Friday, February 27, 2009

What Car Insurance Policy for Thailand?

Another day on the road, another witness to stupidity. Can’t blame them for crashing into each other. What can you expect out of drivers in a country where you don’t have to take proper driving lessons prior in to taking a test at the driving center?

Regarding insurance, I don’t know what they call it exactly, could be level one insurance or something, but I do know, its gonna be the most expensive of all insurance policies and you better have one if you drive in Thailand. This country is unlike some countries where it is mandatory for all car owners to have at least a third party insurance, or level three as they call it here. Having a car, we adopt the same mentality and think all we need is third party.

Logic behind is that, well, firstly in cases where we were to run into someone, our policy will cover our fault. This covers us running into really expensive cars and having no money to pay. We can ignore the damage on our own vehicle and the repairs could wait.
Secondly, if someone were to run into us, their (at least) third party policy will cover our repairs. So we think third party insurance will be enough for us as long as we are careful, it is a just-in-case-policy with a calculated risk involved. DEAD WRONG THINKING!!!

My workers were in a petrol kiosk, stopped and getting their car filled. Then a car came from behind and whamp – crash. Rear bumper of our Corolla suffered quite a bit of damage, tail lights were broken and the rear had definitely changed shape (anything Japanese and is a car can otherwise be know as tin can). The person at fault was of course the driver who decided to ram his car front into the Corolla’s butt. He was a high ranking naval officer. He had no money. He had no insurance, not even third party. He had only one thousand on him, and that’s what he gave our workers. More negotiations only lead to more frustrations, his answer “no money”. Even if we do engage the police or bring him to court, we will never be able to squeeze one more Baht from him. Thailand, no money people many many, force them to pay they just say no money. One thousand Baht only, enough for the petrol back to Bangkok. This was a soldier of the country, at least he had a thousand on him. Imagine if a motorcycle taxi run into you, they could only give you some hundreds or so. But most of the time as I had even personally encountered, they just sped away, curses to their mother’s genitals!!!! (this genital thing is a Hokkien tradition).

The third party policy we have does not cover our office car in this situation. Be warned, be advice. By all means if you own a car here, get the level one insurance. Yes it will be typically five to eight times more expensive then the third party ones, costing like fifteen to twenty thousand Baht, but at least it covers everything. It covers scratches, hit and run without witness, dents, you running into trees, tress falling on you, bird strikes, cars running into you but no money to pay, fire, thief, cats and dogs falling onto your car from a high rise, bicyclist trapped under your car and you dragged him for 50 meters, drunk old man on speeding wheel chair cashing into your sides, whatever and what not. Only catch to it is that, in order to get level one insurance, you need to have a car less then ten years of age.

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