Insurance in Chiang Mai

If your staying or living in Thailand, and require medical treatment, the last thing you want is the Hospital insisting on cash because your overseas Insurance agent can not communicate in Thai. Same thing applies with a motorcycle that gets lost or damaged.   If you make the mistake of using International Insurance policies, when it comes  to making claim you won’t have the benefit of a local Insurance agent by your side, working on your behalf.

For anyone who has lived in Thailand for a while, and has faced the task of attempting to get something done with a Thai business or company (or Hospital) – the benefits of having an English and Thai speaking person who knows how to deal with them needs no sales pitch.  Finding an Insurance agent who can do this for you is the difficult task

In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

  • Insurance is Cheaper in Thailand
  • Local Agents work hard on your behalf
  • Home and Contents Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Travel Insurance

thumbs upChiang Mai Buddy Advantage
Our main focus at Chiang Mai Buddy is to source local Thai Business that are either experienced with Western values (and speak English) or is owned by a westerner.  We have done the same with Insurance and found an English speaking agent who not only has access to several Insurance companies (including a couple of international Institutions) to request quotes.  She is also popular among the Burmese working here because she put’s a customers budget and economic assets as a priority.  In other words she is skilled at finding the lowest quotes available.

Types of Expat Insurances that are a must have

1) Life Insurance (~ 10,000 Baht)

If you are a long term resident of Thailand and have married a Thai person (or are a retired couple) Life insurance protects the people who are financially dependent on you. If your spouse, children or other loved ones are likely to face financial hardship if you died, life insurance should be high on your list of required insurance policies.

For most people in the western world Life Insurance is something that is really only needed for the first 25 years of marriage or of your children’s life.  Usually by the end of this time, your kids have left the nest and are earning on their own, and you have made substantiation payments on your house and have savings that your spouse can manage in the event of your death.  But once you come to Thailand, especially if you have married again and settled into a family situation, you are aware that your spouse is usually totally dependent on your financial resources.

Thailand Insurers have developed a range of life insurance products that are designed to protect policy holders and provide future financial security. The added benefit of a Life Insurance policy is that you can attach various other modules to your policy including

A) Life Protection Insurance helps you build financial security for your family. Benefits will help reduce the financial burden arising through unexpected events; the policy reserves a lump sum payment for your family should such an event occur; a great way to express your responsibility, love and care to your family!

B) Medical Coverage

Hospital & Surgical Benefit
Provides reimbursement for medical expenses in case of hospitalization in a licensed hospital as an in-patient (IPD). In addition to life coverage from your basic life insurance policy, planning for medical expenditure is essential to keep you and your family well-protected against possible sicknesses. With Hospital and Surgical module, you are insured to receive prompt and quality medical care should sickness strike. Available up to 80 years old.

Hospital Stay Benefit
Hospital Benefits module provides daily cash benefit to compensate for loss of income in the event of being in business.  A full year of compensation is available

C) Accident Coverage Death by natural causes is one thing, but this is Thailand!  The accident module includes a death by accident and can be either a lump sum, or a death benefit.  Oddly the payout at times of festivals like Songkrang (where death rates are higher by accident) is doubled.

2) Accident Insurance (From 2000 Baht)

Perhaps one of the more important Insurance policies to have (and anytime you drive in a car or motorcycle you are reminded that this is a good idea) is the standard Accident Insurance.  Accident insurance covers you for medical expenses and cash payments for any disability that might incur.  One of the key benefits of having local Thai Insurance for this, is that your agent (at least the one Chiang Mai Buddy uses) will be notified at the time of your accident and personally go to the hospital to immediately take control of what the hospital does and does not do with your treatment.

For example, As with many country’s your blood alcohol level play a part in making any insurance null & void.  A good agent working on your behalf will talk to the Police Officer reporting the accident and request that the hospital staff do not take any blood samples until the next day.  One of the many benefits of obtaining Insurance in Thailand.

A typical Policy will include:

A) Accidental Death
B) Dismemberment: Loss of use of body parts, including limbs cut below the wrist or ankle,
C) Permanent Disability: Impairment preventing you from functioning normally. Permanent Disability is divided into 2 types: Total Temporary Disability and Temporary Permanent Disability.

Common  Modules available to add to your Accident Insurance Policy

D) Family Care Giver: Monthly Family Care Giver is a care benefits or alimony, compensated monthly to a family member. Family members including spouse, children and parents of the insured person. In case of accident where benefits I or II are compensated, the company will make monthly payments to the family member for up to 60 months.
E) Monthly Living Benefit:  Monthly Living Benefit is compensation paid monthly to the insured person on the basis of the dismemberment, loss of sight or Total Permanent Disability.
F) Hospital Cash: Hospital Cash provides coverage in case the insured person is injured through accident and needs medical treatment at hospital.

3) Property Insurance
House 2M = ~4,000 Baht, 16M = ~16,000 Baht,  Car from 6,000 Baht

Same same throughout the world, people want to ensure they are protected from damage and loss to their home and contents, which can include (or Insure separately) your Vehicle. Your home isn’t just any residence. It is a special place that reflects your individuality, your lifestyle preferences and passion. While replacing your household property is relatively inexpensive in Thailand – so too is the cost of Insurance for this.

Like any Home and Contents Insurance, there are many options from the standard Fire protection to All risk coverage options. In is important to note that almost every condo or house lease agreement makes a requirement that this type of insurance is the responsibility of the tenant.  Typical Policies will cover ….

  1. Loss or damage of jewelry and watch as a result of burglary, robbery and gang robbery
  2. Exclusive extension to covered charcoal, bicycle, water pump, air conditioner ,compressor, and satellite
  3. Temporary accommodation and storage
  4. Theft, burglary and robbery
  5. Personal liability

4) Travel Insurance ~1,400 Baht for 60 days

Another policy offered around the world that tends to be cheaper to obtain while in Thailand (especially if you are traveling to other Asian countries).  Travel Insurance is determined by the amount of your valuables and the duration of your travel, and like most policies includes property with module add on’s for medical and accident coverage.

Travel insurance protects you from change or cancellation of flights (no cost to you to get accommodation and another ticket), offers a lump cash if your baggage is lost – and covers you for accidents and misadventures while aboard.


Obtaining Insurance Price Quotes

Now days people prefer to do their price shopping for quotes online, and Insurance companies make this easy for you by offering to give free quotes.  Although ‘free’ usually means many followup calls and emails from the company as your information goes into their database. I know personally what an annoying experience this is, as I am still called monthly on my Las Vegas phone number (obtained with magicjack, a voice over internet system) for an online Insurance quote I requested in 2005.  The Indian company that the Insurance company uses to harass me, do not delete my number, and the Insurance company says this is beyond their control. The calls keep coming, I am accused of lying about living in Thailand and not needing American Insurance and I am disconnected when I asked to have my number removed.

For those that want to risk this happening (although I am sure it will be Thai speaking people calling you) some of the major Insurance companies websites (in English) are listed below.

Lifestyle Insurance
AIG
AIA
AXA

Difficulties giving a quote for Insurance

Insurance is one of those things that have a hundred different variables.  How much do you want to be covered for? How old are you? How long is the Policy for? Do you want to have added modules of extended coverage etc.

insurance quotes chiang mai

As I am writing this blog now, I have half a dozen brochures from our own Insurance agent all with tables of coverage and cost wondering how on earth I can make this simple and give you the reader an idea of the price.  The image above is the first page of 2 (6 tables) for the options available for Accident Coverage from one of several companies our agent can obtain an Insurance plan from. Our agent deals with 4 or 5 Thai based companies and 3 International Insurance names.

Insurance agent chiang mai

Chiang Mai Buddy getting Insurance with a Local Agent

thumbs upChiang Mai Buddy Advantage
Obtaining information about insurance is often complex and difficult. Sure online you are given just a few options, and with a few mouse clicks you are all done. You will clearly not have the range of options (and therefore lower prices) that can be obtained by a custom plan – nor will you have an agent who lives in Chiang Mai who knows how to deal with the various companies who your insurance plan will be paying.
We have found an amazing Insurance Agent, and we are more than happy to arrange an appointment for our customers


Summary

Insurance is one of those necessary thing in life that when you are hard pressed economically tend to get avoided or put on the back burner.  Luckily we are in Thailand, and like so many aspects of living here, the cost of getting Insurance is drastically cheaper than from overseas.  In addition as many Expats know, the amount of work that many Thai Businesses do for you for free or for a tiny fee – makes getting insurance an affordable and easy process.

The real difficultly comes from finding an English speaking Insurance agent that will do this for you.  Many people will use high priced western businesses that act as a middle person on your behalf.  The fee they charge to provide this service for you is almost half what your Insurance Premiums turn out to be, but often since the policies and prices are in Thai, you are never quite sure what you are paying for insurance and what is the middle mans commission.

We at Chiang Mai Buddy also act as a middle man, connection service for Insurance (as well as many other services).    If you would like us to do this, just give us a call on the phone or make an appointment to give us an idea of what you would like and we will pass this information on to our agent.

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