Compare travel insurance for Thailand

Dazzling blue seas, jungle adventures, the Grand Palace in bustling Bangkok – just a few of the reasons why Brits make hundreds of thousands of visits to Thailand every year. Most trips are trouble-free, but it’s best to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know to compare Thailand travel insurance.

Dazzling blue seas, jungle adventures, the Grand Palace in bustling Bangkok – just a few of the reasons why Brits make hundreds of thousands of visits to Thailand every year. Most trips are trouble-free, but it’s best to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know to compare Thailand travel insurance.

Josh Daniels
Travel Insurance expert
8
minute read
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Last Updated 16 JANUARY 2023

Do I need travel insurance for Thailand?

It’s always advisable to take out travel insurance when you travel to Thailand.

Asia is relatively cheap once you get there, but hospital treatment doesn’t come equally cheaply. Public healthcare is available but it’s only free for Thai citizens and working residents and you many need to show proof that you can pay before you receive treatment. Travellers may find it easier to access private healthcare, but private hospitals can be expensive. It’s important to check that you’ll also be covered for emergency flights back home (just in case).

Tourists can also be targets for pickpockets and bag snatchers. Travel insurance can give you confidence that if you’re a victim of crime you’ll have some way of getting your money back. 

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean any claim you make is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

How much is travel insurance for Thailand?

If you’re travelling to Thailand from the UK, you’ll need worldwide cover.

A single trip travel policy might be the best option for a one-off holiday.  But if you’re staying for an extended time in Thailand or you want to combine travel there with other countries in sountheast Asia, such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia or Laos – then you’ll need an extended trip or backpacker travel insurance policy. 

The cost of your Thailand travel insurance policy depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Which countries you’re visiting on your trip
  • How long you’ll be travelling for
  • How much cover you want for things like medical costs, holiday cancellation and your baggage
  • Your age
  • If you have any medical conditions
  • If you’re planning any adventurous activities for your trip. 

What will Thailand travel insurance cover?

A typical travel insurance for Thailand will include cover for:

  • Any necessary medical treatment while you’re travelling and, in some cases, repatriation flights back to UK in the case of a medical emergency
  • Cover for your luggage and its contents if it’s lost, damaged or stolen
  • Cover for cancelled flights due to events such as natural disasters where the airline isn’t at fault and doesn’t have to provide compensation
  • Holiday cancellation cover to protect the money you’ve paid up-front for flights, accommodation and booked tours, if you need to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances such as sickness or the death of a loved one.
  • Coronavirus cover, which may include cancellation if you fall ill with covid before you’re due to travel or extra accommodation and travel expenses if you get sick while you’re away. When you get a travel insurance quote with us, it’s easy to compare levels of COVID-19 cover. Use the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page to see what’s included. 

What won’t Thailand travel insurance cover?

There are a few common exclusions to bear in mind while you’re living your best life in Thailand:

  • Drugs or alcohol - Thailand may be a famous party destination, but insurance providers are unlikely to pay out for claims if your judgement was impaired by drugs or alcohol. Know your limits and stick to them. Be aware too that possession of even small quantities of illegal drugs in Thailand can lead to imprisonment and sentences for trafficking can include the death penalty.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions - you’ll need to tell your insurance provider about any existing health conditions. They may cover your condition (normally for a higher premium) or offer cover that precludes your condition. But if you don’t disclose your condition and you then need treatment, you won’t be covered, and your policy may be invalidated.
  • Natural disasters - travel insurance doesn’t typically cover disruption caused by natural disasters. Thailand has a rainy season (typically May-October in most of the country, but November-March in Koh Samui and the southeast) when heavy rain can cause flooding and landslides. Thailand is also at risk from earthquakes. Check local conditions before you travel.
  • Terrorism - travel insurance doesn’t typically cover acts of terrorism. It’s important to be aware that there have been several terrorist attacks in the past in Thailand, both in Bangkok and popular tourist areas. Look out for warnings issued by the local authorities or media and take care in public places, especially on symbolic dates and holidays.
  • Travelling against the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice - it’s important to check the FCDO website for updates before you travel. If you travel to Thailand, or to a particular region of Thailand against the advice of the FCDO, it’s unlikely you’ll be covered by your travel insurance. At the time of writing the FCDO were advising against all but essential travel to some provinces in the southern regions of Thailand, near the border with Malaysia.  

What else should I consider when I choose my travel insurance for Thailand?

Thailand offers so much variety, from temples to elephant watching to full moon parties, that the type of insurance you need will depend on your plans and your travel style. Here are a few things you should ask yourself before you compare Thailand travel insurance:

  • Are you doing any adventure sports? Anything sporty that appeals to thrill-seekers is likely to be considered risky by insurance providers. If you plan on rock climbing, white water rafting, bungee jumping, or any of a wide range of other adventurous activities, you’ll want to choose a policy with adventure sport cover.
  • Are you diving? The islands of southern Thailand provide some of the world’s best diving destinations – and divers need to take extra care with travel insurance. Check your policy to make sure diving is included and look out for depth limits. If you dive deeper than the limit, you risk invalidating your cover.
  • How much would cancellation cost you? Flights to Thailand can be expensive, and – alongside hotels and excursions – could mean that cancelling your trip costs significantly more than a basic policy travel insurance policy would pay out. Check the cancellation limits carefully before you buy. Find out more about holiday cancellation insurance.
  • How much are your personal belongings worth? Even the most bare-bones backpacker will often travel with a couple of expensive gadgets, and those looking for a more luxurious experience might face a hefty bill in case of lost or stolen luggage. Think about what you’re taking and ensure you have enough cover.

Do I need a visa for Thailand?

If you have a British passport and you’re travelling to Thailand by land or air between the dates of 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023, you can travel in the country for up to 45 days without a visa. For longer stays, you’ll need to apply for a visa – check with the Royal Thai Embassy for details.

More details about the entry requirements for Thailand can be found on the GOV.UK website, including rules on Covid-19 vaccines and testing.

Any other travel tips for travel to Thailand?

  • Currency - the Thai baht (B) is the official currency. You can use your credit or debit card at good hotels and in some of the more upmarket restaurants and shops but surcharges to use them can be high.
  • Vaccines - you should go and see your doctor at least eight weeks before you go away – they can tell you about any precautions or vaccinations you may need. You might be advised to have some vaccines such as Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid, usually free on the NHS. 
  • Mosquitoes - take steps to avoid being bitten. Dengue fever and Zika virus are both present in Thailand.
  • Smoking - there are strict rules on smoking in Thailand. You could be fined if you’re caught smoking in public, or even imprisoned if caught smoking on certain beaches. E-cigarettes and vaping are illegal in Thailand, and penalties are severe, so leave them at home.
  • Alcohol - don’t leave your drink unattended or accept any drinks from strangers. There have been reports of drink spiking, especially in tourist areas.
  • Crime - watch out for pickpockets and thieves, who often ride on motorbikes and target travellers in tuk tuks. Keep your valuables in a safe place and out of sight.
  • Religious monuments - always dress and behave respectfully when visiting Buddhist temples and other religious monuments. 
  • Monarchy - it’s against the law to criticise the King or the monarchy in Thailand. Think carefully about any political comments or articles you share online that could be interpreted as criticism. 
  • Getting around - if you want to rent a car or motorbike, you’ll need an international driving permit, and you should check your travel policy to make sure you’ll be covered. Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. It’s the law and it could invalidate your travel insurance if you don’t. 
  • Language - Thai is the official language but many locals will have a smattering of English.
  • Tipping - this isn’t expected but it is of course much appreciated. 

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes?

We can help with that! We compare quotes from 42 trusted travel insurance providers[1] so you can see what’s out there and find the right cover for your trip to Thailand.

[1] Correct as of December 2022.

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