Ripped off on insurance

I bought a motorbike which I had to register in the name of a Thai woman I had known a long time, who worked in a hotel.

Although the bike was entered in the registration book as belonging to her, I paid for everything, including tax and insurance. I ensured that everything was in order, including having a driving licence myself.

Unfortunately, I had an accident, as a result of which I was in hospital for two days. I paid the hospital bill which, obviously, was in my name, and submitted it to the insurance company.

However, when I went to collect the insurance money I...

  • Asked on Saturday, October 23, 2004 | 12:23 PM
    Dave Co, Phuket.

First, I would like to point out that a foreigner can be the legally registered owner of a vehicle so long as he has registered his address with the Immigration Office, no matter what kind of visa he holds.

However, if the insurance is registered in a certain person’s name, any payments against claims must be paid to that person. Therefore, no case can be brought against the insurance company.

You would have to file a civil case against the registered owner of the vehicle for re-imbursement of the expenses under Thai Civil and Commercial code Section 406.

Depending on the evidence, and provided that no personal relationship (for example, a common-law marriage) exists between you and the “owner” of the bike, criminal charges of misappropriation under Thai Penal Code Sections 352, 353 might also be possible.

  • Answered on Saturday, October 23, 2004 | 12:23 PM
    Adisorn Chanta, a lawyer with the International Law Office.
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