Thailand planning compulsory travel insurance

The Thai Government is moving ahead with plans to make travel insurance a mandatory requirement for foreign visitors.

Officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports are working on a proposal which would involve checking travel insurance documents on arrival, as part of a crackdown to reduce the costs of foreign nationals seeking treatment in Thai hospitals.

John White, Head of Distribution at Allianz Worldwide Partners said the move wasn’t surprising given the number of travel related insurance claims made in Thailand.

“In 2016 alone, we received over 3,000 Thai related travel claims with over 30% relating to medical claims,” White said.

The most common type of medical claim for visitors travelling to Thailand in 2016 was for hospital expenses, he said, while the country also ranked third in the world for medical repatriations.

In an interview with SkyNews last month, Thailand director of tourism safety at the Ministry of Tourism Jaturon Phakdeewanit said travellers were costing the Thai health system more than A$115 million a year.

“We need to push this through as soon as possible because the problem is becoming more serious,” he said.

No timeframe was given for the measures, but a proposal is expected to be submitted to cabinet soon for approval.