Vaccinated travelers are now allowed to visit Thailand freely, without the need to quarantine.
However, visitors are required to have a COVID-19 travel insurance policy, with protection of at least $20,000 USD.
The mandatory policy amount will drop to $10,000 on May 1, 2022.
In this FAQ, I'll cover all the commonly asked questions regarding the requirements and give you all the information you need to obtain your policy.
Who Needs COVID-19 Insurance?
This is a compulsory requirement for every foreign national entering Thailand, as announced by the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) in Thailand. There are currently no exemptions.
What Must the Insurance Cover?
The policy must cover both medical expenses and costs associated with death of COVID-19.
Naturally it is also going to cover other illness and accidents, so it's essentially medical insurance with a specific focus on COVID-19.
How Long will this Requirement Last?
At the present time there is no end date, although one would assume it is likely to be a requirement throughout 2022.
It will most likely be removed once the “pandemic” is declared a non-threat to the general population by the World Health Organization and hospitalization numbers fall to a safe level.
Why Does Thailand Require This Cover?
The official line is to help visitors avoid having to pay bills out of their own pocket, which makes sense.
But I think we all know that the authorities fear that hospitals will end up picking up expensive bills for those who become ill with infection and can't pay.
While we know that serious complications affect very few people, and that COVID generally affects those with underlying health conditions, should a person become hospitalized, he or she may require a hospital stay for two weeks or more. And that can become very expensive.
Can I Use My Normal Travel Insurance Instead?
You can, but you will still need COVID-19 coverage, so check that your policy covers this area.
Many people have existing travel insurance as part of a bank account benefits package or medical insurance policy, which may not cover hospitalization due to Covid. If this is the case you will need to buy an additional policy.
Where Can I Buy an Insurance Policy?
16 Thai insurance companies have partnered with the initiative to offer COVID-19 insurance protection to foreign nationals.
The insurance can be purchased online and begins immediately upon arrival in Thailand.
The best place to buy a policy is Mr Prakan. This is a comparison site that searches a number of companies for the best priced policy.
How Much Does the COVID-19 Insurance Cost?
The good news is that it is not expensive, though age and health status will determine the overall cost.
Of course this is something none of us want to pay, but if you're desperate to get back to Thailand, then you'll be pleased to know that a policy isn't out of financial reach (for most).
I'm from the UK, which is of low risk (currently), and the policy was reasonable.
Let's have a look at a quote I got based on a 90-day stay. I entered my age as 54 years old (1966, the year England won the world cup), and as traveling from the United Kingdom.
The policy came in at just under 6,000 Baht.
If you are 10 or even 20 years younger, the price drops accordingly. If you're lucky enough to be in your 20's and from a low risk country, you'll be looking at around 1,500 – 2,000 cheaper than my quote for 90 days.
I'm Over 65. Can I Get This COVID Insurance?
Yes, just recently more policies have been added to cover those in higher age brackets.
Try Mr Prakan, and you can also try AXA, which notes that they provide insurance for those age 1-75.
Here's a list of other companies you might choose to try:
- Assets Insurance Co Ltd
- Chubb Insurance Company Limited
- Navakij Insurance Co Ltd
- Pacific Cross Health Insurance
- Falcon Insurance Co Ltd
- East Insurance
- Asia Insurance 1950
- Bangkok Life Assurance Ltd
- Thailand Life Insurance
What Else Does the Insurance Cover?
In addition to COVID 19 cover, your policy will have the following additional coverage.
- Medical expenses cover
- Accidental cover
- Urgent dental care
- Repatriation cover
- Third-party cover
- Luggage insurance
- 24/7 emergency assistance coverage
How Long Can I Get a Policy For?
Policies range from 30-days to a year. My quote was for 90 days, but simply select the duration you expect to stay for in the drop down menu on the quote form.
How Does Immigration Know I Have Purchased My Policy?
When you buy your insurance, you will receive your policy and certification for COVID-19 coverage. You will show this certificate to your embassy or consulate when applying for your visa.
You may also need to show it to immigration when entering Thailand.
Keep a print out and a copy on your phone, just to make sure you don't leave home without it.
What Other Requirements Are There to Enter?
You will need to provide proof of vaccination and register for a Thailand Pass. The Pass must be applied for at least 7 business days before you fly. Only once approved will you be able to travel.
You will also need to get a PCR test to confirm you are COVID-19 negative within 72 hours of your flight.
The full entry requirements are detailed on this page.
A Final Word
While this is touted as a special COVID-19 policy, it's actually a general insurance policy that covers COVID-19.
It may be that your existing policy has this cover included, so as long as it meets the $10,000 threshold 9as of May 1, 2022) you'll be good with that.
Safetywing, for example, has offered COVID cover since last August on both the Nomad and Remote policies.
They offer comprehensive, cross-territory cover, and therefore it is more expensive. More on Safetywing here.
The only other policy requirement, which is mostly standard anyway, is that the policy must allow for direct billing, which means the hospital can send bills straight to your insurer.
Do explore your policy options, but in my experience, if you want the cheapest cover, and only want medical insurance for Thailand until this COVID thing has passed, try Mr Prakan.
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