Why isn’t it compulsory to have house insurance in Thailand?

House insurance is not a legal requirement in many countries, including Thailand and UK. (The only legally required types of insurance in the UK are motor insurance and employers’ liability insurance.) In the UK Mortgage lenders generally require building insurance and sometimes life assurance and even critical illness protection to help prevent you from not being able to make repayments due to long term sickness. Landlords tend to require the tenant to have contents insurance and they will cover the building insurance. This is because a Landlord may have spent many thousands of pounds on fixtures and fittings, often including TV, fridge, washing machine, sofa, kitchen furniture and bedroom furniture and won’t be too happy if things are accidentally broken and have to be replaced by him when you leave. Obviously a moths deposit will cover paint and decoration but in the event of a house fire, for example, contents insurance are a must.

So it is not a legal requirement to have building and contents insurance in Thailand, but should it be? Many homes in Thailand are built in flood risk areas and can potentially be damaged, sometimes beyond repair. It is advisable to have building insurance if you own a house in Thailand. What about Condos? If you are on the 2nd or 3rd floor the risk of flooding is minimal, so the need for building insurance is less. Contents insurance is another matter entirely. It is highly recommended that you insure the contents of your property against theft as well as floods and accidental breakages. When applying for contents insurance it is important that you provide accurate records of any specific items you want covered, it’s no good trying to claim for a stolen 150,000 Baht Gibson Guitar without first having it specifically covered. Many general household items will be covered, it’s important to ask what is covered and what do you need to declare as additional personal items. As for expensive imported guitars, a photograph and serial number will need to be supplied plus an up to date valuation.

If you own a house in Thailand, whether it is in a company or spouses name, it is important to have building insurance. If you own a Condominium, you will pay a monthly service charge to the company that takes care of maintenance, it’s worth asking them what building insurance they have. As for contents insurance, that’s up to you. There are many things you will want to be covered for, flooding, subsidence, lighting, rain and storm damage too. The better the cover you have, the more it will cost. It is worth considering how much it would cost to replace your home and all its contents…

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