It can be expensive and even cost you your life if you do not have travel insurance for your holiday in Thailand. In addition, you should make sure the insurance is covering the activities you are planning to do, for instance, if you plan an active vacation with a bungee jump, scuba diving, or even driving a scooter, an ordinary insurance may not have coverage.
Although prices are low in Thailand, medical treatment can be extremely expensive. It will be even more expensive if you need repatriation after an accident or an operation. You can easily end up with a hospital bill of more than a million baht (1000000 baht) - you can easily double that in the case of repatriation. So make sure you have coverage for your activities.
At some hospitals, they will not treat you, unless you have insurance or you can pay up front. In the worst-case scenario, it can cost you your life if you do not have insurance. Keep information about your insurance on you, so the hospital can find it if you are brought in unconscious.
The paramedics in an ambulance need to know if you have insurance as well. If they suspect that you do not have coverage, they will probably take you to a public hospital; if you have insurance, they will take you to a private hospital with better equipment.
You may want to have cancellation insurance if, for example, you have to cancel the trip due to illness or a sick family member. You may also want to have coverage for lost luggage. However, you may already have coverage for cancellation and lost luggage as some credit cards offer a limited travel insurance. In order to get coverage from an insurance tied to a credit card, you will probably need to pay for the flight with the credit card.
Renting a Vehicle
If you plan to rent a scooter, motorcycle or a car, you should be aware that the insurance may not cover vehicles and the costs associated with accidents.
As a tourist in Thailand, the police may blame you for the accident, even though it was not your fault. Compensation for property damage and especially personal injury can be very expensive, and the police may detain you until you have paid compensation. If the police detain you, you may miss your flight home, and you will then have to buy a new, expensive, ticket. It is not unheard of that the police or the other party is very aware of this and that they will use it to make you pay the compensation.
If you decide to drive yourself in Thailand, make sure you have a valid driver's licence. If you do not have a valid driver's licence, the insurance will not cover any accidents. You need to obtain an International Driving Permit in your own country.
For driving a scooter in Thailand, you need a licence for a motorcycle. Most owners of vehicles do not care whether you have a valid driving license and they don't mind renting to you, even if you do not have a licence. However, the insurance company does mind!
Even if you do have an International Driving Permit for a motorcycle, you need to read the fine print in your insurance policy. Some insurance policies have limitations in coverage, for example, the insurance may only cover if the scooter/motorcycle is below a certain engine size.
Staying for a Long Time
Most insurance policies only have coverage for a period of up to two months. If you are going on a longer trip, you need to take out extra insurance.
In some cases the insurance will have coverage for the first two months, in other cases, there is not coverage at all if you stay even one day more than two months. Thus, even if you have an accident the first day of your holiday, you may not have coverage. To make sure you have coverage, please carefully read your insurance policy or contact your insurer before you leave for Thailand.
If you do not yet have travel insurance, you can use the form below to get a quote from World Nomads.