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Traffic accidents happen regularly in the land of smiles. With more than 60,000 accidents reported annually, the risk of getting into an accident no matter how carefully you drive is high. motorcycles cross in front of you from unexpected angles.
taxi drivers suddenly change lanes without giving a signal. and the buses drive quickly even during heavy traffic. Even while your car is parked in a public area, another car could crash into it, causing serious damage.
This is what makes Thailand’s roads the second deadliest highways in the world.
Fortunately, there are several car insurance options in Thailand from a dozen insurance companies.
This article will guide you through everything you need to know about car insurance in Thailand, both for cars and motorcycles. You’ll learn about insurance options, coverage, insurance companies, claim procedures, and how to go without insurance.
You can compare many car insurance plans at the same time through Mister Prakan’s website and shop for the most suitable plan for you.
There are two options for car insurance in Thailand: statutory liability insurance and private insurance. Compulsory public liability insurance, known as por ror bor, is required for all cars and motorcycles registered in thailand. it must be renewed annually and provides basic coverage for death and injuries caused by traffic accidents.
Due to insufficient coverage and the complicated claim process of mandatory liability insurance, many people consider purchasing private insurance with additional coverage for vehicle, death and injury.
With private insurance, you can control auto repair quotes caused by car accidents, which are very likely to happen here, and you can also get professional help when accidents happen.
all you need to do is call an insurance representative and they will come to the scene of the accident and take care of the opposing party, offer roadside assistance and issue claim documents.
but if you’re here just to travel, you can check out our article on travel insurance in thailand.
compulsory civil liability insurance (ctpl)
Compulsory civil liability or ror bor insurance is a basic insurance that all cars must take out every year under the road protection law. being the minimum requirement, ctpl covers only medical expenses with limited coverage when you cause the accident. it is up to 80,000 baht for injuries and 300,000 baht for death, if it is not the fault of the driver. when the driver is the cause of the accident, coverage is reduced to 30,000 baht for injuries and 35,000 baht for death.
by ror bor it costs about 650 baht a year for a normal car. It won’t break the bank, but it can’t cover full payments for accidents or major breakdowns. ctpl is renewed annually through the department of ground transportation, auto insurance companies or a third party representative. usually purchased at the same time an annual car tax is paid.
When injuries occur due to accidents, you can claim directly at the hospitals by informing the hospital cashiers. otherwise, you can be reimbursed later at the insurance company with the receipt of the medical expense, a copy of your passport and a copy of the insurance policy.
For maximum coverage, a copy of the police report is required to prove that you did not cause the accident.
private auto insurance offers much better coverage than ctpl. even the cheapest plan comes with third-party property coverage. private car insurance in thailand can be classified into five types using the numbers 1, 2+, 2, 3+ and 3.
Type 1 insurance is the most expensive type and provides the best coverage, covering everything from accidents, theft, and third-party property damage. type 3 insurance is the cheapest option but comes with the lowest coverage.
It is common for people to buy car insurance from brokers in Thailand. check out mister prakan if you want to do the same.
You can also view and compare private insurance plans on their website.
- single-party accidents: Only type 1 insurance covers accidents that occur without the involvement of a third party. this includes hitting a wall or a dog, scratching a structure, crashing into a tree, etc. however, you may need to pay an additional fee of at least 1,000 baht. the rate differs depending on your insurance plan.
- Collision: Type 1, 2+, and 3+ insurance typically comes with collision coverage. covers the cost of repairing your car as long as it is caused by a hit to another car. pay attention to the small details of the collision coverage policy, since expensive plans allow you to repair your car in the official workshop of your car brand, while cheaper plans send you to individual workshops. if you caused the accident, an excess fee may be required. If the collision damage cannot be repaired, you may receive 70% to 100% of the insurance limit in return.
- expenses: all types of insurance include medical expenses caused by traffic accidents. the amount of coverage is likely to be similar no matter what type of insurance you are using. and it is less if you cause the accident. insurance companies require a medical receipt for reimbursement unless you go to their partner hospital. You can use car insurance, health insurance, and family insurance to cover your medical expenses.
- Theft: You may not be covered by Theft Protection coverage if your car is stolen due to your own carelessness, including forgetting to lock it, parking it in an unsafe location, or embezzling it. you may only receive 70-80% of the insurance limit depending on the age of your vehicle.
- Fire/Flood: Similar to theft protection, you can claim flood damage only when it is not your fault. if you park a car and that area suddenly floods, you are covered. On the other hand, if you intentionally drive through flooded areas, insurers may deny your claim. this type of coverage always comes with type 1 insurance and some type 2 or 2+ insurance only.
- third party property damage: The general idea of third party property damage is similar to collision coverage, but it only covers the other party’s car. this is the selling point of type 3 coverage because you will only need to repair your own car from the accident without having to worry about the opposing party.
- third party personal injury: all types of insurance, including mandatory third party liability insurance, or ctpl, come with third party personal injury coverage as long as it is caused by a car crash. It means that if you get hit by a car while walking down the street, you can at least get reimbursed from ctpl in addition to asking the driver for compensation.
- Driver’s license: Insurers do not cover drivers if the driver does not have a driver’s license.
- drunk driving: Under Thai law, a person who has a blood alcohol concentration, or bac, of more than 50 mg is considered intoxicated. not only does it result in denial of insurance claims, but there is also the possibility of being fined and jailed.
- unauthorized driver: This is different depending on the insurance package. some packages may cover all drivers as long as they have a license and are not drunk, while others only cover a specific person who can drive the car.
- wrong purpose: Some insurance companies may not cover you if you use a car in an unsafe manner. this includes carrying more passengers than the vehicle should carry, using a personal car to transport goods or move around, installing ngv or lpg gas systems without prior notice.
- leaving the place of the accident: if you cause the accident and leave the place, the insurance company does not cover the expenses. this is considered a crime in thailand and will lead to prosecution.
- War: Car insurance companies can deny claims caused by war and protests, regardless of whether you live in a risk area or not. if the damage is caused by these events, it is not covered.
- reputation: apply with an insurance company that has been in this industry for a long time. With insurance companies you’ve never heard of before, it’s best to check their financial history.
- staff knowledge and service: Since you have to deal with the long-term insurance company staff, find out in advance whether they can provide you with satisfactory service or not. You can verify this by calling them and explaining your needs. if the staff just redirects your call without providing professional service, just ignore it and choose a new company.
- Additional Features: Due to the competitiveness of this industry, insurance companies have been regularly introducing new features and services. this ranges from providing a replacement vehicle or compensation when your car is in for repair to discounts for loyal customers.
- close workshop: dealing with a workshop that is not a partner of the insurance company is quite complicated. therefore, you can talk to a reputable garage near you and ask which insurance company they are associated with. This way you will know in advance where to repair if an accident occurs.
- a copy of the car registration
- a copy of the first page of a passport
- a copy of the driver’s license
- a copy of the insurance policy
- a copy of the first page of a bank account book, if there is any compensation
- a copy of the car registration
- a copy of the first page of your passport
- a copy of your driver’s license
- a copy of your previous insurance policy may be required
- Avoid Repair Overpricing: Without auto insurance, a third party may take this opportunity to overcharge the cost of a vehicle repair. the price can double from 50,000 baht to 100,000 baht. worse yet, you may even have to go to court if you disagree with the payment.
- roadside assistant: Since a car insurance representative regularly needs to deal with traffic accidents, they have the contact details at hand and help you resolve the situation by calling a tow truck, talking with traffic police and dealing with opposing parties.
Below are the standard exclusions that all auto insurance companies can deny your claims for: not having a driver’s license, driving while intoxicated, driving without authorization, using your car as a taxi or movement, leaving the scene of an accident and wars. the exclusion may be different between each insurer. be sure to read the fine print carefully.
car insurance comparison
There are several types of insurance you can get for your car or motorcycle. Below is a detailed outline of each type.
this is the most expensive and comprehensive type of insurance offered in thailand. It should cover you from all accidents and problems. In addition, it is the only type of insurance that covers an accident that does not involve a third party, such as hitting a wall, hitting a dog, scratching, etc.
in some cases you have to pay an excess and in other cases you don’t have to pay it.
Type 1 insurance is typically available for a vehicle that is less than seven years old. however, it is still possible to get type 1 insurance on an older car, as long as it has a good record and a history with no major accidents involved.
type 2+ is the second most expensive car insurance option in thailand. its coverage is similar to type 1 insurance but does not cover accidents in which there are no third parties involved. furthermore, type 1 insurance tends to send your car to official garages for repairs, while type 2+ insurance will send it to independent third-party garages.
Type 2 insurance is similar to Type 2+, including price, but does not have collision coverage. Because of this, most people prefer Type 2+ insurance to Type 2. And now only a few insurance companies offer it.
Type 3+ insurance includes the necessary protection against traffic accidents, collision coverage and third-party property damage. the main difference between 2+ and 3+ is that type 3+ has no protection against theft, fire, flood, or terrorism.
This is a basic private insurance and covers only medical expenses and civil liability. it is popular for old or low value cars for many Thais.
Each insurance package has differences that cause the price to vary. For example, if the insurance company sends the car to an official workshop for repair, the insurance package will cost more than sending it to an independent workshop.
some offer deductibles, often mistaken for an excess, which makes the insurance plan lower. but you must pay the fixed fee when making claims. there are also no claims bonuses, pay-as-you-go insurance, and driver specification options.
Below is a table comparing normal coverage and prices for all types of insurance. It should give you a rough idea of how much you’ll pay and what should be covered.
Please note that coverage varies based on several factors.
The excess is a fixed amount that you agree to pay to make a claim. It normally starts at 1000 baht per time and can be canceled if the car is damaged by something other than a car, such as hitting a wall, poles, trees, animals and stones. if another car damaged you, the excess can still be waived if you didn’t cause the accident.
The insured must pay a deductible when the damage or scratch occurs without a clear cause or there is no third party involved, such as a nail that punctures a tire while driving, a windshield that brakes suddenly for no reason, parts damaged by animals, and so on.
However, each insurance company has a different policy for waiving excess. and even some insurance representatives may give you the wrong answer. read the fine print carefully and double check everything when you’re not sure if the excess can be waived or not.
The deductible, on the other hand, is a fixed amount that you agree with the insurer each time you want to file a claim. cannot be waived, but the total price of the insurance will be reduced. for example, the cost of type 1 insurance plans at 15,000 baht per year could drop to just 7,999 baht for the same coverage with a deductible. If the deductible amount is 3,000 baht, it means you have to pay an additional 3,000 baht each time you want to file a claim, plus an excess fee.
Deductibles can significantly reduce the cost of car insurance and are appropriate for serious accidents. but you cannot claim for minor damage or scratches.
Normally, the amount of the deductible is between 1,000 and 5,000 baht. similar to a franchise, its amount and policy is different between each insurance company.
Please note that excess and deductible are often abused in thailand, even with insurance representatives. they share the same word in Thai. so read the fine print carefully.
no claim bonus
Many insurance companies in Thailand offer no claims bonuses, with discounts on renewal fees for those who have not filed any claims, or have only filed a few minor claims, in that year. this is only available with some insurance plans, mainly in class type 1 insurance. on the other hand, the renewal rate will increase if claims are made multiple times within the same year.
official and individual garage
When choosing car insurance, especially type 1, 2+ and 3+, you will be asked if you want your car to be repaired in an official workshop or in an individual workshop. the official garage is that of the manufacturer of your car. For example, if your car is Toyota, it will be sent to an official Toyota workshop for repair.
The advantages of the official workshop are that your car will be repaired by certified auto mechanics using original spare parts. the garage may replace a new part instead of repairing the old part. this results in the car having no problems after the repair.
however, the repair in an official workshop usually takes a long time due to the long queues. garage locations, especially in rural provinces, are also quite limited and the insurance package is more expensive.
there are many more individual garages than official ones. they are easier to find, faster and cheaper. however, you must choose the garage carefully. It’s common to hear stories of people sending their cars to the individual garage, which creates more problems.
Some individual shops may use fake parts and repair your car carelessly, causing more problems down the line. It’s also common to hear that individual garage paint jobs don’t match the original color of the car. there are, of course, individual garages with good standards. but this would require more research.
It is also different when making a claim about an individual shop that is a partner of the insurance company and who is not. you can get more information in the claim procedure section below.
Auto insurance prices can be reduced by 5%-20% per year when the driver is specified, with a maximum of two people per car. the discount percentage is primarily based on the age of the driver.
the older the driver, the higher the discount. Normally, there is a 5% discount for a driver between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four and a 20% discount for drivers over the age of fifty. the discount is only granted on the price of the premium, not on the excess fees.
pay per use
thaivivat introduced a new pay-as-you-go insurance option. the idea is similar to a prepaid cell phone package. the vehicle will be covered for the number of hours given per period.
for example, 144 hours for thirty days, 600 hours for one hundred and eight days, and 960 hours for three hundred and sixty days. The package price is lower than normal insurance plans, but you are limited to using your car for three to five hours per day on average. when you run out of hours, you can recharge as you would with your mobile phone.
The main weakness of pay-per-use insurance is complexity. the thaivivat prepaid app must be activated before driving to be covered and must be deactivated after that. if you’re driving in an area with poor internet signal, you’ll need to call the insurance company to let them know what time they want to drive.
There are also car insurance add-ons that provide additional coverage that may not be included in the insurance package. This ranges from receiving compensation for belongings stolen from your car, paying for travel, receiving medical care, paying for temporary transportation, paying comfort money, or getting cars towed or loaned.
more than twenty companies offer auto insurance in thailand. each has its pros and cons, so it’s hard to pinpoint the best auto insurance company out there.
from what we gather, people have different experiences even with the same insurance provider. Instead of finding the best insurance, it is better to choose a reliable company with a plan that is more suitable for you.
here are some things to consider:
car insurance companies in thailand still have limited support in english. A good option for expats in this case is to take out insurance with brokers who have good English support, like Mister Prakan, and let them deal with the insurance company.
The price you pay them for car insurance is relatively the same as what you would pay directly to the insurance company.
one of the most famous car insurance companies in the local market is viriyah. Despite being more expensive than other insurance, they have the largest number of associated workshops.
Other major players in this industry include Bangkok Insurance, Muang Thai, Tokyo Marine and Asia Insurance. These insurance companies have their own representatives and associated workshops throughout the country, which makes car accidents easier to deal with. however, their packages cost more than others.
There are also smaller auto insurance companies such as Dhipaya, Deves, and Allianz. These small companies offer cheaper packages, but only have representatives and associated workshops in the main cities.
In addition, recently many banks such as thanachart, scb, kasikorn, krungsri and tmb have also launched their own car insurance.
The main target customers of these financial institutions are those who take out a car loan with them.
Motorcycle insurance, on the other hand, has limited options compared to car insurance. There are only a few companies like Viriyah, Asia Insurance and Thaivivat that offer motorcycle insurance. also, there are only three types available: type 1, 2+ and 3+.
We have a separate guide to motorcycle insurance. you should head there and get more information on this topic.
Just like with health insurance, life insurance, or the like, to file a claim with your auto insurance company, you must follow certain procedures.
traffic accident treatment
When a traffic accident occurs, the first thing you should do is call your insurance representative, take photos from as many angles as possible, showing your car’s license plate from both sides, and then wait. you should not move the car unless told to do so by the police or if fatalities are involved.
It is the duty of the insurance representative to help you find out which part is the cause of the accident, if it is not clear. Many people decide to get auto insurance for this specific reason because they don’t want to argue with the other party when a traffic accident occurs.
If either party admits fault, they can move the car to the side of the road to avoid a traffic jam. however, you still have to wait for the insurance representative. After the insurance representative arrives on the scene and decides who is at fault, he will receive a claim form which he can then give to the insurance company.
The only condition for you to be able to move the car and leave the scene immediately without having to wait for the insurance representative is through the hit-for-hit agreement.
In this scenario, both parties must be under first-class insurance coverage, can agree on who is at fault, and there are no fatalities. then they must exchange a claim form with all the information filled out and directly state which party is at fault. the claim form can be sent later to the insurance company.
The best way to prove the fault of the opposing party is to have a dash cam. make sure it works properly and choose the one that can produce good quality even in low light situations.
In case you already have the claim form from the insurance representative, you can immediately send it to the associated workshop of the insurance company. the form can also be obtained in the garage. after shipping, you should receive a claim number for tracking purposes.
Many insurance companies offer online claims. You can add all the related information like car details, accident details, photos and the party at fault. then the system should issue a claim number that you can then use to contact the insurance company’s partner shop.
But not all shops are good, including those associated with insurance companies. Before you send your car in for repair, you should first read the reviews. and you may need help with the locals as the information is likely to be in Thai.
Also, feel free to visit a few shops first and pick the most creditable one. If a shop asks for a deposit, check with an insurance representative first before giving them money.
here is a list of documents that are normally required to claim.
The process of getting a car repaired at the insurance company’s partner shop is fairly simple and straightforward. after you file the claim, the partner shop will take care of everything and give you the date to get your car back.
You can still repair a car with the shop that is not a partner of the insurance company, but this requires additional work. The first thing you have to do is contact the insurer and request a quote for the repair of your car.
each insurer has different methods to do this. some may need you to have the car checked out with them, while others just require a few photos. In addition, some insurers can give you the estimate a day after sending all the information, while others can take a week.
You must also pay the cost of the repair first and the refund will be sent approximately one month later. If the actual cost is higher than the insurer’s estimate, you need to pay it yourself. In addition, some workshops may charge an additional processing fee of 1,000 baht. counted as your additional work and the cost of dealing with the insurance company.
find the best insurance
in thailand, people tend to buy car insurance from insurance brokers. the price you get from them may even be cheaper than buying directly from insurance companies.
Because of the competitiveness of this industry, some brokers also provide additional benefits to their clients.
Common benefits include help with the purchasing process to handle claims. some even offer a loaner car when your car is serviced.
To apply for car insurance you need:
for type 1 insurance, photos of your car including front, back, left and right are required. Some insurance companies may even send their agents to inspect your car directly. it’s mostly a case-by-case basis.
In the past, brokers were recommended by word of mouth and by friends. but now everything is moving online. There are several insurance broker websites that provide insurance comparison services and allow you to shop for insurance at the same time.
the one we recommend is mister prakan. the website is functional, easy to use and has English-speaking customer support with an online form to find the cheapest and most suitable plan for your needs.
services similar to mister prakan are roojai and gobear.
go without private insurance
Some people decide not to buy auto insurance for a variety of reasons. Type 1 insurance does not accept any car that is more than seven years old, unless it is your current customer with good records. types 2+ and 3+ can be expensive for a car that is used infrequently.
some don’t even buy type 3 insurance because they strongly believe in their driving skills. buying private insurance is entirely optional. however, even the cheapest package has hidden drawbacks that give you peace of mind while driving as follows:
- so you don’t have to pay for damage caused by an accident. With auto insurance, insurance representatives will argue for you and try to win the conversation because they don’t want to lose money either.
Keep in mind that car accidents happen regularly, especially as Thailand has the second worst accident rate in the world. Having car insurance can at least ensure that you don’t lose a lot of money in a traffic accident, while you can control your budget for your vehicle’s repair costs.
Please note that we are not an insurance representative or broker. All information provided here is based on extensive research and fact checking with brokers. however, errors and misunderstandings can occur.
Car insurance companies have different policies and update them periodically. Please use this article as a reference and double check all information with an insurance representative, broker or professional provider on your own before deciding to purchase your own auto insurance.
what is your experience with auto insurance in thailand? what plan did you decide to buy? Do you have any other tips and tricks on car insurance in Thailand? Have you been in a car accident before? please share your thoughts with us in the comments!