Whoever you use for your insurance, we strongly advise a comprehensive policy for Thailand. At the very least you should ensure you have cover for the cost of medical treatment (including emergency flights home) and personal liability.
We also recommend checking that the policy covers you for any activities that you may engage in during your stay in Thailand. Activities like golf, elephant trekking and white-water rafting aren’t always included in standard policies which means that if you hurt yourself (or somebody else) you will be left with the bills to pay. It is your responsibility to have this cover in place before you travel. If you have inadequate insurance cover and you run into difficulties in Thailand, do not expect financial assistance from your embassy or consulate.
It is up to the individual to decide whether an insurance policy meets their particular needs. The requirements of a 21-year-old backpacker may be very different to that of a honeymooning couple. However, we offer the following suggestion as a minimum requirement for any policy to Thailand:
- Cancellation and curtailment cover (enough to cover the cost of the holiday)
- Medical cover (including emergency flights home/repatriation)
- Personal liability cover
- Cover for lost/stolen baggage or personal belongings
- Access to a 24-hour emergency helpline
Emergency flights home
Every year, thousands of people worldwide suffer injury or illness which results in them being flown home early from their holiday or vacation. In serious cases this may involve a medical professional accompanying the passenger. The cost of arranging and providing medical assistance on long-haul flights from Thailand can run into thousands of dollars/pounds and is reason alone to ensure any policy covers for such an event.
This protects you from any legal claims made against you as a result of your negligence. Some exclusions may apply (e.g. you might not be covered when using a motor vehicle) so check your policy wording carefully.
Note that some policies have a fairly low single item limit. If you have a high value item such as a laptop it may be worth taking out an additional premium to cover this.
Activities such as scuba diving, white-water rafting and elephant trekking aren’t always included in standard insurance policies. If you intend to do more than laze on a beach during your stay in Thailand make sure your policy covers you for any sports or activities.
Hospital treatment in Thailand
You should have adequate cover for the cost of hospital treatment. If you do require hospital treatment in Thailand you have to pay for it. Fortunately, Thailand has some of the best health care in Asia. Local hospitals can vary in standard, but the main hospitals in tourist areas are usually very good. In particular, international hospitals such as Bumrungrad in Bangkok and McCormick in Chiang Mai, have an excellent reputation. Some treatments in Thai hospitals (rabies vaccinations for instance) can be relatively cheap and may be less than the cost of your insurance excess, but if you need an overnight stay or surgery, you or your next of kin will need to authorise the cost of treatment. This is where a good insurance policy is worth its weight in gold.
Terms and conditions
When purchasing travel insurance it is important that you disclose any pre-existing or current medical conditions. Be open about this with your insurer or you may find any subsequent claim rejected. Read the policy terms and conditions carefully so you know in advance which claims will be paid and which will be excluded. If you have any specific questions or queries concerning a particular policy, please contact the insurance company directly. Every effort is made to keep the information on this site as up to date and accurate as possible, but we cannot be held responsible for any losses however they may arise.