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Small print in travel polices bedevils Thai hoteliers

July 23, 2014 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Australian agents and media are touring Thailand at the moment on the ‘Best Friends Forever’ mega-famil, an event which the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says will encourage people to pass on the message that Thailand, Land of Smiles, “awaits to welcome all visitors with an abundance of destinations and cordially invites all tourists to enjoy a vacation here as always”.

Thai hoteliers say business is still well down, following the coup. Although life continues normally, hoteliers say that some clients are concerned that their insurance policies may not cover them. That’s because many insurers have exclusion clauses.

A prominent travel insurer in Australia, SureSave Travel Insurance, is typical of many in having a section in the “fine print” of its insurance policy headed: “We will not pay for any of the following claims or losses”.

Item 12 of the exclusions listed is this one: “A loss that arises from any act of war (whether war is declared or not) or from any rebellion, revolution, insurrection or taking of power by the military.”

Those last six words sound a bit ominous, from the point of view of insurance coverage.

In fact, many Thais feel that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha has brought stability to the country since the coup of over a month ago. Most people feel satisfied with the work of the NCPO according to the latest Dusit Poll in Thailand, whose 1614 respondents questioned from 1-21 June 2014 gave the NCPO an approval rating of 88.2%.

Over 72% of respondents also thought the country has become “more peaceful and quarrel free”, Thailand’s English-language Nation newspaper reported. The NCPO has cracked down on graft and corruption and plans to turn Thailand over to democracy again when the time is right.

Whether that’s enough to satisfy the insurers, however, is an interesting point.

Written by Peter Needham

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