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Thailand talking compulsory travel insurance – again

Posted: 2 July 2019 9:45 am

You might need to have 20 Baht handy at Thai customs soon - but it won't replace the need for normal travel insurance.

Tourists heading to Thailand may soon be forced to take out compulsory travel insurance, reports the Bangkok Post. The insurance scheme is currently pending approval from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, following which it will need approval from the cabinet.

The good news for foreign travellers is that paying the fee will be simple, as you'll be able to do so at Immigration offices at the airport. The better news for Aussie travellers is that the 20-Baht fee won't break the bank, as it equates (at the time of writing this) to AUD$0.94.

The compulsory travel insurance will provide travellers with protection of up to 1 million Thai Baht (AUD$46,804) in case of death. The proposed insurance scheme is projected to help bolster the government's coffers, with a projected 40 million travellers contributing 2.13 trillion Thai Baht.

This is not the first time the Thai government has looked at levying compulsory travel insurance on foreign travellers and has been on the cards since at least 2017.

Thailand will not be the only country with compulsory travel insurance either and would join the likes of Cuba, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since the Thai travel insurance scheme is still in the planning stages it's not clear whether all travellers will need to pay to have the compulsory travel insurance or whether you'll just need to prove that you already hold travel insurance, à la Cuba.

As it stands, the proposed insurance scheme only covers you for accidental death and doesn't cover benefits like medical or cancellation. So even though it's cheap, this scheme won't replace the need to take out a travel insurance policy if you're heading to Thailand.

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