A new mandatory insurance system is being considered by Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports, according to reporting from Bangkok. The Thai Office of Insurance Commission is considering an obligatory policy for foreign visitors, of which 41.1 million visit the country annually. The policy premiums would be poured back into the tourism industry and used to pay out any claims.
Secretary-General Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn told the Bangkok Post,
"Foreign travellers will be required to pay for the compulsory insurance at immigration offices in airports, while the premium will be directed to Thailand's Tourism Promotion Fund for coverage of payments in the event of claims."
This means that Canadians arriving at the airport could be met with a mandate to purchase a travel insurance policy immediately. The cost would be approximately 20 baht, or around $0.82 CAD, for a coverage period up to 30 days. The policy would cover a million baht - just over $42,000 CAD - in the event of a death on Thai soil.
If approved by the cabinet, the mandate could be put into place later this year before the holiday rush. Thai tour operators are already required to purchase similar policies to cover death costs at a million baht and injury at a half-million baht (just over $21,000 CAD). However, neither policy provides coverage for things like lost baggage, missed flights, and other common travel emergencies faced by Canadians abroad.
The hope with regard to the mandate is that it will boost confidence in the tourism suitability of Thailand, which is ranked by the United Nations as the second most deadly country in the world when it comes to road deaths. Each year, more than 5,500 motorcyclists die on Thai roads or in vehicle-related accidents.
Ten countries currently require incoming travellers to have their own health insurance - and provincial medical plans typically pay less than 10 percent of costs incurred for emergency medical services you need abroad. Travel insurance policies can help bridge the gap.
According to the Government of Canada's Travel Advice and Advisories listings, you may have to show acceptable proof of health insurance when entering:
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
The Thailand scheme is more of a death benefit, geared towards paying final expenses should a tourist have a fatal accident or medical event when in the country.
Adequate travel insurance should be purchased by all Canadians traveling abroad, no matter what country they are visiting. Policies can run as low as under $25 for a single person for a 10-day trip, or under $50 for a four-person family travelling internationally for the same period of time.
A few dollars a day could prevent you from having to shell out thousands for medical care, missed flights, emergency accommodations, lost luggage, theft, or more. To save on travel insurance by comparing quotes from Canada's top providers, get your free travel insurance quote today.