Hua Hin Insurance
You never know what unexpected circumstances can happen, so itʼs wise to have adequate insurance cover especially when on holiday or living as an expat abroad. Even though Thailand is a relatively safe and modern country with many available resources, it’s important to be prepared in case of accidents and other unforeseen events. The insurance services in Thailand are quite similar to those in other countries, with different policies and levels of cover available depending on how much you wish to spend and the amount of protection required. It can also be cheaper to buy several policies from the same company, as discounts can sometimes be had.
Travel, Accident and Health
If you plan to visit Hua Hin on holiday from abroad, then you should arrange travel and health cover in good time before the trip starts. Expats and long-stayers that are already here might require additional insurance for special situations and travel, or when a current policy expires. There are plenty of online brokers that can provide a competitive quote, as well as various local companies scattered around town.
For serious accidents and medical conditions, hospitals in Thailand are usually reluctant to provide treatment unless you can prove that youʼre suitably insured or can stump up the fees in advance. When you do have medical insurance, you are normally expected to pay the initial expenses and claim reimbursement later on. Even relatively minor ailments can quickly become expensive when treated at a hospital, depending on which one you use; some hospitals in Hua Hin are much more expensive than others. Bangkok Hospital is perhaps the most costly, and the government-run Hua Hin Hospital the cheapest. You can opt to have inpatient only insurance or add outpatient cover too. Since outpatient treatment is relatively inexpensive in Thailand many people choose to have inpatient cover only, but in that case you’ll have to meet the costs for outpatient fees and any medicines prescribed.
There are insurance plans that will pay all expenses, and cheaper limited plans with fixed limits on most items such as surgical fees and hospital accommodation. Prices normally depend on the patientʼs age and the type and level of cover required. Health and accident insurance costs usually rise considerably with age, but you can sometimes pay a higher initial premium to limit the price increases later on. There are all sorts of policies available to cover scenarios such as accidental death, disablement, murder, assault, broken bones, hospitalisation, and repatriation back to your country of residence.
Car and Motorbike
Considering the traffic and road conditions in Hua Hin and the often dangerous way that people drive in Thailand, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll be involved in an accident at some time or other. Most holidaymakers don’t possess any motorbike insurance (or even a valid bike license), but many are let loose on the local roads with little or no prior experience. So as a precaution, it makes sense to insure yourself to the hilt. Many local residents have either witnessed or been involved in an incident, and the damage and other costs can end up being extremely expensive.
For vehicles rented from reputable and legitimate companies, motor insurance should already be provided, but do check first. Most guesthouses or locals that just want to make some extra cash by renting out their spare car or motorbike are unlikely to provide adequate cover, and tourists that damage rented scooters usually end up paying over the odds for repairs. For rentals, itʼs possible to arrange your own insurance but since the risk is considerable, itʼs quite hard to find and can be costly. If you own a vehicle, there should be no problem to obtain insurance but be aware that there are several levels ranging from the most basic compulsory insurance (a legal requirement in Thailand since 1993 and required in order to tax the vehicle) to more comprehensive ‘first class’ policies that will
meet all your own costs, and those of any third parties involved.
Many Thais drive without any insurance and license whatsoever or have only the basic mandatory cover. As a foreigner, you are assumed to be wealthy (even though this might not be the case) and expected to pay when an accident occurs even when you are not at fault. For vehicle theft, there may also be a police ‘fee’ to help them carry out their enquiries. Basic insurance policies are very cheap but woefully inadequate considering the very real risks and dangers. The recommended comprehensive premiums will set you back at least several thousand baht or more per year, but the cost is worthwhile as youʼll be covered for bodily injury and property damage. Many insurance companies will only reimburse up to 80% of the vehicleʼs value if stolen or damaged, so make sure you check the policy details thoroughly to see what’s included.
Home and Property
Even though Hua Hin is quite a safe town there are occasional reports of break-ins, theft and burglaries. While violent and serious crime is thankfully quite rare, properties are often easy targets due to inadequate security, and foreigners’ homes in particular can be seen as rich pickings with expensive equipment and belongings, a tempting target for many. There have been stories of cash and other valuables stolen while the owners were asleep inside; the bravado of the thieves is sometimes unbelievable.
Home insurance is essential to protect the physical structure of your property from damage including the fixtures and fittings, contents and personal effects (not normally included in a standard policy but available as an optional extra), as well as the cost of alternative accommodation should you need to find a temporary place to stay, and any liability costs arising from damage to someone else’s property or personal injury. Some policies even cover damage caused by pets. It’s important to insure your property for 100% or more of it’s value to cover the full replacement costs should the unthinkable happen. As well as home insurance, there are various other policies that cover commercial properties such as shops and places of work.
Local Insurance Companies and Brokers
The following companies can provide a range of insurance policies such as personal accident, health, travel, motoring and property. Agents that deal regularly with foreigners usually understand their needs well, and will have special policies aimed at expats. Apart from the local brokers, an Internet search for online companies will yield countless results. Some local banks also provide life insurance cover and various other policies.
Make sure that you check out Thaivisaʼs insurance section at insurance.thaivisa.com.
Provides life, accident and health insurance cover. Geared up mainly to Thais but the local Hua Hin branch has English speaking staff that are happy to provide information.
Address: 4/65-66 Petchakasem Road. Between Soi 44 and Soi 66
Telephone: +66 (0)32 531 500
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (main branch)
AA Insurance Brokers
AA is a competitive broker with a wide range of policies aimed at expats and foreign visitors. They provide property, vehicle, accident and health cover as well as specialist golf and life insurance, tailored to your individual needs. They have knowledgable English speaking insurance experts, and are quick to provide the relevant information.
Address: 504 Wong Chomsin Building, 83/14 Petchakasem Road
Telephone: +66 (0)32 532 783
With ten branches nationwide, AXA provides motor, accident, home and travel insurance, as well as various commercial policies.
Address: 4/104 Soi Mooban Nongkae, Petchakasem Road
Telephone: +66 (0)32 536 557
BUPA Health Insurance
A well known global independent health care and insurance provider, BUPA has a range of comprehensive health insurance policies, as well as accident and travel insurance.
Address: 60/23 Borfai, Petchakasem Road. Near Soi 6
Telephone: +66 (0)32 522 811
Ocean Life Insurance
Ocean Life has plenty of policies but no English speaking staff at the local branch. Most policies are related to life insurance. Take a Thai friend along to learn about the options, but you might be better off with the specialist expat companies. It’s a nationwide company, so calling the customer service hotline might be better than visiting in person.
Address: 40/8-9 Petchakasem Road. Near the International Polyclinic
Telephone: +66 (0)22 078 888 (main customer services, not the local branch)
Knowledgable consultants specialising in expat insurance solutions including vehicle, home, property, health and travel.
Address: 250/129 Soi 94, Petchakasem Road. Before the railway crossing on the left side
Telephone: +66 (0)32 512 075 or +66 (0)85 962 2232