Insight into local insurance requirements in Thailand

When living or traveling within Thailand, car insurance in Thailand may often be overlooked. However, it is important that car owners understand the legal requirements of their car insurance policy in order to reduce any inconveniences during an accident.

Understanding car insurance policy in Thailand

In Bangkok and throughout Thailand, a car owner’s car insurance policy must include a Minimum Third Party Liability cover of B100,000. This means that if you are at fault for causing death or permanent disability to another person which results from a car accident, Thai law requires your car insurer to pay up to B100,000 towards the injury claim. In addition to this mandatory cover for third-party liability claims, car insurers are able to provide additional optional covers such as physical damage protection and personal injury protection.

When car insurance is mandatory?

In Thailand, car insurance is compulsory and required for all car owners. It is considered a violation of Thai law if car owners do not have any form of car insurance policy in place at the time of an accident. If caught, you could be fined up to B5,000 and even have your car confiscated by the police until proof that car insurance has been purchased can be presented. In addition to this, when hiring a car from a car rental company in Thailand, it will require that you buy car insurance from them – this includes rental motorbikes also. When renting a scooter or motorcycle it may only be possible to buy temporary motorcycle insurance which does not meet third-party liability requirements.

Compulsory car insurance is not limited to car accidents. Thailand car owners are also legally required to have car insurance for their car in order for it to be covered under the law on compulsory compensation of traffic-accident damages.

When car insurance is not mandatory?

While car insurance is compulsory, there are some cases where local authorities may allow car owners who do not have car insurance to register their vehicle – usually only if they can prove that they can meet all financial obligations themselves, and do not require any assistance from their insurer. This would commonly include cases whereby the owner is the sole breadwinner or has enough assets to cover accident claims fully themselves. Such people would need evidence proving this which could consist of documents such as recent payslips, bank statements or even real estate papers.

Self-funding car insurance in Thailand

There are car owners who may prefer not to buy car insurance but instead self-fund their car accidents themselves. This is possible for car owners who have the financial means to cover all accident damages with their own money, and do not require any assistance from their car insurer. If your car is adequately insured then it can be considered that you are covered by a minimum legal 3rd party liability policy – which would mean that most Thai people would deem it acceptable if you did not have car insurance but had sufficient assets of your own to settle any claims yourself. While most foreigners living in Thailand will seek out car insurance as it offers peace of mind when driving around in their car, car owners who are financially capable of self-funding car accidents could consider the benefits of not having car insurance.