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I was wondering why you decided to go with an International plan? I understand that Thailand has a highly regulated market, providing consumer protecting, which I believe you do not have with ACS. Can you please comment on this point, as I have also narrowed down to ACS, but reluctant only because of this point.
Good question. When I looked at the plan for myself, I figured that an international insurance plan regulated by a European insurance agency was on par with a Thai plan regulated by a Thai agency: It might be harder to escalate a claim, but I figure the language barrier, available documentation and outcome of potential disputes would be more transparent and predictable.
Since then I talked to a number of people in the industry. From what I gather, the insurance companies and brokers have a great deal of respect for the OIC in Thailand (which is good). However, this also seems to be the case for international insurance companies. I assume the OIC can create a lot of problems for them as well, even if it’s not formally their jurisdiction – they still have to carry out some activities here (e.g. reimbursements, hospital cooperations, claims processing). So it seems in that regard it’s not much of a drawback to go with an international plan.
Another concern I had was that maybe an international plan would be less restricted in hiking their premiums. And indeed, the OIC limits the premium increases of local insurance companies from what I understand. However, that limit is something like 50% every three years … I’m sorry, but limiting premium increases to 50% every three years isn’t exactly a limit. So this doesn’t seem to add much.
All said and done, the issue is fairly technical and the practical impact is hard to judge. It’s a fairly new market with a limited number of disputes and it’s hard to tell what in the end is the best solution. While I also see benefits in having a local plan, I’ve personally opted for an international one, figuring the potential downsides to not be of much relevance in my case.