Travel Insurance to Enter Thailand
With Thailand very slowly reopening to visitors, one of the latest requirements for visitors is mandatory COVID-19 insurance which covers the traveller for a minimum of $100,000 (the Thai policies generally cover for 3.5 million Thai baht). In addition to all the requirements that the traveller needs to satisfy to obtain a certificate of entry (COE) and obtain a valid visa, this insurance is another level of security to make sure that the traveller can cover all costs in case they are diagnosed with or die from COVID-19 during their stay in the kingdom.
Thai immigration officials are notoriously fastidious when it comes to paperwork, and will only accept policies from certain providers. Luckily, a consortium of insurance providers in Thailand offers COVID-19 insurance for foreigners planning to visit Thailand which will be accepted by immigration, and these policies can be purchased easily online. Although this could be seen as another opportunity to make some easy profits for the insurers the policies are quite reasonably priced, depending on a few factors; let’s take a closer look.
Why COVID-19 Insurance Is Required?
Whilst it may seem like just yet another hassle for beleaguered foreigners wanting to enter the country, there is good reason for the government to implement this requirement. One of the main reasons is that almost all standard health and travel insurance policies will not cover the insured against pandemics, hence will not cover you for anything to do with Covid-19. And with the costs of hospital treatment and possible repatriation, especially when considering the additional quarantine requirements to do with COVID-19, the Thai government is concerned about being lumped with a huge number of unpaid hospital bills from foreigners who come down with COVID-19.
The public health ministry of Thailand has quoted a figure for unpaid hospital bills of 448 million Baht ($14.9M) for the year up to September 2019, a huge sum. And with the threat of the coronavirus, they are concerned about this and don’t want to be stuck with another huge bill right when the economy is struggling because of the effects that the virus has had on tourism and exports. In essence, the requirement to hold one of these policies is an additional layer of security for the Thai government who are already dealing with a hammered economy as a result of the outbreak and subsequent decimation of the tourism industry which provided around a fifth of the country’s GDP.
What is the COVID-19 Coverage?
The COVID-19 insurance policy will cover the costs of isolation, quarantine, testing and treatment and the possible costs of repatriating your body in the unfortunate circumstance of you succumbing to the virus whilst in Thailand. It will also cover the cost of any medications prescribed to you as a result of being infected with the virus. The more comprehensive policies will also cover you for any losses incurred as a result of you catching COVID-19 such as lost travel bookings and trip cancellation or curtailment, be sure to check the small print of any policy before purchasing and, as always with insurance, don’t just opt for the cheapest policy.
Ultimately, most of these specialised insurance policies will comprise of three key components:
- Medical coverage. As mentioned this is a comprehensive package with a cap of a minimum of $100,000, covering all treatment costs associated with being infected with the COVID-19.
- Life insurance coverage. In an unfortunate circumstance of the insured dying from their confirmed COVID-19 infection, this covers them for a total of $100,000 which will be paid to the beneficiary stated in the policy.
- Any additional, unforeseen out of pocket expenses that arise as a result of you being infected with the virus. This could include lost travel bookings, flights or any other expenses that arise from travel disruption or curtailment because of you becoming infected with the virus.
You must ensure that you retain the certificate of insurance as this will need to be shown to prove that you have the coverage, without it, you will not be granted entry into the country. Also, it should be noted that this policy will be in addition to any general health insurance policy that you may require to obtain your visa or retirement extensions.
COVID-19 Travel Insurance Provider
Unlike the mandatory health insurance for retirees, the COVID-19 insurance may be provided by an international insurance provider or by Thailand-based insurance providers. One of the COVID-19 insurance providers is LUMA Thailand. They provide LUMA Inbound Thailand pass for those who wish to secure Travel Insurance that covers COVID-19 as required for inbound travelers.
How To Purchase COVID-19 Travel Insurance?
This insurance is required to be allowed into the country so you will be purchasing this before you travel. The easiest way to buy your policy is online from one of the above providers who will then provide you with the all-important certificate of coverage to present to the authorities when you arrive (and you will also need to present it to the airline before they will allow you onboard). It’s quick and easy to do online, and you can choose your length of policy from 30 days to one year. Be sure that the policy covers the entire period that you are planning to stay in Thailand or you may be refused entry.
You may purchase COVID-19 travel insurance in 5 minutes. Check the link below:
Is It Expensive?
In a word, no, but it depends on a few factors. Although this is yet another burden and expense for foreigners trying to enter the country, it’s quite affordable. You can expect premiums to start from as little as 3,500 Thai baht for a 30-day policy. For tourist or the non-immigrant visa application, the 90-day insurance coverage will cost 8,000 baht to 14,000 baht. As with all insurance policies, the premium will be determined by your circumstances, in this case, one of the most important factors is whether the country you are flying from is considered to be high or low risk for the virus.