We all know, or should know, what a really awful day in Pattaya looks like: huge medical bill to pay, car accident, house on fire or flooded throughout. Chamnong (Neng) Anusat-Utai knows that awesome agenda better than any of us. He has been running his own successful insurance broker business on Pattaya’s Third Road for 15 years. It’s a family affair with the other three female staff, all close relatives.
Neng’s early background gave no clues to the future. A chemical engineer by training, he worked initially for a Japanese-owned consortium in Bangkok where the long hours and extra duties (including at one time doubling as marketing manager) wore him out. He took a six months break and then worked for AA insurance brokerage for over four years which gave him the confidence to branch out on his own. He has done well, his business even surviving the covid pandemonium when Pattaya became a ghost city. “The loyalty of my expat customers pulled me through that crisis,” he says.
“The biggest single market for my company has always been, and still is, comprehensive medical insurance for foreign expats,” says Neng. He puts this down to his close connections with the two biggest expat clubs in Pattaya, whose meetings he still visits on a weekly basis, as well as a good command of English. “It’s all about being service-minded and believing in customer care,” suggests Neng who says he virtually never turns off his mobile phone. Unsurprisingly, Neng is a good listener who knows successful marketing is much more than selling a one-off policy. Many of Pattaya Insurance Center’s customers have been with him for 15 years and they in turn have recommended others.
According to Neng, comprehensive medical insurance is available in Thailand up to age 75 and also beyond if already an existing customer. He even has on his file older men who have managed to enroll on a policy for the first time, although they are subject to detailed checks for obvious reasons. An allied issue is which long-term visas require insurance and which don’t, a subject of continual debate on the Pattaya Mail site and on social media. Neng favours Pacific Cross, largely because it has 10 different plans each with their own qualifying rules and payment options. But he also deals with several other companies, including AXA and Alliance, and says the important task is to sit down with the customer and go through the detail.
Neng admits there are frustrations in the life of an insurance broker. One of the biggest issues can be when a traffic accident occurs in which a customer is involved. “All car insurance policies carry a hotline number which the driver should ideally paste on his windscreen. Ringing me in the middle of the night is not the best way forward as the people who have to know immediately are the insurers who might need to come to the accident site.” Because you never can tell what’s round the next corner in your personal life, consider taking a trip to www.pattaya-insurance.com or phone Neng on 084 003 6030. But do try to avoid the middle of the night.