Insurance for car rental in Thailand

The main question that concerns every traveler who wants to rent a car in Phuket, Samui, Thailand is whether the transport is insured and what kind of insurance is issued. Is it possible to drive freely without further unforeseen unpleasant consequences? The answer is yes. All owners of motor vehicles in Thailand must have basic insurance. 

First Class insurance for car rental in Thailand 

But in addition to basic insurance, there is the possibility of registration extended insurance. 

Several options: 

1. First class, second and third class. Accordingly, the lower the class, the lower the insurance amount of coverage and worse conditions. For cars that are rented in Thailand, only the maximum coverage is always issued. 

2. There is also commercial insurance, but a very small percentage of companies buy it. Mostly large international networks such as Hertz, for example. It costs more, due to which the price of the rental itself increases, but the terms of the policy are no different.

First of all, the owners of cars for rent want to protect themselves from ruin, as renters drive very carelessly, often get into accidents or cause damage on their own: it's not mine - no pity. If owners pay for repairs out of their own pockets every time, in a few months they will be bankrupt, so do not worry about whether the rented car has insurance. It definitely does. 

On the Internet you can find a lot of different information about 1st class insurance. Allegedly, it will not be valid if the driver was not the owner of the car; such cars can not be rented at all; you must necessarily rent a car only with commercial insurance. This is all untrue. First class insurance works just fine. The insurance company does not care who sits behind the steering wheel, the main thing is that he has a valid driver's license. 

An international driver's license or Thai license is required to drive in Thailand. 

What's important to know: 

- Insurance in Thailand is for the car, not the driver. Anyone can drive the vehicle. There is no need to re-register the policy for a new driver each time. In case of an accident, regardless of whether the owner or another person was driving the car, the insurance policy will be valid. 

- The insurance covers material and legal liability to a third party to the accident, hospitalization and treatment of all parties involved in the accident (including the third party). If you rent a car from a local private rental company that cooperates with Sabai motors and not from an international network, no matter what the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, the renter's liability to the lessor is governed only by the rental agreement that you sign directly on the day you pick up the car. 

An insurance policy is an agreement between the insurance company and the owner of the car. The renter is not related to them in any way. There is no need to confuse renting and owning a vehicle. All the terms of the lease are spelled out exclusively in the contract. Material liability in case of an accident or other damage to the car is specified in the contract, not in the insurance policy. Quite often it is equal to the amount of the deposit, so that it is simply not returned after the end of the lease. This condition can be considered as the presence of a mandatory deductible. This so-called deductible forces renters to drive carefully, as their money is at stake. In addition, it is a kind of compensation to the owner of transportation for the time that the car will be in repair and will not be able to be rented. In most cases, the renter is not even given an insurance policy. 

The main document when renting a car in Phuket is a rental agreement. It is worth noting that the renter must pay if the accident is his fault. Innocent people do not risk anything. You may find the article How to avoid mistakes when renting a car in Thailand useful.

An example: Let's assume that you rent a car and in the contract there is a clause that in case of an accident the client must pay 500$, if the accident was his fault. In the course of the proceedings the renter's fault was established, so according to the contract he has to pay this $500, and it does not matter at all that the car is insured and what the terms of coverage are. 

The insurance company will communicate on this issue with the owner of the car. It does not concern the renter. Before signing the contract, you should read it carefully. It is those clauses that relate to monetary compensation on the part of the renter. Often tourists are negligent about this point, hoping just for insurance, and then there is a lot of bewilderment and dissatisfaction, why they suddenly need to pay something. Regardless of what type of insurance is issued, each rental company has its own conditions in case of an accident. 

Let me repeat: insurance is first of all a lifeline for vehicle owners, not for renters.


- Contrary to the popular myth that foreigners in Thailand are always wrong, the police always deal with each case separately and determine the culprit of the accident. 

- Insurance policies are written in Thai. 

- Insurance is always valid throughout Thailand, but the conditions for traveling outside the rental area are different for all companies. Again, these are not the terms and conditions of the insurance, but the terms and conditions of the car rental company.