How does the coup affect your insurance?


Since the military coup d’état was announced on Thursday 22nd May, there have been varying reports and statements issued via the numerous national consulates in Bangkok and around Thailand. In some cases, it has been advised not to travel to Thailand, unless the reason is one of extreme importance. Naturally, one of the biggest concerns, for both our clients already in Thailand and those being advised not to travel, is the validity of their health and travel insurance policies.

It is a matter of fact that many travel insurance policies have a war and terrorism clause which voids an insurance policy if the policyholder decides to travel to a country where war is officially declared. The difficulty is that there are many interpretations of war and terrorism, so it is always advisable to consult your broker or insurance policy before making the decision as to whether to travel.

The following is a definition of war and terrorism as per a typical international insurance policy:

War & Terrorism

We do not pay for treatment of any condition or claim arising directly or indirectly from or as a consequence of war, acts of foreign enemy hostilities (whether or not war is declared), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection or military or usurped power, mutiny, riot, strike, martial law or state of siege, or attempted overthrow of government, or any acts of terrorism, unless you are an innocent bystander. However, no cover for war and terrorism will be provided if you remain in, or travel to, a country, or a region within a country, that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised its citizens to leave, and/or you travel to a country which is specifically excluded on your certificate of insurance. It is your responsibility to keep abreast of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice.

The above is merely an example: the wording of your policy may of course vary dramatically. Furthermore, out of the ten government travel advice websites accessed, at the time of writing only the Spanish foreign ministry advised against travel to Thailand and the U.S. government suggests non-essential travel should be deferred. The other eight (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK) had issued no specific advice, except to stay away from political demonstrations.

Having said that, this advice may change, so it is best to check the relevant government website on a regular basis. Should you be in Thailand while your ‘home’ government officially advises against travel, you may find that your insurance policy is invalidated.

With that in mind, it’s advisable to check with either the insurance company with whom you hold a policy, or your insurance broker to be sure your existing policy covers you during the current military coup. If it does not it may be worth increasing your coverage.

Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, MBMG Group cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. The views of the contributors may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation.
MBMG Group is an advisory firm that assists expatriates and locals within the South East Asia Region with services ranging from Investment Advisory, Personal Advisory, Tax Advisory, Private Equity Services, Corporate Services, Insurance Services, Accounting & Auditing Services, Legal Services, Estate Planning and Property Solutions. For more information: Tel: +66 2665 2536; e-mail: [email protected]; Linkedin: MBMG Group; Twitter: @MBMGIntl; Facebook: /MBMGGroup