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Why Thai insurers could turn down your trip cancellation insurance claim


webfact
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The Thai government has recently announced a compulsory THB300 fee for all visitors arriving in the country which they say will go towards insurance cover.

 

It is common knowledge that international vacationers leave HUGE unpaid bills at local Thai hospitals, as their insurance cover was inadequate.

 

Now with Covid 19 playing havoc with travel plans, the insurance companies are becoming even stricter when discussing claims.

 

Travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits is designed to reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable expenses in case you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. 

 

But it is not a cure-all. 

 

How many of us bother to read the small print?

 

While we understand that everyone's circumstances are unique, here is a look at some of the most common reasons why Thai insurers could deny your trip cancellation insurance claims.

 

Of course, your local insurer may have different conditions, but in principle here are the most common reasons why they may not pay you back.


1. You did not see a doctor before canceling your trip because of illness.


Example: Anna has packed her suitcases to fly to Hong Kong for a week-long vacation. The day before she is set to leave, she comes down with a bad case of the flu. Feeling wretched, Anna decides to stay home. She submits a trip cancellation insurance claim, but it is denied.


If you or your traveling companion suffers an illness, injury or medical condition that's disabling enough to make a reasonable person cancel a trip, insurers should consider that a covered reason for trip cancellation. However, a doctor must examine you or your traveling companion and advise that person to cancel the trip — before the decision to cancel is made. If that is not possible, a doctor must examine you within 72 hours of your trip cancellation.


2. You did not provide documentation for your trip cancellation reasons and expenses. 


Example: Days before he is set to leave for a two-week tour of Cambodia, Javier is dismayed to hear that his tour operator has gone out of business. He submits a trip cancellation insurance claim with the original invoice from the tour operator, but his claim is denied.


It is not enough to send a credit card receipt or a single invoice. You need to thoroughly document all of your trip costs, your reason for cancellation and any refunds you may have received. The list of documentation requests may include:


•    Receipts and itemized bills for all expenses.
•    Original of any refunds or expense allowances received from your tour operator, travel agency, common carrier, resort, property management company, or other entity.
•    Copy of resort invoice/vacation rental contract or confirmation.
•    Trip cancellation/interruption claims.
•    Any appropriate documentation that officially explains the cause of your trip cancellation or interruption
•    Any explanation of diagnosis along with your original itemized bills, receipts, and proof of other insurance payments.
•    Original unused tickets, copies of invoices, proof of payments, and other documents that substantiate the cost or occurrence of the trip cancellation or interruption.
•    Documentation of refunds received from the travel supplier(s) and/or common carriers.
•    Copy of the supplier's literature that describes penalties.
•    A letter from the tour operator or an itemized bill from the travel agent stating the non-refundable amounts of the trip costs.


In short, send everything you can find that relates to your trip cancellation reasons and costs. This may sound like a lot, but do not get overwhelmed. 


3. You purchased travel insurance when a massive storm was already on the horizon.


Example: Kelly and Gus have been looking forward to their 10th anniversary trip to Cebu in the Philippines for months. A few days before they are supposed to leave, the Weather Channel reports that Tropical Storm is churning toward the island. "Uh-oh," Kelly thinks. "I’d better get travel insurance." They end up cancelling their vacation because of the storm — but their insurance claim is denied.


Insurers could name several covered reasons for canceling a trip that can be related to severe weather. For instance:


•    Your travel carrier cannot get you to your original itinerary’s destination for at least twenty-four consecutive hours from the originally scheduled arrival time due to severe weather (or another covered reason)
•    Your tour operator cancels your multi-day tour that was purchased prior to your departure date due to severe weather (or another covered reason)
•    Your destination is uninhabitable
•    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) or foreign equivalent has issued a cyclone, hurricane, or typhoon warning at your destination that is in effect within 24 hours prior to your departure date 
•    Government authorities order a mandatory evacuation at your destination that is in effect within 24 hours prior to your departure date.


However, travel insurance is meant to protect travelers against sudden and unforeseen events — not threats that are already on the horizon when the insurance is purchased. If you buy travel insurance after a winter or tropical storm has been named, or after the NOAA or a similar agency has issued a warning, your plan will not provide coverage for claims related to that event. Make sure you buy trip cancellation insurance well in advance of your departure.


4. You gave up on your trip too soon.


Example: The day of Keith's scheduled flight to Dubai, a surprise winter storm grounds his connecting flight. After sitting in the airport for 12 hours, he gets furious and decides to cancel the whole trip. However, his trip cancellation insurance claim is denied.


We know trip delays are aggravating. But do not cancel your entire trip because of a short delay! To make a trip cancellation claim, your travel carrier must have been unable to get you to your original itinerary’s destination for at least twenty-four consecutive hours from the originally scheduled arrival time.


Keep in mind that your trip cancellation benefits can also help you get to your original destination another way! You can be reimbursed (up to your policy’s Trip Cancellation Coverage maximum benefit) for the reasonable cost of alternate transportation, less available refunds; and the cost of any lost prepaid accommodations caused by your covered delayed arrival, less available refunds.


You may also be able to file a trip interruption claim if you miss at least 50% of the length of your trip due to a travel carrier delay or other covered reason.


5. You did not read the terms, conditions, and exclusions for your trip cancellation insurance policy.


Example: Shortly before a planned couples cruise to Singapore, Michelle has a huge fight with her fiancé. She calls off the engagement — and the cruise. But travel insurance will not cover her trip cancellation.


With a wide array of covered reasons for canceling a trip, travel insurance is designed to protect you in case of many common travel mishaps. However, it is not "cancel for any reason" travel insurance, and that is why it is essential to read all the terms and conditions when you buy your plan. For instance, legal separation or divorce can be a covered reason for trip cancellation, but a breakup is not. 


The death of a family member can be a covered reason, but the death of a pet is not.


We all know that trip cancellation benefits can seem complicated, especially during the current pandemic, so the best advice is to do your homework before booking a holiday, even if you are just booking a hotel.
Please let us know if you have had any recent issues with travel insurance, so we can share your information with our many expat viewers?

 

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-- © Copyright  ASEAN NOW 2022-01-18

 

- Aetna offers a range of visa-compliant plans that meet the minimum requirement of medical treatment, including COVID-19, up to THB 3m. For more information on all expat health insurance plans click here.

 

 
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2 hours ago, webfact said:

The Thai government has recently announced a compulsory THB300 fee for all visitors arriving in the country which they say will go towards insurance cover.

This is a good idea .....    charge every tourist 500 baht even,  and they don't have to have Covid insurance.

This would save alot of hassle for tourists who normally need the 50k cover ....

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"It is common knowledge that international vacationers leave HUGE unpaid bills at local Thai hospitals, as their insurance cover was inadequate."

 

 

 

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foreigners were owing to hospitals just 340mln per year.

That is less than 10b per tourist (pre-covid almost 40mln per year).

Now the government wants compulsory 300b tax on entry to all foreigners. Will include 60b (20% of total) for health insurance. 

All foreigners require minimum $50k to enter country in order to get thailand pass.

Surely insurance in thailand is a big scam

Edited by internationalism
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1 hour ago, bangon04 said:

"It is common knowledge that international vacationers leave HUGE unpaid bills at local Thai hospitals, as their insurance cover was inadequate."

 

 

 

I do not think it is “common knowledge”. I am aware that it is commonly claimed by the Thai government and I allow it may be true bu we have not seen the documentation as to which groups are primarily responsible for unpaid medical bills. I do not know the facts but it appears to me, in the pre-Covid tourism, a good deal of potential unpaid medical bills were from those not having insurance covering motorbike accidents. In whose interest is it to keep the facts hidden? This is an issue which has logical means to be addressed … yes, I know … logical, not of financial interests …

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What's " common knowledge, " is that Thai insurers regularly and consistently deny coverage and refuse payment. For 2 years I had to carry a Thai policy that would not cover anything due to preexisting conditions, but needed to have it to satisfy my retirement requirements. 

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11 hours ago, Jerno said:

they are your purveyor of false sense of security

Well said.

 

Kind of like a condo security gaurd.

Edited by MrJ2U
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It isn't rocket science. With increased purchase of insurance due to Covid, people just are not aware how insurance works. To summarize the article, voluntary cancellation is generally NOT covered.

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22 hours ago, internationalism said:

cancelling flight is not an issue anymore.

Since covid many airlines offer full flexibility even for all tickets, even the lowest in economy.

You can change date unlimited times, get voucher or full refund.

The issue with travelling to thailand is asymptomatic hospitalisation.

That is in range 100-300k, international insurers don't pay for it. The thai one might, but don't have to

There are still many airlines that are not flexible, like budget airlines. As for asymptomatic hospitalization, that is issue with Thai as well as international insurers. Not all don't. It is a special situation that you need to clarify with your insurer.

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On 1/18/2022 at 11:02 AM, steven100 said:

This is a good idea .....    charge every tourist 500 baht even,  and they don't have to have Covid insurance.

This would save alot of hassle for tourists who normally need the 50k cover ....

Steven, your pal would not have the brains to think of that, either that or it is his hatred of farangs along with the other Chuckle Brother Anutin.

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I know that doctors clinics are cheap to visit, but I also know that hospitals

are expensive even for Thais. I seen the bill when my Thai aunt had to stay for 10 days.

  I helped with the cost as she and her part of the family are not rich at all.

    If this 300 baht will help the situation, great.

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Insurance Policies have two parts:  1) Covered Perils-What is Covered 2) Exclusions-What is not covered.  Guess which part is bigger?  It's not part 1.  The purpose of an insurance company is to make money.  Paying claims loses money.  

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