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Car Insurance Guide
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Are you still on the fence about getting a more comprehensive car insurance for yourself? Don’t be! Car insurance is a great financial tool because it protects you and your family from financial burden should you get involved in a car crash or accident.
The most basic feature of good car insurance is that it can cover some of the costs for when you accidentally injure a pedestrian or destroy property while driving your car. It may even cover some or all of your medical expenses or the costs for having your car repaired in case of a car accident.
Can you cover all of these costs on your own without insurance? For the vast majority of Thai car drivers, the answer is no. Car insurance is definitely vital to protecting you from the many financial risks associated with driving around your own vehicle.
We’re constantly reminded of how dangerous driving can be, with frequent news on TV or the newspaper about yet another death due to a road accident.
An article from the World Bank cites the World Health Organisation’s 2013 Global Status Report on Road Safety, which ranks Thailand as one of the countries with the highest rate of road fatalities. Thailand comes in third in this ranking with 38 deaths per 100,000 people every year.
Here in Thailand, car owners are required to be covered by Third Party Liability Insurance. This Compulsory Third Party Liability (CPTL), also known as Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI), covers liability for death or bodily injury of third parties such as other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists from accidents involving the insured vehicle.
CPTL or CMI is required for all registered private cars, commercial vehicles, and public utility vehicles, as stipulated under Thailand’s Protection for Motor Vehicle Victims Act BE 2535. The CPTL is just the most basic type of insurance you’ll need as a motorist and provides only limited coverage. You’ll need a more comprehensive type of insurance to be better protected financially.
Car insurance is a necessary expense for car owners but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a huge amount for this protection. There are ways to bring down the cost of car insurance and below are some of the steps you can take to lower the costs of car insurance:
Choose a Cheaper Car – One factor to that affects your car insurance premium is the value of your car. A brand new car costs more than a second hand car so insurers will have to pay more to have this fixed if the car gets into an accident. A fancy sports car is worth even more than a brand new car so it will cost more to insure this, too. To balance the risks and the payout, you will need to pay a higher premium for a more expensive car so choosing a car with less value can help you bring down your car insurance costs.
Pay Your Premiums Annually Rather Than Monthly – Paying for your yearly car insurance coverage for the year in one lump sum can be heavy on the pocket initially but this can save you money in the long run. Paying your premium on a monthly basis may mean having to pay a little higher than if you paid for it in one lump sum.
Drive Carefully and Take Advantage of No Claims Bonus – Some insurance companies have a “No Claims Bonus,” which is essentially a discount on your car insurance premium if you make no claims on your insurance plan on the previous year.
It’s unfortunate that Thailand is still plagued by road accidents that claim the lives of 26,000 people every year, with hundreds of thousands more being injured in these accidents. The country had made progress in bringing down the number of road accidents over the past decade and the figure has, in fact, has fallen by over a third over this period. Despite the huge improvement, the number of road accidents here in Thailand is still high compared to its neighbours.
With that in mind, you have to protect yourself from the financial consequences of getting into a road accident by getting car insurance. You may be the most careful driver in the world but you just can’t be sure about other drivers.
Basically, a car insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company wherein they promise to cover the costs should your car get into an accident. You may file a claim with your car insurance company should you be affected by any of the risks that are covered by your policy.
Your role in this contract is to pay the premium for your car insurance and to make sure you understand the terms of your coverage. We’ll discuss the different types of coverage in another section of this guide.
As mentioned earlier, all vehicles in Thailand are required to have third party liability insurance. This Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI or Por Ror Bor) is mandated by the Protection for Motor Vehicle Victims Act B.E. 2535. This basic insurance provides up to THB 50,000 for medical expenses and THB 200,000 for death or permanent disability to third parties involved in a car accident. The Por Ror Bor’s coverage is limited so you will need a more comprehensive insurance to protect you better.
Car insurance providers here in Thailand offer products that can be categorised into three basic levels. These are:
First Class Insurance
Provides the most comprehensive covers. These types of insurance may cover the vehicle, the life of the driver and the passengers and medical expenses incurred when the car is involved in an accident. These are on top of the third party liability coverage.
Second Class Insurance
Provides collision coverage so that the costs to repair the car if it is involved in an accident.
Third Class Insurance
These car insurance products provide covers for the life of the driver, medical expenses for the driver and passengers, and third party liability coverage.
Third Party Liability Insurance
This refers to the cover provided by your insurance for the bodily injury or death of a third party (person) or damage to property.
Provides benefits that will cover for the repair or replacement of your car if it was involved in a road accident.
Medical Payments Coverage
Refers to payout from the insurance provider for the medical expenses of those involved in the accident. The persons involved in the accident may involve the driver, passengers, and pedestrians.
Bail Bond Coverage
A necessary coverage for when you are arrested by the police in relation to a traffic accident.
Fire or Theft Coverage
You may also want to get a car insurance with fire or theft coverage which can cover the cost of replacing your car in these unfortunate events.
The process for filing a claim on your car insurance can differ depending on your insurance provider. You should read the claim procedure as stated in your policy. In general, you’d need to contact your insurer immediately in the event of a motor accident. You will also need to contact the traffic police or local official so they can produce the documents you’ll need to file a claim, especially if the accident isn’t your fault.
There’s also the risk that you get into an accident with another vehicle. If this happens, you’ll have to get the contact information of the other driver and also get help from the authorities. Always keep a copy of your insurance policy in your car and keep the number of your car insurance provider saved on your phone.
Ready to apply for a car insurance that can give you the protection that you need? Get a quote for a car insurance plan with the help of MoneyGuru.co.th today. Read more about how to use our comparison tool by visiting our FAQs page. Get quotes on car insurance plans today!