Ricky Batten

Mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance for visiting Thailand

Over the course of the pandemic, travel insurance in Thailand has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “definitely-must-have”.

Over the course of the pandemic, travel insurance in Thailand has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “definitely-must-have”.  

As a British expatriate in Thailand, I’m glad to be here during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country has been largely successful in containing the spread of the virus. Unlike many of its counterparts, the Thai healthcare system is also fairly robust and there’s been little concern over whether it’ll be able to cope. 

Needless to say, the authorities want to keep it that way, ensuring that all foreigners arriving at the Kingdom’s shores can access and pay for healthcare via mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance. It’s one of many requirements that visitors must adhere to, causing a fair amount of confusion and frustration. In this blog, I’ll shed light on the matter. 

Latest requirements for entry into Thailand

First things first, simply getting the COVID-19 travel insurance doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to enter Thailand. It’s advisable to check with your local Thai embassy or consulate to see if you’re eligible to enter, as each country may have slightly different rules and procedures. Moreover, the list continually changes as the pandemic develops. 

For your reference, I checked with the Thai Embassy in London. According to their website, they stipulate that only the following groups of foreigners are allowed to enter Thailand at the time of writing:

  • Diplomats and officials of international organizations
  • Work permit holders, those going to work, or those going for business 
  • Family members of Thai nationals (spouse/children)
  • Medical tourists
  • Students in formal education at schools or university level
  • Certificate of Residence holders
  • Long stay visa holders (Non-Immigrant O-A/O-X)
  • Elite card holders
  • Property owners in Thailand
  • Tourists with a single entry tourist visa

Note: If you’re from a country that’s eligible for the new Special Tourist Visa (STV), you’re advised to get in touch with the Thailand Long Stay Company, as they’re a visa agency authorized to assist applicants with the STV. 

Mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance

Once you’ve determined your eligibility to enter Thailand, you can get the ball rolling with your application. You’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE), in addition to any relevant visas, from your local Thai embassy or consulate. In order to do so, one of the many requirements is securing a mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance policy that has a coverage level of at least USD 100,000. 

The two components of the insurance are:

  • Medical expenses: There should be an insurance coverage of at least USD 100,000, so that you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses at hospitals in Thailand if you get COVID-19. 
  • Life insurance compensation: In the event that there is death from COVID-19 infection, the insurer should also provide a life insurance compensation of USD 100,000 to your beneficiary.

The insurance policy can be easily and conveniently purchased online, becoming valid as soon as you pass through Thai immigration. If you’re looking to buy the insurance, make sure the insurer gives you a certificate, as this will be one of the supporting documents in your applications for a CoE.

As the Thai Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) has endorsed this new health insurance policy, Thailand is the latest country to offer its own travel insurance policy that provides coverage for COVID-19. Premiums will be priced according to the risk level in the country of origin and cover periods of 30 days up to 12 months. 

Not to be confused with other health insurance requirements

In addition to the mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance, certain visa holders also have to meet other health insurance requirements. For instance, long stay visitors on Non-Immigrant O-A/O-X visas and tourists on the STV will also need health insurance with outpatient coverage of at least THB 40,000 and inpatient coverage of at least THB 400,000. 

Securing travel and health insurance

Truth be told, the process can be incredibly puzzling. Not only do you have to keep up with the changing (and let’s face it, bureaucratic) regulations, but you also have to familiarize yourself with insurance terms to understand what the policy you’re purchasing entails and whether it’s suitable for your purposes. 

As I work for health insurance broker Pacific Prime Thailand, I’ve helped many clients secure appropriate policies for their visa applications. With so much to do in support of your application, having an insurance consultant on hand, who can provide unbiased and expert advice, can take a lot of the stress away. 

If you’d like to learn more about health insurance in Thailand, including mandatory COVID-19 travel insurance, or even get advice on your personal situation, you’re more than welcome to get in touch. Simply email me at ajarn@pacificprime.co.th or contact one of my colleagues.


I would like to ask if you have had both shots would that exclude you from needing this special covid insurance? What would I need to show as proof that I have received the shot..

By Ajarntom, Florida (15th February 2021)

Hi John, Ricky here from Pacific Prime.

Thank you kindly for your notes.

We can certainly accommodate your request and not only offer health plans, but also offer a range of short term options for visa holders to enter into Thailand. CoE can be obtained easily on our website direct or if you wish, one of the team can kindly assist.

Feel free to reach out to us again and we can help.

Best wishes

Ricky ,

By Ricky Batten, Bangkok (10th November 2020)

With respect, I've been trying to buy the mandatory covid insurance through Pacific Prime prior to an upcoming trip to the UK but they'll only offer a range of full health care policies and not solely the covid insurance requirement and certificate.

By John, Bangkok (10th November 2020)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Fun Native English Teachers

฿44,000+ / month


Teacher of Chinese

฿40,000+ / month


Head Teacher

฿55,000+ / month


Kindergarten and Primary Teachers

฿42,000+ / month


NES Teachers

฿330+ / hour


Female NES Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher

฿45,000+ / month


Featured Teachers

  • Laxmi

    Indian, 36 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Relyn

    Filipino, 27 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Abayomi

    Nigerian, 41 years old. Currently living in Nigeria

  • Anas

    Syrian, 45 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Meralyn

    Filipino, 25 years old. Currently living in Philippines

  • Darius

    American, 62 years old. Currently living in Thailand

The Hot Spot

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The Region Guides

The Region Guides

Fancy working in Thailand but not in Bangkok? Our region guides are written by teachers who actually live and work in the provinces.

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Need Thailand insurance?

Need Thailand insurance?

Have a question about health or travel insurance in Thailand? Ricky Batten from Pacific Prime is Ajarn's resident expert.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

The cost of living

The cost of living

How much money does a teacher need to earn in order to survive in Thailand? We analyze the facts.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?