Car Insurance | Frequently Ask Questions
• Compulsory (CTPL): a compulsory policy issued by the Thai government which every vehicle in Thailand must have in place. The CTPL only covers bodily injury and death (and for relatively low amounts) and property damage is not covered.
Where this Policy is mandatory in Thailand the vehicle insurance options below are voluntary and therefore an addition to the CTPL.
• First-Class insurance: better known as the ‘All Risks’ or ‘Full Class’ insurance. First Class insurance offers comprehensive coverage for your own vehicle and includes property damage, fire, theft, bodily injury or death for Third Parties, coverage for the driver and passengers of the vehicle plus a bail bond.
• Third-Class insurance: this insurance covers third party property damage, bodily injury, and death. In addition, there is cover for medical expenses for both driver and passengers of the vehicle as well as the bail bond. Damage to your own vehicle is not covered under a Third-Class insurance.
• 3+1 insurance: this type of policy covers the same as a Third-Class policy and also damage to your own vehicle but only if the accident is caused by a collision with another vehicle and the identity of the other party is known.
• 2+1: this insurance covers the same as the 3+1 insurance, but also covers fire and/or theft of the vehicle.
Many of us are used to dropping First-Class insurance and switching to a lower level when the vehicle gets older - especially if you ‘think’ you are a good driver! In Thailand however it is advisable to maintain your First-Class insurance for as many years as possible. In most western countries you can assume other road users are insured whereas in Thailand this may not be the case.
Even if your vehicle is damaged and the other party is at fault, you can still end up paying for your damage if the other party does not have an insurance policy or money to pay. If you have a First-Class insurance, your insurance will pay for your damages regardless of who is at fault and afterwards the insurance company will claim this back from the other party. Nowadays it is possible to take out a First-Class insurance until a car is 20 Years old.
On every First-Class policy you will find the insurance value of the vehicle in the middle column. This is the amount you will receive should your vehicle be a total loss due to an accident, fire, or theft.
The insured sum on the policy will be less than the actual market value of the vehicle. In Thailand, the vehicle is covered for a maximum of 80 to 85% of its current value. The reason for this is that the stated amount is paid out by the insurance company during the entire policy year. On day 365 the actual value of your Car will be lower than on the first day of the Policy hence the insurance companies cover maximum 80 to 85%.
Normally you will not get a replacement vehicle. You can however claim ‘Loss of Use’ yourself from the other party's insurance company (assuming the other party was at fault and insured). For a sedan the compensation amount is 500 Baht/day while your vehicle is in repair. In case the other party is not insured you can still claim Loss of use directly from him/her. However, if he/she is unable or unwilling to pay, the only way to solve this is by going to court.
There are 2 types of vehicle policies available in Thailand:
1. A policy based on Dealer garage. This allows you to take your vehicle to the official dealer for repair. A policy based on dealer garage can generally be taken out until the car is 5 years old. This kind of policy is more expensive than a contract garage policy, but nevertheless is recommended. Dealer garages use original parts are faster with repairs than contract garages and usually deliver better quality repairs.
2. A policy based on Contract garage. With this type of policy, you are not allowed to take the car to the official Dealer (unless you pay the additional costs yourself). However, every insurance company has a wide network of contract garages all over Thailand and you will be given a list to chose from.
The only insurance required by law is the CTPL (Compulsory Third Party Liability). The annual premium for a sedan is 645.21 baht. Although cheap, this insurance only covers bodily injury/death, and the limits are low. Property damage is not covered. All other insurance options i.e. First, Second, Third Class, 2+1 etc. are not mandatory. Although you will not receive a fine, it is not recommended to drive around with only the CTPL.
Yes, the normal NCB structure is as follows:
• After 1 year 20%
• After 2 years 30%
• After 3 years 40%
• After 4 years 50%
Note 1: the NCB is only calculated on the base premium. The insurance premium is based on various components, but NCB is not discounted on each component.
Note 2: from our home countries, most of us are used to the fact that the NCB is connected to you the insured. In Thailand, the NCB is connected to the vehicle and not to the driver. If you buy a new car and you had 50% NCB on your old car, you will most likely have to start with 0% NCB for the first year. Transfer of the NCB from one car to another is only possible under special circumstances.
1 Switching from dealer garage to contract garage.
2 By taking a deductible. A deductible of, for example 5,000 Baht for own damage, would only be paid when you are at fault for the accident.
3 By taking out a policy based on “Named Drivers” the policy may lower the premium. A maximum of 2 names can be added to the policy. If you lend your car out to someone else and damage is caused by the borrower (who’s name is not on the policy), the car is still insured but there will be a deductible of 6,000 Baht (5k + 1k Baht)
4 Placing a Dashcam can result in a 5 to 10% discount on your yearly premium.
It is possible that you have a First-Class policy without a deductible but that you still need to pay 1,000 Baht in case of damage. This can happen if your vehicle is damaged by another party where the identity of the other party is unknown. Example, in a situation where the other party runs off or when returning to your car you find parking damage but no note from the one causing it. In this type of situations, the legal rule is that you must pay 1,000 Baht by yourself. If you return to your parked vehicle and find it damaged it is worth considering reporting to the insurance company that you have hit a pole yourself. If you caused the damage yourself, you do not have to pay the 1,000 Baht.
Until mid-2020 it was common to see high coverage amounts for Third Party death. For example amounts of 2,000,000 Baht per person were common. In practice these high amounts were almost never paid. The amount that was paid in the event of death was always the result of negotiations between the insurance company and the relatives of the victim. This changed in 2020 when the OIC (the Thai insurance regulator) made it rule that in such situations, companies must pay the amount stated on the policy. A consequence of this was that almost all companies started to reduce their insured amounts for Third Party death coverage. Nowadays 500,000 Baht per person has kind of become the norm. Increasing the amount of cover is often possible against a small additional cost. This is highly recommended as 500,000 Baht is a little too low.
On every policy you will not only see the coverage for bodily injury/death of the Third-Party, but also coverage for medical costs for the driver and passengers of the vehicle. For the latter coverage is not very high (e.g., up to 100,000 Baht per person where the Third-Party medical coverage is usually at least 500,000 Baht). Note that passengers in the vehicle who are not direct family members will be covered by the higher Third-Party cover. You as a driver and your direct family members will be covered under the lower coverage amount.
Should someone die in a car accident or is injured in such a way that he/she cannot work for 20 days or more, it automatically becomes a criminal act. If this happens, the police should officially bring the case to court. If the police are afraid of a flight risk, they can decide to detain you immediately. When this happens, someone from the insurance company will come to pay for your bail. The Bail Bond cover is a bit of a theoretical coverage as it hardly ever occurs.
Rental vehicles must have a special rental insurance. Many smaller rental companies do not take this seriously. Therefore, always ask if you can see a copy of the insurance policy.
Pay close attention to what it says on the bottom of the policy. If you see a text like “For private use only, not for hire/rent”, you can be sure it is not a rental insurance.
Driving a rental vehicle without it being insured as a rental vehicle can have serious consequences. The insurer will decline cover if they find out the vehicle is rented out. If terms like “For Hire/Rent” or “Commercial Use” are found on the insurance policy, the rental vehicle will be insured properly, and you will not have to worry about getting in trouble.
In the event of an accident, it is best to call the emergency number of the insurance company. The insurer will then send a “surveyor” to the place of the accident. The surveyor will take care of the paperwork, arrange for the vehicle to be towed (if necessary) and maintain contact with the police (who often do not speak English).
Important to know is that almost all insurance companies outsource this work to “Law Offices”. If an accident is reported to the insurer, they will select and contact a nearby Law Office. The Law Office will then send someone to the place of the accident. Even though this extra assistance is better than what most of us are used to from our home countries the assistance of the surveyor often results in complaints. The most common complaints about this:
• The Surveyor does not speak English. That is indeed quite common. If something needs to be coordinated, the emergency center of the insurance company usually acts as a telephone interpreter.
• It takes a long time for the Surveyor to arrive. In busy times, especially with bad weather resulting in more collisions at the same time, it is possible that all surveyors of a Law Office are occupied and waiting times can be up to an hour.
If you want to install a tow hook and tow a trailer with your car, it is best to check if your insurance will still cover when towing a trailer. There are several insurance companies that will not cover anything if a trailer is towed.
There are many insurance companies offering the compulsory insurance including the transportation offices. Many people, including those who already have the additional voluntary policies, choose to purchase the compulsory when paying the road tax. Not a problem, because coverage and premium are the same everywhere. However, it is better to take the compulsory at the same company as where you have the extra insurance (for example First-Class).
The reason for this is that the extra insurance will only start covering when the coverage limits of the compulsory have been reached. Suppose someone is hospitalized due to an accident and the bill is 400,000 Baht. The first 80,000 Baht will be paid by the compulsory insurance but only when that limit has been reached will the extra insurance kicks in and continues to cover (up to the policy limit). Needless to say, in such situations it can get complicated if you have to deal with 2 different insurance companies. When you take the compulsory at the same company as where you have your extra insurance, you only have to deal with the one insurance company.
There is no cancellation period. In Thailand the following rule applies: not paying is not renewing. So, if you do not wish to renew, simply do not pay your renewal premium. It is possible to cancel your policy before the renewal date, example when you sold your vehicle. I that case the insurance company will then reimburse you according to the reimbursement schedule in the general terms and conditions. This is not pro rata but approximately 75% of the remaining term.
If you have a First-Class insurance and for example rats eat through the electricity cables it will be covered. If you have a deductible, you will have to pay the deductible amount by yourself.
Unfortunately, longer than we are used to from western countries. This is mainly due to a different way of planning. In addition, it is simply a lot busier in certain periods (think of the rainy season). Delivery of parts can also take longer. If your vehicle is drivable arrange with the garage that the car will not be brought in until all parts are delivered and that they have time to start repairing immediately.
The vehicle will be declared a total loss if the repair costs exceed 70% of the insured value as stated on your policy and you will then receive the amount as stated on the policy. The vehicle wreck will then become property of the insurance company.
Accessories are usually included in a First-Class insurance up to 20,000 Baht. If you have expensive accessories, they will need to be declared in order to have them insured.