Travelling to Thailand will definitely be an experience to remember life-long. With its ancient ruins and countless temples, the canals and floating water markets, the sunny tropical beaches, and modern cityscapes, there is a plethora of things to do and see – and it may not even be that expensive. Moreover, if you need medical assistance, you can be comforted to know that Thai doctors are highly qualified. That said, it is still a good idea to get travel insurance for Thailand.

For longer stays in Thailand and more extensive coverage, you are advised to purchase Thailand health insurance for expats.

Do I Need to Get Travel Insurance for Thailand?

Yes, as of March 2020, anyone travelling to Thailand will have to purchase travel health insurance.

For years, the Thai government has been planning on issuing a law that requires foreigners to purchase travel insurance before entering Thailand. They brought up the idea of compulsory travel insurance in 2019, as a result of a number of accidents involving tourists which had happened the year before. However, the mandatory travel insurance requirement was not really implemented until the pandemic.

Thailand Travel Insurance Requirements

Thailand travel insurance must fulfill the following requirments:

  • Cover at least 3.5 million Thai Baht ($100,000) for accidents or sudden illness, including COVID-19.
  • Cover in-patient and out-patient treatment, medication, hospitalization, and emergency transportation (ambulance).
  • Be valid for the entire duration of your trip.
  • All Thailand travel insurance policies have to explicitly state that they cover medical care claims as a result of COVID-19.

When purchasing travel insurance for Thailand, make sure to always read the policy rules very carefully. Even read the fine print and sub-clauses so that you know just how much coverage you have and are not surprised by unexpected bills down the road. If Thai travel insurance does not fulfil the requirements, the Embassy will not accept it and you will not receive a visa or be allowed into the country. You can compare different plans and choose one that complies to the guidelines set by Thai authorities here.

Where Can I Get Travel Insurance for Thailand?

You can get travel insurance for Thailand from most local travel insurance companies as well as online, which is one of the most convenient methods.

There are different comparison websites, such as Insubuy, whose purpose is to act as brokers between travel insurance companies and clients. Via these websites, you can compare travel insurance plans from different companies and choose one that you feel is best for you. Then you can just purchase the policy online, follow the instructions, and you are good to go.

If you are travelling as part of an organized tour, your tour agency may offer you travel insurance as part of the package deal as well. In these cases, although convenient, it is not always recommended to purchase the travel insurance you’re being offered. It is usually at a higher price than normal, and it may not offer all the coverage you are comfortable with when travelling. If you can, it’s always a good idea to read the policy very carefully, and if you think it is a good deal, and you have all the coverage you need, then go ahead and purchase it. If not, then opt-out and get an alternate insurance policy that will be most suitable for your needs.

Regardless of the method, you choose to get travel insurance for Thailand, make sure to always read the policy rules very carefully. Even read the fine print and sub-clauses so that you know just how much coverage you have, and are not surprised by unexpected bills down the road.

How to Purchase Travel Insurance for Thailand?

To purchase a travel insurance plan for Thailand, you have to visit the website of an insurance company or a comparison marketplace and:

  1. Browse through the available travel insurance policies. If you are on the website of a specific company, there should be a couple available options, whereas websites like Insubuy have a lot more options from different companies.
  2. Select the policy you want to purchase. You can even compare two or more policies side-by-side so it is easier to decide.
  3. Read the details of the policy. Once you choose a plan, read the policy and make sure that you understand what items are covered, whether you have to co-pay anything, how much the deductible is, etc.
  4. Complete the travel insurance form. You have to enter the dates of travel, desired coverage, and your personal details.
  5. Pay the fee. The cost of your plan will depend on the time you will be in Thailand, how much coverage you want, and how many people are included in the policy.
  6. Download the insurance certificate. After you complete the payment, you will receive the insurance certificate on your email, which you can use to travel to Thailand or apply for a Thai visa.

When Should I Get Travel Insurance for Thailand?

You should get travel insurance once you start making the first deposits on your trip to Thailand or buy a flight ticket. It is recommended to purchase travel insurance at least two weeks before you are set to travel so that you can have full coverage for trip cancellation or delayed flight.

Some insurance companies do not accept claims for cancellation if you have purchased travel insurance less than two weeks in advance.

Technically, you can buy travel insurance as late as a couple of days before you travel, but you will not have the same level of coverage as you would if you purchased earlier.

Can You Buy Travel Insurance For Thailand After Booking a Flight?

Yes, you can buy travel insurance even after booking your flight to Thailand, but make sure it is very soon after making the payment to get as many benefits as possible.

Travel health insurance coverage does not start until you enter Thailand, but if you want to have coverage for trip and flight-related disturbances (such as trip cancellation), then you will have to purchase a travel insurance policy as soon as you make the first payment for your trip (hotel reservation, flight, or bookings for other tourist activities).

If you get insured too late, then something comes up and you have to cancel your trip, then all the down payments you have made by that point may be lost.

How Do I File a Travel Insurance Thailand Claim?

To file a travel insurance claim, you have to contact your insurance company to learn exactly what documents they will need from you. Remember to file your claim as soon as possible upon your return, because if you wait too long it may be denied. When submitting a claim, your insurance company will ask for proof that your claim is legitimate so you have to save all receipts and evidentiary documentation. This includes:

  • Medical receipts and hospital bills, in case of an accident or illness.
  • Police reports with the dates stated, in case of stolen belongings.
  • Receipts of your belongings in case your baggage is lost. You need the original receipts – maybe even pictures – of the contents of your luggage.
  • The receipts for food, transport, and accommodation in case your flight is delayed.
  • Receipts for your non-refundable payments (hotel, flight, tours, etc.), in case of trip cancellation.

Group Travel Insurance for Thailand

If you are traveling as part of an organized tour, your tour agency may also offer you travel insurance as part of the package deal. In these cases, although convenient, it is not always recommended to purchase the travel insurance you’re being offered. It is usually at a higher price than normal, and it may not offer all the coverage you are comfortable with when travelling.

If you can, it’s always a good idea to read the policy very carefully, and if you think it is a good deal, and you have all the coverage you need, then go ahead and purchase it. If not, then opt-out and get an alternate insurance policy that will be most suitable for your needs.

Are All My Activities Included in Thailand Travel Insurance?

No, not all activities are included in travel insurance coverage. Most Thailand travel insurance plans will cover medical emergencies related to a sudden illness or an accident. However, if the accident was a result of recklessness (such as drunk driving) or from an activity which is considered “high risk” (e.g. bungee jumping), then you will have to cover the medical treatment costs yourself.

Travel insurance companies usually have a list of activities they cover as well as exclusions. This will depend on the specific plan, but things like swimming, kayaking, trekking, and surfing are usually always covered. On the other hand, scuba diving, rock climbing, sailing, white water rafting or bungee jumping, which have a higher degree of risk, are usually only covered under certain circumstances and will cost more to be covered.

Again, the best way to know what activities are covered in your insurance policy for Thailand is to carefully read it. In most cases, you will be able to purchase extra coverage for some activities, but it will naturally cost more.

What Should Travel Insurance for Thailand Include?

Any good travel insurance plan for Thailand should include at least basic coverage for the following:

  • Medical emergencies. If you get into an accident or get sick while in Thailand, travel health insurance will cover the cost of medical treatment you receive.
  • Trip cancellation or interruption. If your trip is interrupted for some reason, or you have to cancel, then travel insurance will reimburse you for any losses due to non-refundable reservations.
  • Theft, loss, damage of possessions. If your possessions are lost, stolen or damaged during your trip, your insurance will reimburse you (up to a certain amount) for the loss.
  • Emergency evacuation or repatriation. This type of coverage will cover the costs of any expenses incurred if you have to be flown back to your country in an emergency (e.g. air ambulance).

Optional travel insurance coverage (i.e. things that are not always included in a standard plan, but which you can add by paying extra) includes:

  • “High-risk” or adventurous activities
  • Personal liability
  • Terrorism coverage

What Activities Does a Thailand Travel Insurance Policy Usually Cover?

Travel insurance companies usually have a list of activities they cover as well as exclusions. The table below lists a few examples of what is usually covered and what is not:

CoveredNot Covered
SwimmingScuba diving
KayakingRock climbing
TrekkingSailing
SurfingRafting

Again, the best way to know what activities are covered in your insurance policy for Thailand is to carefully read it. In most cases, you will be able to purchase extra coverage for some activities, but it will naturally cost more.

Is Travel Insurance for Thailand Expensive?

The cost of travel insurance depends on several factors, such as your age, length of trip, where you have purchased it, and just how much coverage you want. In most cases, you can expect to pay about 4% to 10% of your overall trip costs in travel insurance.

Healthcare in Thailand for Tourists

Healthcare in Thailand is of excellent quality, so if you do happen to find yourself in a medical emergency, you should rest assured you will be well taken care of. Thailand has both a private and public healthcare system and provides universal healthcare to all Thai nationals. Tourists will have to pay the cost of treatment themselves or through travel health insurance.

The public healthcare system in Thailand has qualified doctors, but the hospitals are known for long waiting times and lower quality medical equipment as opposed to the private sector. Private healthcare, on the other hand, is of equally excellent quality and better equipped. They are expensive, however, and will often require you to show proof of funding or travel insurance before you receive treatment.

Is Thailand Safe to Visit?

Yes, Thailand is a generally safe place to visit. Naturally, you have to be careful of the usual travel risks, such as pickpocketing, scams, and food poisoning, but there is no greater risk in visiting Thailand as opposed to other countries. In fact, Thailand is considered one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia for tourists.

Note: The US and UK travel advisories urge against travelling to the Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla regions of Thailand due to civil unrest.