With almost 40 million cars on Thailand’s crowded roads, bumps and shunts can be a common concern. Whether you live in Thailand and use a vehicle to get to work or you are visiting you should always ensure that you are financially protected. If you are ever involved in a car crash or minor accident you do not want to be paying out for the full costs of damage; especially if those costs extend from your car to damage to other vehicles or property.
This guide will take a quick peek into the ins-and-outs of car insurance in Thailand.
Basic Features of Car Insurance
- Cover personal injury
- Cover injury costs to other pedestrians
- Property damage cover
- And cover of the costs of repairing your vehicle
Thailand’s roads can be confusing as red lights are ignored, or pedestrians try to jump between cars to cross a busy road. It’s important that you protect yourself from the financial risks. You may find you are liable for an accident which can put a serious strain on your finances without the back up of a quality insurance package.
Car insurance is a simple contract between an insurance company and yourself. In the event of an accident the insurance company will arrive at the scene and assess the situation. They will then cover the costs, or part of the costs, of the accident. Make sure your policy covers you for at least the basics mentioned above and be aware of what your rights are when filing a claim. In return the car insurance company is expecting you to pay the monthly, or yearly premiums you agreed upon starting your car insurance contract.
Third Party Car Insurance
Third party car insurance is a required minimum when driving in any country around the world. (Referred to in Thai as Por Ror Bor, or Compulsory Motor Insurance [CMI]). Such insurance became a legal requirement in Thailand in the year 2535 (1992) and ensures that the basic protection is covered for all drivers and pedestrians. These are:
- 80,000 baht medical expenses
- 300,000 baht for death or permanent disability
Please be aware that the 300,000 baht cover is to protect the third party involved, protecting you from any long-term and expensive medical costs to assist a person’s rehabilitation or funeral costs.
It is recommended that you inquire about a premium insurance package as third party insurance really is the most basic available. There are three basic levels of premium car insurance available in Thailand that we would recommend you consider. Starting from the cheapest, they are:
- Third Class cover or Level 3 (ประกันชั้น3)
- Covers the life of the driver
- Some or all medical costs of the driver
- Some or all medical costs of any passengers
- Some or all medical costs of the third party
- Second Class Cover
- On top of third class cover you are also protected for the costs of repair of your vehicle after any collision
- First Class Cover
- The most comprehensive cover available
- Usually covers the full vehicle
- The life of the driver and passengers
- Full medical expenses
Filing a Claim
Each car insurance company may have a different policy on filing a claim so always make sure you fully understand it before signing. Read the full claim policy and ensure it is all understood. In Thailand you need to contact the insurance company as soon as the accident occurs. The vehicles will remain in place until the insurance company can send a representative to assess the scene and calculate the claim. It will also be your responsibility to contact the traffic police who will provide you with the documents required. Other things worth noting are:
- It is recommended to keep a copy of your insurance policy in your car
- Keep the insurance company’s phone number handy
- Get the contact details of theirs involved in the accident
Overall it is highly recommended that you enquire about the premium services on offer. Just remember that Thai roads are very different to what you might be used to. Drive safe and responsibly at all times and enjoy your freedom in the Kingdom of Thailand!