In Thailand, every automobile on the road must have an active insurance policy. When you buy a car, whether it be new or used, having the very basic government-issued policy called Compulsory Motor Insurance (CMI) is something that cannot be avoided. For many, the coverage offered by CMI is not enough as it does very little to ease most of the financial burdens that come from accidents. Because of the lack of coverage provided by the CMI, many drivers opt for third-party policies that offer better protection.
Should you decide to stick with the CMI, be aware that you will only be covered to a limited degree. Any damage from your own vehicle will not be covered, but the third-party vehicle will be, to a limited degree. Basic medical costs are also included, but there are many limitations as to what and how much depending on the nature of the accident.
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Applying for a CMI
To apply for a CMI is quite an easy process. As it is a government requirement for every vehicle to have this coverage, any entity that deals in auto sales will be able to provide either the steps for you to follow to obtain the CMI on your own or they will do it for you as you purchase the vehicle. When buying a new car, for example, you can’t even leave the lot until the application for the CMI has been completed. In cases where the automobile is secondhand and does not currently have this basic coverage in place, the application can be found very easily by contacting the Department of Land Transport.
Upgraded Insurance Options
In Thailand, there are five premium insurance options available with graduating coverage.
Third Class insurance is the most basic form of premium that you can get. It is quite similar to the coverage provided by CMI policies but with higher ceilings. Basic medical care for both sides of the accident are covered as well as property damage to the third party vehicle.
Second Class insurance is similar to Third Class with the addition of property coverage. This type of insurance is known as collision insurance because it relieves the financial losses from the damaged automobile.
First Class insurance is the best you can get and it covers pretty much everything. All medical bills for everyone affected by the accident are taken care of, as well as compensation for property loss for both the driver and the third party. First Class insurance also covers things like vehicle damage while parked, theft, broken windows, fire, etc.
Words of Caution
Whichever type of insurance you decide to go with, there are a few considerations that you have to keep in mind. Each level of insurance will cover its own set of problems and knowing what your policy covers is very important. On top of that, there are very specific methods for filing claims when accidents happen that are dictated by law. If you do not understand how to file a claim, it is easy to make a mistake that can cost you money.
Say, for example, you get into an accident on a busy road and decide to move your vehicle before contacted both the traffic police and the insurance company to help traffic flow. While it may seem like the common-sense thing to do at the time, failing to make those contacts and waiting for further instructions can take away your ability to file a claim for that incident. Read the rules and regulations and follow them accordingly.