After a series of accidents involving tourists, the government of Thailand is now eying for compulsory insurance coverage.
But for the said scheme to be implemented, it must secure an approval first from the Tourism and Sports Ministry. Once the bill is approved, it will be immediately imposed nationwide. According to the government’s press release, the proposed law will oblige tourists to pay 20-baht upon entering the airport. The collected funds will be used to cover tourists’ death benefits up to one million baht.
But despite this plan, the government still urged the foreigners to get their respective policies from their countries.
According to Nel Mooy, insurance expert, the proposed measure will not cover other travel-related injuries, including bone fracture, severe cuts, and other health conditions.
She said that the government would only shoulder the death benefit, no more, no less. She further noted that when a person opens an insurance policy from private firms, he or she could get up to £15million financial assistance depending on the incurred injuries.
The call of imposing such measure to safeguard the tourists arose after several accidents recorded last year. Among the highlighted mishaps include the tragic death of 47 Chinese amidst the waters of Phuket, a local of Canada who was killed following a zip wire cable failure in Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai, and the country’s 5,500 recorded motorcycle-related deaths every year (average).
When asked on the possible sanctions if a foreigner failed to pay the insurance cost, the government has yet to release a definite statement. But one thing is clear, once a tourist did not pay the mandatory insurance charge (as proposed in this bill), he or she cannot expect full assistance from the government.
Whether tourists will get additional protection inside Thailand this year, only the legislative body can tell.