a lifetime! Would definitely use them again when we come back to AsiaMore
Nancy Parker, Feb 2023
Asia Highlights and Albee - highly recommended
Asia Highlights is very reliable agency and Albee is an amazing representative of the company. From the moment when we contacted her until our departure, the whole support we received was 6* level. She prepared our trip offer within few hours and afterwards she was extremely flexible to adjust as per our needs. In the period between the offer and the trip, Albee was always available for all our questions and supported us on the best possible way. During the trip she was again flexible to add new activities/transfers and this went on the smoothest possible way. Thank you, Albee and Asia Highlights. Definitely we will approach you again for our next Asian tripMore
AZ, Feb 2023
5 STAR CUSTOMER SERVICE BY MONICA
Monica is a very sweet young lady who speaks excellent English via email/WhatsApp, and knows the importance of excellent customer service.More
Trent, Jan 2023
We had an awesome experience with Asia Highlights
We started our trip in Bangkok, where Mr. Prassert our tour guide, met us. He was on time and the van was clean and well-maintained. Mr. Prassert was our guide for the 4 days we spent in Bangkok. He was helpful, kind, and willing to accommodate our pee and coffee breaks. The driver was safe and punctual. Next, we went to Chiang Mai.Gemma exceeded every expectation we had for our tour of Chiang Mai! She had a great attitude that made exploring the city fun and exciting, as well as an abundance of knowledge and experience. She was always spot on with figuring out logistics and coming up with unique ideas that suited our interests and schedules. Gemma was incredibly generous with her time and even walked us to security at the airport to make sure we could carry all of our luggage. That’s just one example of how far out of her way she went to make our trip easier and more enjoyable. Gemma was sincerely interested in making every minute of our trip count. We’re very grateful to have met her and feel like we have found a friend in Gemma! Our driver in Chiang Mai was also great and very accommodating to our changes in schedules.More
Lois Paskow, Dec 2022
Thailand & Cambodia 2022
Albee went above and beyond to make our trip perfect. She rearranged flights due to a mistake of mine. She made sure we were still picked up and escorted to the airport. I felt comfortable and safe with all our reps. She did an excellent job and I highly recommend her booking your next trip. Thank you, Albee.More
Karen Brooks, Dec 2022
Perfect vacation thanks to Albee we…
I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate all the efforts, attention to details and immediate responses to all questions that Albee and her team provided. The Asia Highlights team deserves more stars than the maximum allowed because of continually going above and beyond all expectations. Thanks Albee for making our vacation through south east Asia absolutely perfect!!!More
Michael Sharp, Dec 2022
2023 Chiang Mai CAD Yipeng Festival
We got early bird ticket and Bella was assisting us through whatsapp. Easy, competitive price, front row tickets. Thanks Bella, for being patient explaining everything to me. Highly recommended.More
lily hartati, Dec 2022
Bella has been an outstanding customer service rep
Bella has been an outstanding customer service rep. She was responsive and knowledgeable. Buying tickets from their website was super easy and the whole process was straightforward. Highly recommended.More
Khai, Nov 2022
I was ever so grateful to have a point…
I was ever so grateful to have a point of contact while in a foreign country for the first time, alone, that helped me through the Ins and outs of getting to and from my destination. Albee was readily available which brought me much comfort and feeling of safety. If in this part of the world again, I will not hesitate to use your services..More
Omega, Nov 2022
I booked tickets to the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Nov 2022. Bella was extremely responsive and helpful!!More
Bowen, Nov 2022
It is the attention to detail and what we specifically wanted to see that made the reservation experience so exciting.More
Peter Bongiovanni, Nov 2022
Assess Your Risks
Now you need to take a closer look at the nature of your travel and your planned destination. A vacation with beachcombers is quite different from traveling with teenagers who are crazy about rock climbing.
If your travel involves many activities, read carefully any insurance clauses dealing with specialty travel or adventure sports. On the other hand, we all tend to be a bit adventurous on vacation. It is important not to classify common outdoor activities like mountain biking, long-distance trekking, or horseback-riding as adventure sports.
You have gleaned enough information at this stage in regard to choosing a destination (if you haven’t decided yet, read our article on How to Choose Destination for Your Family Trip to Asia).
This helps with risk assessment, too. Unforeseeable events that might cause loss include acts of God (e.g. typhoons, earthquakes, flows of debris and tsunamis), civil uprisings, strikes or failures of airlines, railways or other ground facilities.
Check Your Current Insurance
Knowing what you have helps you decide what to get. Although you may know your current insurance includes house, car, medical or life insurance, it’s still a good idea to check it up to make sure if your trip will be covered or if you will need to purchase more.
You may contact your agent or log in to the insurance company website. Examine the details regarding travel, paying special attention to beneficiaries, coverage and amounts.
If you decide to purchase new insurance for family travel, try to bundle it up with one of your existing insurance packages. For example, have your house insurance and travel insurance with one company. Expanded policies are available at most companies, along with discounts and credits on current plans.
Consult with an Agent Before Making the Next Move
Yes, your insurance agent might try to talk you into buying more insurance. But after all your research and consideration, you already know what you are looking for. An agent comes in handy when you find some items on the insurance plan are just too vague or too complicated to understand.
Some travel insurance plans also come with 24/7 travel consulting, which can be welcome icing on the cake.
There are some basic, must-have features that you should look for:
- Your destination is covered on the plan
For example, Myanmar – the entire country or some parts of it – might not be on the list of some travel insurance companies.
- Every member of your family is covered on the plan
Most insurance covers all family members whose names are documented in the plan. Special note: generally speaking, travel insurance doesn’t include third-parties whose names are not in the insured list, even though they might also be next of kin.
You need to purchase insurance separately if one or more members of your family travel with others who are not in your family travel insurance plan.
- Trip delays/postponements
- Cancelled travel & accommodation expenses
- Loss of or damage to personal baggage & personal effects
You might have chosen some locally-run, low-cost airlines; be aware that they might not do so well as big national airlines when it comes to baggage management. Keep that in mind when purchasing travel insurance.
- General health and medical expenses
- Special hospitalization or medical evacuation expenses
- Special event cancellation expenses
This may come in handy when (for example) a hot-air-balloon flight in Bagan is cancelled due to poor weather.
- Replacing lost travel documents, including relevant travel and accommodation expenses
- Failure to execute travel services due to bankruptcy or breach of contract of a travel agent or service supplier
This is extremely important if you decide to travel with an agent who seems to have little feedback on the internet.
Before you actually decide which insurance company you are going to use, talk to your family and make sure everybody is on the same page. Explain why you think travel insurance is necessary and why you are choosing this company. If possible, explain the coverage, and claim process.
Four Tidy Tips from Asia Highlights
Purchase Travel Insurance as Early as Possible
There are three important points in time with respect to purchase of travel insurance: when your first payment for the trip is made; eligibility dates for specific benefits; and your trip departure date.
Firstly, we suggest you purchase insurance once the deposit for your trip has been paid (or at least the initial payment). This may also be the recommendation of some travel insurance companies. You can have some idea of the total expected trip cost, and choose your insurance plan accordingly.
Secondly, you need to consider specific terms of benefits that are of extra importance to your family, for example, medical care expenses. Polices differ. For example, ‘Cancel for Work Reasons’ coverage only applies up to 14 days after the deposit (or initial payment) is made. This will play into the decision about how late you should buy your insurance.
More and more companies allow travelers an additional purchase even after they are already on the plane to Singapore or Tokyo. Special provisions must be noted: the start date of the policy coming into effect is always dated the next day or later, and such a post-departure insurance plan doesn’t cover claims arising from any known situation (which may include pre-existing medical conditions).
Don’t be Confused by the Vacation Waiver
Vacation waiver seems like a warm and fuzzy fad that is both easy to understand and user-friendly. You should, however, be clear about the differences between a vacation waiver and common travel insurance. They differ in these aspects. With vacation waivers:
- there are fewer regions, reasons or insured persons covered than with normal travel insurance;
- trip interruption, no matter for what reason, is not covered once the trip starts;
- financial or physical failure caused by travel agents or tour operators that sell the waiver is not covered;
- some non-refundable or unchangeable services are not covered;
- expenses caused by health issues, travel failure, travel bans or natural disasters are not covered; and
- loss of travel documents, luggage or personal belongings is not covered.
Vacation waivers are sold to offer extended flexibility in case of change or cancellation, which is definitely not a substitute for normal travel insurance.
Understand What it Doesn’t Cover
Travel insurance gives you peace of mind but let’s be clear: it’s not a cure-all. Some areas beyond coverage are easy to overlook or misunderstand. Normally, travel insurance doesn’t cover the following circumstances, for which your claims might be denied.
- Pre-existing medical conditions
Pre-existing medical conditions are present before travel insurance is purchased. They can be something simple, or as serious as heart disease, cancer, type-II diabetes or asthma. You can add a Pre-existing Medical Condition Waiver to cope with potential losses.
- Psychological or nervous disorder
- Changing your mind too early without proper documentation or explanation
Canceling a trip entirely or partially without proper documents, such as a doctor’s examination and diagnosis suggesting a trip cancellation, tends to get denied when filing claims, unless you’ve purchased a Cancel for Any Reason policy.
- Losses due to personal reasons
Personal reasons vary widely; from oversleep, to missed flights, to losses due to being legally drunk, or under the influence of drugs. Different plans will have their own particular exclusions.
- Tourism travel medical losses or expenses
If you receive medical treatment or healthcare beyond your country’s borders, excessive expenses or losses incurred during the process or directly caused by it are not within the coverage of normal travel insurance or domestic medical insurance. However, more companies now offer extra Tourism Travel Medical Insurance to cope with the unknown.
- Losses due to nuclear radiation or radioactive contamination
- Losses incurred while the insured is participating in an unlawful act
- Losses incurred due to extreme weather, war, military action, civil disorder, or riots
All insurance plans will detail what kind of unpredictable or uncontrollable events are beyond their scope. With a Cancel for Any Reason Plan, you may require a cancellation if you are aware of some aforementioned situations that will compromise your trip experience.
No matter how busy you may be, it is vital to allow yourself some time for travel insurance research and purchase. Once you are done, share the information with your travel agent and relatives or close friends at home, for their records.
During your family travel to Asia, remember to gather and keep receipts if possible, including receipts from pharmacies or luggage loss reports from airlines, which should be helpful when raising claims.
We are not trying to cause alarm but to create physical and mental security, as there’s a lot beyond your control when traveling aboard. For what it’s worth, a well-designed trip with comprehensive understanding of your own needs and conditions can be half the battle.
Organize your trip right now with our all-in-one services!
Plan your Family Trip to Asia with Asia Highlights
Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you achieve your travel plans. See our itinerary below and let us do the work for you.
15-Day Family Trip to Mongolia, China and Thailand
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Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
Get Inspired with Our Sample Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.