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Insurance to be compulsory for travellers to Thailand

BANGKOK: All foreign tourists will soon be required to have travel insurance before entering Thailand under a proposal put forward by a committee of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, according to an informed source.

tourism, economics, health,

Bangkok Post

Monday 5 June 2017, 04:22PM

Foreign travellers queue at immigration on arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport. Under a proposal by the Tourism and Sports Ministry they will be required to show evidence of travel insurance, together with their passports. Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard / Bangkok Post
Foreign travellers queue at immigration on arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport. Under a proposal by the Tourism and Sports Ministry they will be required to show evidence of travel insurance, together with their passports. Photo: Pattanapong Hirunard / Bangkok Post

The plan has been proposed by a committee working on the development of Thailand as a wellness tourism hub, and will be forwarded for consideration by the national tourism policy commission.

The requirement should not be seen as a "hurdle" to visitors to Thailand, the source said on Monday (June 5).

Under the proposal, the Office of the Insurance Commission would draft details on insurance policies and insurance distribution channels, including the installation of automatic vending machines at international airports and border checkpoints.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry first proposed requiring foreign visitors to have travel insurance last year, explaining it did not have enough staff to supervise the safety and welfare of the growing number of tourists.

Hospitals have until now often been left carrying the cost of medical treatment of uninsured tourists injured during their stay in Thailand and who have no means to pay their bills.


Read original story here.



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Eagle | 06 June 2017 - 16:58:49

petermach,the travel insurance is not only for traffic accidents!It covers much more.Not only people involved in traffic accidents need a hospital!

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petermach | 06 June 2017 - 15:24:43

Phuket roads are the most unsafe in the world with a huge risk . Before to ask tourists to pay because of that I think the top priority would be to fine and jail drunk or drugged drivers , stupid bikers with their small motorbike completely trafficked and dangerous , people not concerned at all by speed limits , Buses with nice painting on it but out of age...etc , etc

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Timothy | 06 June 2017 - 15:17:12

Capt B, you are right. Most insurance companies will not pay out on motorbike accidents. Especially if the victim is not wearing a helmet and/or has been drinking. If Thailand made it illegal to rent a motorcycle to an unlicensed person, sort of like most other countries in the world, the hospitals would lose a lot of business, and a lot more tourists/expats would live to see another day...But we all know, the people in a position of do something about the daily carnage don't really seem to care...Vachira recently complained that they had to pay some relatively low amount of money for victims without money or insurance. They forgot to mention the huge amount of money they did make from the poor crippled victims that had money and insurance. 

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Kurt | 06 June 2017 - 14:52:04

Capt B: Interesting what you wrote.
Yes, I also have a International insurance, covering me about anything, including road accidents of any kind. ( except usa)
I do not advice foreign tourists to take a thai travel insurance. 
It has been proved not to work out providing solid 100% coverage due to thai 'loopholes'. 
(Actually I call is scam)
Foreign tourist bound for Thailand should only take holiday insurances in their own country of orgine!
Do not trust thai holiday insurances.

Have your holiday peace of mind with your home country holiday insuarance.
Do not forget, any thai contract must be in thai language.
That is the only version what counts by thai law.
Do you read thai? Do you sign 'blind'?
'Translations' in for you understandable languages have no juridical value in Thailand.

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Kurt | 06 June 2017 - 14:12:09

Marcher:  This is about tourists, not about expats living as permanent citizen in Thailand.
We talk here about a holiday travel insurance, provided before you take off for your holiday to Thailand.
In home country of the tourists they can provide any kind of travel insurance the tourist wants, including snow skiing and motorbike riding.
Anything is to insure! Of course you pay the premium.
But the enormous risk of a Thai road accident is such that it is worth the premium. ( as proved by several recent cases asking for public financial help to pay medical bills)

Yvonne: You are right, Airline check in at foreign airports departure for Thailand, mostly includes check on Thai visa.
Same time can be checked or traveler has a sufficient covering holiday travel insurance.

For expats in Thailand ( non tourists) I would say if you have a health insurance which only insures you till age of 70 ( check your insurance contract), than change insurance company before you get 70 years old.
Also in Thailand are International health companies based who NOT kick you out when you become 70 years old.
The expat can anticipate on that.
When you arrive in Thailand and take a cheap thai insurance which kick you out at age 70 ( clearly written in their papers), than you have to change insurance before you become 70 years old.
The money you have saved by many years having cheap thai insurance you can use to change insurance at age 69 if you want to remain insured.
It is all so simple.

Anyway, for tourists it is a simple matter, insure yourself in your home country sufficient for your Thailand holiday.
If you don't, try a accident in Thailand.

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Capt B | 06 June 2017 - 11:53:50

The problem with a lot of "Travel Insurance" policies, they do not cover any injuries for an accident on a Motorcycle, and the insurance company will certainly not pay for any head injuries that occur whilst a motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet which is a requirement under Thai Law.

I do not carry "Travel Insurance" as I can afford to be a self insurer.
I do carry Full International Medical insurance  that covers me everywhere except the USA.
The only reason I carry it is because I may get wiped out by a drunk driver and end up unconscious, then hopefully, if not robbed, the ambulance with find the Insurance Card inside my wallet & take me to the Bangkok Hospital where I'll receive 5 Star treatment as apposed to the other cheapest alternative hospital.

Quite often, it is far cheaper for an Insurance Company to pay a set Death Benefit rather than expensive hospital bills. In all Travel Insurance Policies, a Beneficiary's name should be asked for and provided, otherwise, the insurance companies will make more money than they really should.
I sincerely hope that the current AAA Grade Thai Government does not look upon their so called "Travel Insurance" as a revenue generator. At the end of the day, the so called "Travel Insurance" will be a way of making foreigners pay for their own medical bills through insurance, however, is a poor excuse for not being able to adequately enforce the "Helmet Laws" in Thailand.

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yvonne | 05 June 2017 - 21:51:35

A lot of Comment on Thai Visa that it would be impossible to implement and a lot Tourists at Airports waiting to buy cheapest insurance possible ! Well I have news for them all. IT will be 
possible and it will be implemented at some stage. ALL that will be
 done is AIRLINES will REFUSE to board Passengers before departure that do NOT show approved Insurance , Hand over Passport PLUS 
Medical Travel Insurance  showing Medical Cover and amount at check in  or refused boarding, just like they check for Schengen and other Visas before boarding !.!!Airlines are responsible to transport Passengers back at their expense if Immigration just plain refuse Entry !There are just too many Tourists and Foreigners dying in Thailand. From falling off Balconies, motorbike accidents, drownings, list goes on. The Medial Expenses are huge and many appeal or families have to start collecting and scraping together to pay up! then  BODY needs to be repatriated and NO MONEY to cover that and Hospital WHO is going to pay.?Up to the Touristsforeigners who want to travel to get their Insurance,consider it part of Airline costs then to get to travel  or  otherwise stay at home !

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marcher | 05 June 2017 - 21:07:38

Absolute rubbish. No way are they going to give us oldies who are over 70 any sort of health cover

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Kurt | 05 June 2017 - 16:42:57

Finally, I advocated that already long time.
A good way to protect tourists against themselves as they mostly have no idea what possible can wait them accident wise during a holiday in Thailand.

This proposal is good for Thailand and good for the tourists.

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