The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) and the Department of Land Transport (DLT) will share real-time data on compulsory car insurance this year. Thailand’s aiming to reduce the number of vehicles with no insurance on the road, especially motorcycles.
Both state agencies signed a memorandum of understanding to co-develop an IT system to more efficiently track compulsory insurance. OIC secretary-general Suthiphon Taweechaiyagarn told the Bangkok Post that the DLT can check the compulsory insurance purchase status of a registered vehicle from real-time data connected to insurance companies through the platform.
Owners of vehicles without compulsory insurance will not be able to pay taxes to renew their vehicle registration.
DLT director-general Jirut Visaljit said the exact number of uninsured vehicles on the road is unknown and most are likely motorcycles.
“We can serve people faster with a system to connect car insurance information and compel all vehicle owners to comply with the law,” Mr Jirut said.
Compulsory insurance in Thailand
Mr Suthiphon said about 90% of accident claims from compulsory motor insurance are filed by hospitals directly via an e-claim system. Vehicle owners are not liable to pay any advances if the expense does not exceed protection.
Mr Jirut said vehicle owners in the future can pay their vehicle tax online and will be able to buy motor insurance through the DLT’s smartphone app, which begins full service early next year.
Compulsory insurance in Thailand has been in place for 27 years under the Road Accident Victims Protection Act, which requires owners (and renters) of all vehicle types to buy insurance to protect and provide assistance to the victims of motor accidents.
Since April of this year, the protection for compulsory insurance covers 500,000 baht for accidents that cause deaths. In the case of permanent disability (and the victim is in the right), the compensation is 500,000 baht (up from 300,000 baht earlier).
The coverage for total permanent disability or loss of organs is 200,000- 500,000 baht, up from 200,000-300,000 previously.
The fixed compulsory insurance premium rates, excluding tax imposed by the OIC, starts from 150 baht a year for motorcycles of up to 75cc horsepower and up to 600 baht a year for motorcycles exceeding 150cc horsepower.
The insurance premium for an electric-powered motorcycle is 300 baht a year.
Compulsory insurance for cars seating up to seven people starts at 600 baht a year for both gas-powered and electric cars.
Thailand’s drivers and deadly roads
Driving in Thailand can be a hair-raising experience at the best of times, but during the country’s so-called “seven dangerous days” over the New Year holiday motorists take their lives in their hands.
Efforts to crack down on the causes of those crashes — drunk driving, corrupt cops and general weak enforcement of traffic laws — have so far proved ineffective.
The World Health Organization estimated 22,941 people die each year in traffic-related incidents in Thailand, making its roads the deadliest in Southeast Asia.
That’s an average of 62 deaths every day, according to the WHO’s 2018 report on global road safety — just slightly fewer than the average deaths over the New Year period of 66 per day.
The vast majority of those deaths — 73% — are riders of motorcycles, which have exploded in numbers over the past few decades to become the most popular form of transport for most households in the country.