Thailand: Setting Up Life Insurance

Thailand ranks 25th out of 64 countries as a top destination for expats. The country’s quality of life, work life, extensive leisure pursuits and cost of living make it a superb choice for expats. Medical care and personal finance are two of the top perks, according to the survey, of living in the country.

The lower financial costs allow many expats to seek out life insurance and critical illness insurance that enables them to leave money to their family when they die.

Setting up life insurance may sound easy, but unless you know Thai, you’re at a disadvantage. Obtaining a policy requires you to have a full understanding of the terms and conditions of the policy. After all, an insurance policy of any kind is a contract that you may be paying into, but upon your demise, the policy can be denied for various reasons.

If you live in Thailand or plan on moving to the country in the near future, it’s imperative that you know the types of insurance you’ll need. Thailand just announced this week that foreign visitors will need compulsory medical insurance when traveling to the Kingdom.

We recommend three types of insurance for all expats, and we recommend specialized insurance that will provide almost universal coverage wherever you go.

Insurance Needs for Expats Living in Thailand

As an expat, the fun and excitement of moving of Thailand leads people to overlook their needs for basic insurance. You’ll need multiple forms of coverage, including:

  • Health. Private local health insurance is seen in local media and a top choice for expats if they home country’s insurance will not cover their bills. Offshore insurance offers higher limits than local insurance and is a good choice for Thai expats.
  • Life. Your family or loved ones will incur expenses upon your death if you want to be transported back to your home country or need to have a funeral in Thailand. Costs can be 60,000 or more-baht, depending on the arrangement and area. Life insurance can help cover these expenses and also provide some financial assistance to your loved ones.
  • Critical Illness. Health insurance may cover your basic needs, but you may not have the entirety of your costs covered. When you have a critical illness that includes extensive hospital stays or surgery, critical illness insurance can fill the gap that insurers leave behind. Covid-19 wasn’t covered under some health insurance policies.

Insurance, when it’s not designed for expats specifically, can leave you with unnecessary risks. Some insurers can deny your claims, and then you’ll be stuck with thousands of baht of debt in a foreign country.

Of course, Thailand is a more affordable destination and one of the leading countries in the world for expats. The region is filled with nightclubs, restaurants, entertainment and beautiful beaches.

Insurance provides peace of mind that if you have a medical-related incident or need additional care, you won’t have to pay all of the costs out-of-pocket.

Thailand is proactive in many senses, and with the coronavirus, one major announcement came when the country announced that they would pay for all treatment for foreigners. If you’re an expat, Thailand is a country that will do their best to keep you in the country with special programs and coverage options in a time of crisis.

The Need for Specialized Expat Term Life Insurance

Expats, and the nomad lifestyle, have led to specialized insurance options specifically for people that live outside of their home country. It’s important as an expat to not become complacent and to really perform your due diligence on the policies that you have.

It’s important that you fully, with 100% confidence, understand what the policy offers in terms of:

  • Coverage
  • Exemptions
  • Exclusions

It’s not enough to only know how your insurance premium is calculated and to pay your premiums every month. You should consider the underwriting process and specific language in the policy covering expats.

Some policies will have coverage options for entire regions, or nearly 200 countries.

Even if you pay slightly more for these term life insurance policies, you’ll have the confidence in knowing that you understand all policy terms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when paying for important insurance policies, such as term life or critical illness insurance.

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