Jet-ski anti-scam committee approves stronger mandatory-insurance system


The committee tasked with resolving Pattaya’s long-running jet ski scandal has approved a revised insurance scam that would force watercraft vendors to carry policies covering a minimum 50,000 baht for damage, death and total disability.

The panel, comprised of city and provincial government and police officials, voted unanimously Jan. 5 to approve the new insurance requirements, which they hope will remove the incentive for jet ski vendors to extort tourists for hundreds of thousands of baht in alleged damage. The proposal still must be approved by Chonburi’s governor.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh chairs Pattaya’s jet ski anti-scam committee.Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh chairs Pattaya’s jet ski anti-scam committee.

“All jet skis must be insured to prevent accidents and situations which that lead to losses,” said Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, the committee chairman.

The panel first proposed a weak mandatory-insurance for jet ski vendors in September that focused on keeping premiums low for jet ski vendors while offering consumers just 2,000 baht coverage for damage and no compensation for injuries or death. The proposal approved this month improves substantially upon the original plan.

Vendors would be free to choose their own insurance, rather than relying on a single city-approved supplier, as proposed in September. According to city officials, three companies are now marketing insurance policies for jet skis, two of which currently are operating in Phuket, which instituted mandatory insurance coverage in 2009.

Policies would be required to cover a at least 50,000 baht in damage to the jet ski, 50,000 baht for the driver’s death or total disability or 15,000 baht for injury. Each policy also would have to pay out at least 25,000 baht for property damage, and 15,000 baht for injury or 50,000 baht for death/total disability of a third party.

Ronakit said 467 jet skis have so far been registered with the city. All insured jet skis will carry stickers visible to renters and those operators found not to be carrying insurance will be barred from operating on Pattaya’s beaches, he said.