Thailand’s marine insurance bill sets sail

Proposal, which took six months to draft, begins journey towards becoming a law

Thailand’s marine insurance bill sets sail

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Thailand’s first marine insurance bill has been endorsed by its insurance regulator and has been sent to the cabinet for deliberation.

If approved by the cabinet, the bill will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for enactment.

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) held a seminar regarding the bill, which is based on the UK’s law and took six months to draft. According to the regulator, the bill seeks to strengthen the local marine insurance industry’s competitiveness and increase investor confidence.

OIC secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn said that the country’s marine insurance sector was worth THB5.3 billion (US$160.2 million) in 2016, reports the Bangkok Post. Once the law takes effect, he expects the industry’s value to gradually increase, with a target of THB14.4 billion (US$435.3 million).

As Thailand currently does not have its own marine insurance legislation, the courts usually apply the UK’s Marine Insurance Act of 1906 in cases involving marine insurance disputes.

“But since the law is in English, it depends on how well witnesses testify in court, creating advantages and disadvantages in a case. Besides, there are few marine law experts in Thailand,” Thaveechaiyagarn pointed out.

Most marine insurance disputes in Thailand stem from owners demanding compensation from insurers for damaged cargo. Due to the language barrier, some insurance policies need to be translated and interpreted.

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Hong Kong, UK vow to strengthen maritime relationship
Larger ships, more valuable cargo worries marine insurers

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