In Thailand, a minimal cover is required to legally drive a car or a motorbike, these are called CTPL(Compulsory Third Party Liability). The law does not require that you acquire car insurance to cover all damages to your car or motorbike, however if you have a newer vehicle, you’ll want to protect your investment and consider purchasing Comprehensive coverage.
In the last issue we reported about the law on car tax and car insurance. This time we are looking at additional private insurance, which we take for granted in Europe.As the owner of a motor vehicle, you should take out insurance the moment the vehicle goes on public roads, streets or places.
Here in Thailand it is called 3rd class insurance. The policy covers personal injury and damage, and provides a bail bond, in the event of arrest as described in the previous edition. The only limits are the insured cannot be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without a driving license. It is worth mentioning that you must hold a current license either from your own country or Thailand for the relevant vehicle i.e., car license for a car, motorcycle license for a motorcycle. A car license is not valid for a motorcycle here. Non compliance of the above would mean the insurer would pay out to the injured, but may make you the party liable; there is also no insurance cover in the case of intent or at race events.
Called here 2nd class insurance, is the same as described above, but includes coverage for your own vehicle against fire and theft. However, the majority opt for comprehensive insurance as the premiums are not a great deal more.
Called here 1st class insurance, it is the most chosen form of insurance. The comprehensive insurance covers all of the above and any damage or accident caused by you, plus;
Often insurers offer discounts to reduce the premiums. Transferable no claims discounts from your home country, committing to a proposed contract garage, instead of a dealership, in the event of a claim for repair, limit the use of the vehicle to named drivers, will all reduce your premium. Also other characteristics come into play, vehicle make, engine capacity and age of vehicle also the amount of excess you opt to pay will reduce premiums.
The system of car insurance and vehicle tax here can cause a few headaches for foreigners that are owners of cars or motorcycles.
In basic terms, every new vehicle comes with a red number plate, and motorcycles often without any number plate. After a while you get from the dealer a white number plate and log book, the payment for vehicle tax is then due on a yearly basis on the date the log book is issued. The vehicle tax has to be paid at the Road Traffic office, this for Pattaya is on Highway 36, near Regents International School, and the same place you get a Thai driving license from.
As the vehicle becomes older 5 years for a motorcycle, 7 years for cars and pick ups, they have to be inspected at the Admissions Office, prior to getting them taxed.
We can offer vehicle owners that are under the respective inspection ages, a free service to get there tax for them.
For this we need the log book, of course the tax payment and proof of legal liability insurance. Upon request, we can issue the liability insurance.
This legal liability insurance compared to Europe is very limited. The amounts in the event of an accident are low, 50,000 Baht medical expenses per injured person, the driver who caused the accident is covered with only 15000 Baht, the innocent party of the accident are covered for 100,000 Baht, also in the event of death.
More far reaching costs for the accident victims such as medical and hospital expenses are charged to the person causing the accident, like wise all damage caused.
Easily it can happen that the person who caused the accident can be arrested until they can prove they have the funds to pay for all damage.
For these reasons it is strictly recommended to enter a voluntary, private insurance. The different potential for additional car insurance, we will consider in future issues.