Thailand’s Ministry of Interior has issued new regulations requiring owners, occupants, and operators of certain types of buildings to obtain third-party life, body, and property liability insurance.
The Ministerial Regulations Prescribing the Type or Category of Buildings Which Must Apply for Legal Liability Insurance B.E. 2564 (2021) were announced in the Government Gazette on September 6, 2021, and will come into effect on November 5, 2021. The new regulations, which repeal and replace similarly titled regulations from 2005, detail third-party liability insurance rules, procedures, conditions, and minimum insurance amounts for specific building types and activities.
The new regulations clearly distinguish the building use phase from the construction, modification, relocation, and demolition phases. They also add a new requirement for the owner, occupant, or operator of large buildings to apply for third party liability insurance during the construction, modification, relocation, and demolition phases.
Building Construction, Modification, Relocation, and Demolition
When a permit for construction, modification, relocation, or demolition is granted for a building classified as a high-rise, large, or extra-large building, the owner, occupant, or operator who obtained the permit must apply for third-party liability insurance before work begins. If work is already in progress when the regulations come into effect, the permit holders will have 30 days to apply for third party liability insurance covering the remainder of the period specified in the permit.
Owners or occupiers of public assembly buildings, hotels with more than 80 rooms, entertainment venues of 200 square meters or more, and large freestanding or building-attached signboards and support structures must also apply for third party liability insurance covering accidents related to the condition or use of the structures. Owners or occupiers have 30 days from the completion of the construction, modification, relocation, or change of use of the buildings, as the case may be, to apply for third-party liability insurance. Owners or occupiers of existing structures must apply for the required coverage within 30 days from the effective date of the new regulations.
The regulations set the following minimum coverage amounts for third-party liability insurance:
Bodily injury/loss of life coverage and medical expense coverage must have a combined total of at least THB 5 million per incident.
The policyholder must retain proof of insurance coverage (in hard copy or electronic format) and provide it to the relevant authorities on request. Failure to do so could result in imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to THB 60,000, or both—as well as a penalty of up to THB 10,000 per day until compliance is achieved.
If a juristic person’s violation is caused by the order, action, or neglect of a director, manager, or person responsible for the juristic person’s operations, that person will also be liable to the above punishments.