Motorbike Insurance in Thailand: What You Need To Know

Kristian Ole Roerbye

Motorbikes have become a popular mode of transportation for both locals and foreigners alike, granting flexibility and ease of maneuverability, especially in traffic-congested areas. However, with this convenience comes responsibility. Ensuring your motorbike is adequately insured is not just a legal necessity; it’s a crucial step towards safeguarding oneself against unforeseen events.

Given the nature of road conditions and the sheer number of bikes on the road, accidents, unfortunately, are not uncommon. Therefore, being knowledgeable about motorbike insurance, its types, and requirements is paramount for anyone planning to ride in Thailand.

Make sure to check out our guide to driving in Thailand too.


  • Motorbike insurance in Thailand is both a legal necessity and a protective measure.
  • Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance is a mandatory requirement for all motorbike owners.
  • Different insurance types provide varying degrees of coverage, tailored to specific risks.
  • Premiums can vary based on factors like the rider’s age, motorbike type, and location.
  • A systematic claims process is in place, involving reporting, documentation, and assessment.
  • Foreigners should ensure a clear understanding of their policy and adhere to local regulations.

Legal Requirements

Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance

In Thailand, every motorbike owner is mandated to have Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance. This type of insurance is designed to cover the medical expenses of the third party involved in an accident with the insured vehicle.

Essentially, it ensures that if someone else is injured due to a collision with your motorbike, their medical bills are taken care of up to the policy’s limits.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Riding without the necessary third-party liability insurance can lead to various legal complications:

  • Fines: Individuals caught without valid insurance are liable to pay fines. The amount varies based on the circumstances and severity of the offense.
  • Vehicle Impoundment: In some cases, the authorities might impound the motorbike until proof of insurance is presented.
  • Legal Liabilities: If involved in an accident without valid insurance, the rider may be held financially responsible for all damages and medical expenses, which can be substantial.

Types of Motorbike Insurance

Types of Motorbike Insurance
Insurance TypeCoverage
Comprehensive CoverageDamages (accidents, natural events), third-party liability, vandalism, theft
Third-Party, Fire, and TheftThird-party damages/injuries, motorbike fire damage, theft of the motorbike
Personal Accident InsuranceMedical treatment, disability, or death resulting from an accident for riders

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance, as the name suggests, provides the most extensive coverage. It covers damages to your motorbike due to various causes such as accidents, natural disasters, vandalism, and theft.

This type of insurance also includes third-party liability, ensuring that the medical expenses of others are covered if you’re at fault in an accident.

Third-Party, Fire, and Theft

This is a more specific type of coverage. As the name implies, it covers:

  • Damages to third-party property or injuries
  • Damage to your motorbike due to fire
  • Loss of the motorbike due to theft

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal Accident Insurance is primarily centered on the rider and any passengers. This type of coverage provides compensation for:

  • Medical treatment following an accident
  • Disability resulting from an accident
  • Death caused by an accident

This insurance can act as a safety net, ensuring that in case of unfortunate events, the rider and passengers have some level of financial security.

Factors Affecting Premiums

Insurance premiums, or the amount you pay for your insurance policy, can vary based on multiple factors. Understanding these can help you anticipate the costs and make informed decisions. Here are some primary determinants:

Age of the Rider

Younger riders, especially those under 25, often face higher premiums. This is because, statistically, younger individuals are considered to be at a higher risk of accidents.

Type and Size of the Motorbike

Larger and more powerful bikes generally come with higher premiums. The reasoning behind this is that such bikes can cause more significant damage in case of an accident. On the other hand, smaller, less powerful bikes might attract lower premiums.

Riding History

If you have a history of accidents or traffic violations, your premiums might be higher. Insurance companies consider past behavior as a predictor of future risks.


Areas with high traffic or higher chances of theft can result in increased premiums. For instance, premiums might be slightly higher in bustling urban areas compared to more tranquil rural locations.

Steps to Acquire Motorbike Insurance

Steps to Acquire Motorbike Insurance

Getting motorbike insurance in Thailand can be a straightforward process if you know the necessary steps and requirements. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this essential task:

Documents Required for Foreigners

Before applying for motorbike insurance, ensure you have the following documents:

Passport: A copy of your passport with a valid visa stamp.

Work Permit (if applicable): Some insurance companies might require this.

Thai Driving License: While an International Driving Permit is recognized, having a Thai Driving License can be advantageous.

Vehicle Registration Document: Proof of ownership and details about the motorbike.

Where to Apply

There are multiple avenues through which you can acquire motorbike insurance:

Insurance Companies: Reputable firms often have English-speaking staff, making the process smoother for foreigners.

Insurance Agents: These are intermediaries who can help find the best policy for your needs. Ensure the agent is registered and has a good reputation.

Online Platforms: Some companies offer online applications, allowing you to compare different policies and purchase directly from their websites.

Process Timeline

Once all documents are in order and you’ve chosen where to apply:

  • Submit the required documents.
  • Review the policy details carefully.
  • Make the necessary payments (either a one-time premium or installments based on the policy).
  • Obtain a copy of your insurance policy and keep it in a safe and accessible place.

Claims Process

Claims Process

In the unfortunate event of an accident or theft, knowing the claims process is pivotal to ensure that you can promptly and effectively use your motorbike insurance. Here’s a clear-cut guide to the claims procedure:

Steps to Follow After an Accident or Theft

  1. Report to the Police: Especially in cases of theft or major accidents, a police report is essential. Obtain a copy for your records.
  2. Document the Scene: Take photographs of the accident scene, damages, and any injuries if possible. This can serve as evidence when filing your claim.
  3. Contact Your Insurance Provider: Report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. They will provide guidance on the next steps and what additional information might be required.
  4. Provide Necessary Documentation: Submit the police report, photographs, and any other relevant documents your insurance company asks for.

Required Documentation

Typically, insurance companies may request:

  • The insurance policy or proof of the policy.
  • Police report (in cases of theft or significant accidents).
  • Photos of damages or the accident scene.
  • Repair estimates for the motorbike.

Typical Waiting Period for Claims

After submitting all required documents, insurance companies generally take a few days to a couple of weeks to assess the claim. The duration depends on the complexity of the incident and the thoroughness of the documentation provided. Once approved, compensation or repair provisions, as per the policy terms, will be initiated.

Tips for Foreigners

Tips for Foreigners

Navigating motorbike insurance in a foreign country can be challenging, but being equipped with the right information and following some best practices can make the journey smoother. Here are some practical tips for foreigners seeking motorbike insurance in Thailand:

Understand Your Policy

Dive deep into the terms and conditions of your chosen policy. Familiarize yourself with what is covered and what isn’t. This will help you avoid surprises during claims.

Keep a Copy of Your Policy

Always have a copy of your insurance policy and related documents. It’s advisable to have both a physical and a digital copy for ease of access.

Review and Update Your Coverage

As your stay in Thailand progresses, your needs might change. Regularly review your policy to ensure it aligns with your current situation. Consider updating it if necessary.

Be Mindful of Local Regulations

Respect traffic rules and ensure you’re always riding with the necessary permits and licenses. Non-compliance can not only lead to legal troubles but also complications with your insurance.

Seek Recommendations

When looking for insurance providers or agents, consider seeking recommendations from other foreigners or expat communities in Thailand. Their experiences can guide you toward reliable options.

Motorbike insurance in Thailand isn’t just a legal formality—it’s a vital component of ensuring your safety and financial security on the roads. With the intricate web of streets and the sheer volume of motorbikes, being protected becomes even more critical.

By equipping yourself with the right insurance coverage, understanding the associated processes, and staying informed, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility a motorbike offers in Thailand, all while being assured of your security. Let this be a reminder of the importance of adhering to Thai laws and ensuring that your stay in the country is both enjoyable and hassle-free. Safe riding!

ABOUT Kristian Ole Roerbye

Since moving to Chiang Mai in 2009, Kristian has established deep roots in Thailand, founding two companies and gaining expertise in local real estate. A devoted family man and nature enthusiast, he created Thailand Simple to guide expats and tourists through the beauty and intricacies of Thai life.

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