Thailand may soon make travel insurance compulsory for travellers and tourists. Travellers might be obliged to purchase a special policy from airports when they arrive, reports Lonely Planet.
The new policy is still pending approval from the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports. However, it is likely to be rolled out later this year, according to the Thai Office of the Insurance Commission. The insurance would cost 20 baht (£0.52/€0.58/US$0.65) for 30 days’ cover.
All the revenue collected through this new policy will be contributed to Thailand’s Tourism Promotion Fund. The funds will be used to cover payments in the event of a claim, said secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn. The policy will be available for purchase at immigration offices in airports within Thailand. It will additionally have the option of insurance cover up to the amount of one million baht (£26,000/€28,957/$32,467) in case of death.
Why is travel insurance in Thailand being made compulsory?
The new policy of compulsory travel insurance is aimed at boosting travellers’ confidence in the country. The rates of road deaths in the country are some of the highest in the world. Motorcycle accidents are particularly high. With are 5500 motorcyclist deaths a year, the UN has ranked the roads in Thailand as the second-most-deadly in the world.
However, it seems that despite the compulsory policy, tourists might purchase their own cover as the terms are too narrow. The head of travel at AXA Insurance, Nel Mooy, discussed how the terms of the policy seem to imply that the cover will be offered only on account of someone’s death. It doesn’t seem to cover medical expenses and costs linked to cancellations, delays, lost luggage and other mishaps.
Mooy said, “The compulsory insurance contemplated by Thailand appears to only be covering tourists if they die and not if they are injured”. Adding to this he said, “Travellers need cover for medical care. They also need to ensure their insurance includes the activities they’ll engage in, like scuba diving or rafting for instance.”