For a lot of expats, riding a motorbike in Thailand doesn’t seem like a great idea.
However, there are benefits to owning a motorcycle here. It’s cheap, easy to maintain, fun, and can dramatically decrease your time spent in traffic.
It can also be dangerous to ride a motorcycle in Thailand. So if you plan to ride one, buying motorcycle insurance is recommended.
Let’s take a look at all of the options you have.
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Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance (CTPL)
You need to buy the compulsory third-party liability insurance (CTPL) every year. It’s required by law.
The premium is from 160 baht to 645 baht depending on the cc. It’s cheap but only comes with medical coverage.
The coverage limit depends on whether or not you are the cause of the accident.
If an accident happens because of you, it comes with a 30,000 baht coverage limit.
If not, then the coverage limit increases to 80,000 baht for medical expenses and 500,000 baht for death and dismemberment.
There is a penalty of up to 10,000 baht if you ride a motorcycle that doesn’t have CTPL.
Compulsory third-party liability insurance is known as Por Ror Bor among locals.
Since complusory third-party liability insurance only comes with medical coverage, a majority of motorcycle riders in Thailand decide to buy private insurance as extra protection.
You can buy CTPL at the Department of Land Transport, insurance representatives, or insurance brokers.
Normally, you should buy it at the same time that you pay your annual vehicle tax.
Motorcycle Insurance has limited options when compared to car insurance. There are only a handful companies available.
You can use Mister Prakan to find out and compare available motorcycle insurances in Thailand.
- One-party Accidents: Only Type 1 insurance covers accidents that happen without a third party involved. This includes hitting a wall or dog, scratching a structure, crashing into a tree, and so on. However, you may need to pay an excess fee of at least 1,000 baht. The fee differs based on your insurance plan.
- Collision: Type 1, 2+, and 3+ insurance normally comes with collision coverage. It covers the cost of repairing your motorcycle as long as it is caused by hitting another car. Pay attention to small details on the collision coverage policy since expensive plans allow you to have your motorcycle repaired at the official garage of your car’s brand, while cheaper plans send you to individual garages. If you caused the accident, an excess fee might be required. If the collision damage is beyond repair, you may receive 70%-100% of the insurance limit in return.
- Medical Expenses: All insurance types include medical expenses caused by road accidents. The coverage amount is likely to be similar no matter what insurance types you are using. And it is lower if you cause the accident. Insurance companies require a medical receipt for a reimbursement unless you go to their partner hospital. You can use motorcycle insurance, health insurance, and family insurance to cover your medical expenses.
- Theft: You may not be under theft protection coverage if your motorcycle is stolen because of your own carelessness including forgetting to lock it, parking it an unsafe place, or embezzling it. You may only receive 70-80% of the insurance limit based on your vehicle’s age.
- Fire/Flood: Similar to theft protection, you can claim from flood damage only when it’s not your fault. If you park a car and that area suddenly becomes flooded, you are under the coverage. On the other hand, if you intentionally drive through flooded areas, insurers may reject your claim. This type of coverage always come with Type 1 insurance and some Type 2 or 2+ insurance only.
- 3rd Party Property Damage: The whole idea of the 3rd Party Property Damage is similar to collision coverage but only covers the car of the opposing party. This is the selling point of Type 3 coverage because you’ll only need to fix your own motorcycle from the accident without having to worry on the opposing party.
- 3rd Party Personal Injury: All types of insurance, including Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance, or CTPL, comes with 3rd Party Personal Injury coverage as long as it is caused by a car accident. It means that if you get hit by a car while while walking down the street, you can at least get reimbursed from CTPL in addition to asking the driver for compensation.
Below are standard exclusions which every motorcycle insurance company can reject your claims for: not having a driver’s license, drunk driving, unauthorized driver, using your car as a taxi or moving vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, and wars. The exclusion may be different between each insurer. Be sure to read fine print carefully.
- Driver’s License: Insurers do not cover drivers if the driver does not have a driver’s license.
- Drunk Driving: According to Thai law, a person who has blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of more than 50mg is considered drunk. It does not only result in the denial of insurance claims, but there’s also a chance of getting fined and imprisoned.
- Unauthorized Rider: This is different based on the insurance package. Some packages might cover every rider as long as he/she has a license and isn’t drunk, while some only cover a specific person who can ride the motorcycle.
- Incorrect Purpose: Some insurance companies might not cover you if you use a motorcycle in an unsafe manner. This includes carrying more passengers than the vehicle should carry or using a personal motorcycle to transport goods or move.
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident: If you cause the accident and leave the scene, the insurance company does not cover costs. This is considered a crime in Thailand and will result in court.
- War: Motorcycle insurance companies might reject claims caused by war and protest, no matter if you are living in a risk area or not. If the damaged is caused by these events, you are not under coverage.
There are a number of insurance types you can get for your motorcycle.
Type 1 insurance is mainly available for big bikes, or motorcycles over 250cc’s. It comes with the highest coverage limits, and is also the most expensive.
Please note that people have different definitions of big bikes in Thailand. Some say that it means motorcycles over 400cc, while other say that any motorcycle over 250cc is considered a big bike.
Type 2+ and 3+ are for normal motorcycles of less than 249cc’s.
Below is a detailed outline of each type.
This is the most expensive and comprehensive type of insurance offered in Thailand. It should cover you from all accidents and problems. Also, it’s the only insurance type that covers an accident not involving a third party, such as hitting a wall, hitting a dog, getting a scratch, and so on. In some cases you need to pay an excess and in other cases you don’t have to pay for it.
1st class insurance is normally available to a vehicle that is less than five years old. However, it is still possible to get Type 1 insurance for an older bike as long as it has a good record and history without major accidents involved.
Type 2+ is the second most expensive motorcycle insurance option in Thailand. Its coverage is similar to Type 1 insurance but does not cover accidents where no third party was involved. In addition, Type 1 insurance tends to send your bike for repairs at official garages while type 2+ insurance will be sent to 3rd party independent garages instead.
Type 2+ is quite popular for motorcycle insurance in Thailand because of the coverage and premium.
Type 2 insurance is similar to Type 2+, including price, but doesn’t have collision coverage. Because of this, a majority of people prefer Type 2+ over Type 2 insurance. And only a few insurance companies are now offering it.
Currently, type 2 insurance isn’t available for motorcycles.
Type 3+ insurance comes with necessary road accident protection, collision coverage, and third party property damage. The main difference between 2+ and 3+ is that Type 3+ does not have theft, fire, flood, and terrorism protection.
For example, yearly Type 3+ insurance for a motorcycle less than 110cc’s normally comes with:
- collision: 10,000 baht
- medical expenses: 50,000 baht
- medical expenses for third party personal injury: 300,000 baht
- third party property damage: 600,000 baht
- annual fee: 1,499 baht
When buying private insurance for motorcycles, you may have the option to choose the excess fee amount, the name of the rider, and whether repairs are done at an official garage or an individual one, which can increase or decrease the annual premium.
This is a basic private insurance and covers only medical expenses and third-party liability. It is popular for old or low-valued cars for many Thais.
Below is a table comparing normal coverage and prices for all insurance types. It should give you a rough idea on how much you’ll pay and what should be covered.
You can use Mister Prakan to get the exact quote and coverage amount for all insurance types.
Please note that coverage varies based on several factors.
|3rd Party Property Damage
|3rd Party Personal Injury
Excess is a fixed amount you agree to pay in order to make a claim. It is quite expensive for a big bike and might start at 20,000 baht per time.
You need to pay an excess when the damage or scratch occurs without a clear cause or any third party isn’t involved, such as a nail piercing a tire while riding, a windshield suddenly braking without reason, parts damaged by animals, and so on.
Excess can be waived if a motorcycle is damaged by something that isn’t a vehicle, such as hitting a wall, poles, trees, animals, and stones. If damaged by another vehicle, the excess can still be waived if you didn’t cause the accident.
However, each insurance company has a different policy to waive an excess. And even some insurance representatives can give you the wrong answer. Read the fine print in detail and recheck everything whenever you are unsure whether the excess can be waived or not.
Deductible, on the other hand, is a fixed amount you agree to the insurer whenever you would like to make a claim. It cannot be waived, but the total insurance price will be decreased.
Note that excess and deductible is commonly misused in Thailand, even with insurance representatives. They share the same word in Thai. So carefully read the fine print.
Many insurance companies in Thailand offer no-claim bonuses, giving discounts on renewal rates for those who have not made any claims, or who’ve made only a few small claims, in that year. This is only available with some insurance plans, mostly on the Type 1 class insurance. On the other hand, the renewal rate will be increased if claims are made several times within the same year.
Official and Individual Garage
When choosing motorcycle insurance, especially for Type 1, 2+, and 3+, you will be asked whether you want to have your car repaired at an official garage or individual garage.
The official garage is the garage from your car’s manufacturer. For example, if your motorcycle is Honda, it will be sent to an official Honda garage for repair.
Pros of the official garage are that your car will be repaired by certified motorcycle mechanics using genuine replacement parts. The garage may replace a new part instead of fixing the old part. This results in the motorcycle having no problems after repair.
However, repairing at official garage tends to take a lot of time because of long queues. Garage locations, especially in the countryside provinces, are also quite limited, and the insurance package is more expensive.
There are a lot more individual garages than official garages. They are easier to find, faster, and cheaper. However, you need to carefully pick the garage. It is common to hear stories from people sending their cars to the individual garage resulting in more problems.
Some individual garages may use fake parts and carelessly fix your motorcycle causing more problems in the future. It is also common to hear that paint jobs by individual garages do not match the original color. There are, of course, individual garages with good standards. But this would require further research.
It is also different when making a claim on an individual garage who is a partner with the insurance company and who is not.
Theft Protection Insurance
With many motorcycle theft gangs in Thailand, there is specific theft protection insurance for registered motorcycles. It costs 1,000 baht to 2,000 baht per year for a new motorcycle, covering 80% of the motorcycle’s market price.
The coverage amount decreases 10% every year together with the insurance fee. However, theft protection insurance usually has a 50,000 baht limit.
For a motorcycle older than four years, theft protection insurance can be even lower than 500 baht a year, but the overall limit decreases to between 6,000 baht and 10,000 baht.
In case your motorcycle is stolen, it is important to first report to the police and insurance company. After that, the insurance company will try to find the stolen vehicle and summarize your claim. This process normally takes thirty days.
To receive compensation, the motorcycle owner needs to transfer the vehicle ownership to the insurance company.
There are only a few insurance companies providing insurance for big bikes, or bikes over 250cc’s. The cost for big bike Type 1 insurance is not different from car insurance. It normally starts at 15,000 baht a year.
Sometimes it can be more expensive but provide lower coverage. This is due to the higher chances of road accidents and expensive repair costs.
You can get Type 1 insurance for big bikes from Mister Prakan. The insurance fee is lower than major insurance companies with similar coverage.
Here’s an example of their Type 1 insurance for big bikes:
- collision: 150,000 baht
- medical expenses: 50,000 baht
- theft protection: 150,000 baht
- public liability: 1,000,000 baht
- annual fee: 12,666 baht
If you want to buy from an insurance company instead, a popular Type 1 insurance for big bikes is offered by Viriyah.
One major point for big bike insurance is that most companies require an excess fee of 5,000 baht on average for any claim, regardless of whether the damage is caused by the insured or not.
Type 2+ and 3+ are also available for big bikes. The insurance fees and coverage are slightly higher than for normal motorcycle insurance.
Applying for Insurance
Nowadays, the easiest way to buy insurance for your motorcycle is to do it online.
There are many insurance brokerage websites allowing you to compare different motorcycle insurance plans and buy the one you like the most.
Mister Prakan is one of them.
The following documents might be required when purchasing motorcycle insurance:
- a copy of the vehicle’s registration
- a copy of the first page of your passport
- a copy of your driver’s license
- a copy of your previous insurance policy
For Type 1 insurance, you may need to provide pictures of your motorcycle from all sides, including the front, back, left, and right.
Going without Insurance
You might be tempted not to buy additional private insurance for your motorcycle.
It’s possible to do but not recommended.
According to the Accident Data Center Thailand, several hundreds of thousands of people in Thailand are injured in road accidents every year.
Over 75% of severe accidents came from motorcycles. The Royal Thai Police showed that 50% of that came from reckless drivers.
What does this mean for you?
It means that motorcycle accidents regularly happen in Thailand. They end up in fatalities often.
Therefore, relying on the compulsory third-party liability insurance alone might not be enough.
Even with 80,000 baht medical expense coverage, that isn’t enough if you need to be admtted to a hospital for a few days.
Having health insurance is a good idea. But that only comes with medical coverage for yourself, without coverage on your motorcycle, third party liability, and public liability that commonly happen when it comes to road accidents.
Therefore, if you plan to buy a motorcycle and regularly drive it in Thailand, it’s better to purchase motorcycle insurance.
Now, on to You
We hope that this article answers everything you want to know about motorcycle insurance in Thailand.
You can start looking for your own insurance with Mister Prakan.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave your comments below.