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Compare Thailand travel insurance policies from Australian insurance providers.
Whether you’re travelling to Thailand or anywhere else in the world, it’s always important to have travel insurance, so that if you have a problem while you’re away from home, you won’t be out of pocket and will get the help you need.
Travel insurance is insurance that covers you while you are travelling, either within Australia or overseas. A typical travel insurance policy will usually cover medical expenses, loss of baggage and cancellations.
Types of travel insurance include temporary travel insurance, which covers you for the period you are away and multi-trip travel insurance, which covers you for unlimited trips within a set period (often a year).
Travel insurance policies differ with each provider, but most allow for extensions, which can be added to cover extra circumstances that might arise and most policies contain exclusions where cover is not provided.
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Do I need travel insurance for Thailand?
Thailand is a fascinating country that lures thousands of Australians every year with its stunning scenery, amazing culture and huge variety of activities and attractions. But it also has its dangers and visitors to Thailand should take out travel insurance for the following reasons:
- If you fall ill or are injured in Thailand, getting proper medical treatment can be very expensive. Australia has no reciprocal health care arrangement with Thailand, and while basic health care is cheap, hospital stays, specialist treatment and possible evacuation back to Australia would cost you many thousands of dollars without travel insurance.
- If during your trip to Thailand, you plan to enjoy what are considered high-risk activities, then cover for these activities is essential. High-risk activities include things like jet-skiing, bungee jumping and scuba diving, which need to be covered through special extensions added to your travel insurance policy.
- If you injure someone else either intentionally or otherwise during your time in Thailand, they may decide to sue you, so you also need to have personal liability cover included in your travel insurance. Otherwise you could find yourself spending time in a Thai jail while compensation is argued over in the courts.
Travel insurance protects you in a variety of situations and is a necessary purchase before going anywhere overseas and particularly to places like Thailand, where laws and standards can be very different to those you are used to in Australia.
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Travel concerns in Thailand
As well as the normal risks associated with travelling in any foreign country, Thailand has some particular concerns for Australian travellers.
- With an unstable political situation and the constant threat of terrorism that is prevalent in many South East Asian countries, visitors to Thailand need to be particularly vigilant to avoid dangerous situations. You should be aware of the political climate and any warnings issued by the Australian government before leaving home and should monitor updates via social media and embassy postings while you are there. You should also avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and refrain from voicing your opinions about political matters.
- Crime is another issue that requires constant vigilance. Petty crime such as pick-pocketing and theft is common and you should keep your valuables with you at all times and avoid putting yourself in situations where you could be taken advantage of.
- Many young Australians travel to Thailand because it is a cool place to party, but care should be taken here as well. Drink spiking is a common occurrence, so you should keep your drink with you at all times and refrain from excessive alcohol consumption, as this not only makes you more of a target, but can get you into serious trouble as well.
- Thailand is also a magnet for backpackers and those who leave the more well-trodden tourist paths can encounter problems. Tourists are not always welcome in some areas and local laws and customs need to be respected and observed
- Backpackers should also make sure that their whereabouts are known at all times, if not by Australian authorities, then at least by their loved ones at home.
- Another problem many Australian tourists encounter is motor cycle or moped riding. Because this is a major form of transport in Thailand, we assume we can simply hop on a motor bike and ride everywhere. Unfortunately the road rules can be quite different in a foreign country and if you don’t have a licence and you are involved in an accident, you will probably not be covered by your travel insurance policy.
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Thailand travel insurance checklist
When comparing travel insurance policies, there are some essential cover options that you should ensure you are covered for. These include:
- Medical and evacuation expenses
- Loss or damage to property
- Cancellations or changes to planned journeys
- Personal accident and liability protection.
For a trip to Thailand, you might also want to consider additional cover for:
- Adventurous activities
- Motor cycle or moped riding
- Emergency dental treatment
- Additional cover for expensive cameras or computers
- Funeral expenses (dying overseas can be expensive for your loved ones at home).
As with any insurance policy, don’t just look for the cheapest price. Having adequate coverage is more important than saving a few dollars. The same goes for the excess, which is the amount you must pay upfront when making a claim. Some policies will have the option of choosing a larger excess to reduce your premium, but you need to consider the things you are likely to claim on to decide whether this is good value or not (i.e. paying a $100 excess to claim on a $140 lost suitcase is not good value for money).
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Thailand travel insurance exclusions
Like all insurance, travel insurance policies contain exclusions. These are circumstances in which the policy will not cover you. Common exclusions in travel insurance policies include:
- Dangerous activities – these can include activities such as sky diving, scuba diving, motor bike riding or hot air ballooning. They will vary with the insurer and it is important to know which ones you are not covered for and to seek additional cover if you plan to pursue these activities while overseas.
- Country exclusions – certain travel insurance policies will not cover you in certain countries, so you need to make sure the policy you choose covers the country you plan to visit and any other countries you might be thinking of visiting while in South East Asia.
- Working exclusions – many travel insurance policies cover recreational travellers only. If you plan to work casually while overseas, make sure the policy covers you. If not, you will need to take out additional cover.
- Contributory negligence – while you may be covered if your bags or belongings are lost or stolen, the fine print in your policy may say that you are not covered if you contribute to their loss or theft by leaving them unattended or in an insecure place.
- Pre-existing medical conditions – if you have a medical condition that you don’t tell the insurer about and you need treatment for it whilst overseas, you may find that your policy will not cover the costs.
- Reckless behaviour – cover is excluded in many policies for behaviour considered reckless, such as excessive drinking or drug taking of any kind, which results in a claim being made.
- Ignoring government advice – if you travel to a country where the Australian government has issued warnings advising against travel, then your policy will not cover you if anything happens to you.
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Thailand travel insurance FAQs
Q: I can’t afford travel insurance. Is it really that important?
A: If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. Travel insurance protects you from risks that could not only ruin your trip but ruin you financially as well.
Q: What is included in a basic travel insurance policy?
A: A basic policy normally includes unlimited medical assistance, luggage and personal effects and personal liability cover.
Q: Is a basic policy enough?
A: Medical cover is the most important element of a travel insurance policy, but if you have particularly valuable belongings or you plan to do any adventurous activities, you should look for additional cover.
Q: Am I covered for loss or theft of luggage and personal items?
A: Providing you did not leave them unattended or with someone you don’t know and providing you notify authorities within 24 hours and obtain a written report from them.
Q: Can I extend my insurance if I decide to stay longer?
A: No. You will need to purchase a new policy prior to the expiry date of the original policy.
Q: How soon before I go overseas should I purchase my travel insurance policy?
A: As soon as you’ve paid for your trip. You are covered for cancellation and loss of deposit from that moment.
Q: Who can purchase travel insurance?
A: Anyone who is an Australian permanent resident up to 100 years of age.
Q: Can I get a refund if I change my mind and cancel my policy?
A: Providing it is within the 14 day cooling off period and providing you have not begun your trip or made any claims.
Travelling to Thailand is something many Australians do at least once in their lives and providing they don’t take any unnecessary risks, most have a thoroughly enjoyable experience. And part of that enjoyment is knowing they are fully covered by their travel insurance against anything that might happen on their travels.Back to top
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