Category Archives: Insurance

Increase In Thailand’s Cigarette Tax Met With Uproar

A proposal to increase the price of cigarettes in Thailand by 1-2 baht per packet has been met with uproar, as many critics are saying that the increase in pricing will not actually accomplish its goals, which is to up the country’s Health Insurance Fund for the health insurance in Thailand as well as not actually getting many people to give up the habit.

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance are behind of the increase in taxing, of Bt1-2 per packet, with the aim of increasing the income of the Health Insurance Fund. On October 1, the Ministry proposed the increase, with its officials saying that it will learn to earnings of about Bt3 billion (US$92,600) annually.

Many are disagreeing with the proposal, like the officials at the Excise Department saying that the tax collected to benefit the Health Insurance Fund and the health insurance in Thailand should not only come from cigarettes alone, but from the sin tax, which also covers alcohol and alcoholic products.

Others argued that if the new tax on cigarettes was implemented, it would hit cigarette entrepreneurs, in particular the Tobacco Authority of Thailand. Back in Sept. 16, 2017, a cigarette tax was implement which cut down profits from 80% to 60%, which only gives 1 baht per pack, instead of 7 baht.

Back in 2017, the Tobacco Authority of Thailand made Bt9 billion in profit, but that may drop by Bt1 billion in 2018, and they might not make a profit in 2019, which may lead to tobacco farmers suffering. According to their officials say that, currently, the tax on cigarettes sat at 1.20 baht per cigarette and 20% of the price of cigarettes, never over 60 baht. Meanwhile, cigarettes that sell for more than 60 baht a pack are taxed by 40%.

Thailand joined the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control back in 2005, banning smoking in indoor public places, workplaces, public transport, and outdoor areas like exercise facilities, public parks, amusement parks, as well as children’s playgrounds and markets.

However, based on the price of the worldwide Malboro brand, Thailand is still pretty loose. The AU charges US$19.40 per pack, while the UK is at 5th, with every pack costing US$12.25 per pack. Meanwhile, in Thailand, a single Malboro pack costs a mere US$3.77.

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Should You Invest In Airbnb?

In this day and age, before making any rash decision with regards to spending money and investments, it is recommended to find financial advisor that will help you along the way. This is important if you don’t want to get old with nothing to your name. Many people believe that real estate is a good investment and one of the most popular trend that has caught the attention of many especially travellers is the rise in Airbnb.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that offers guests short-term rentals while they are on a vacation. These are not exclusive to hotels and accommodation industry but private homes and properties can also be listed by the owners. While this may sound like a lucrative business requiring very little work, experts have warned that it may not be what you are expecting in real life.

According to a certified financial planner, location is very important in this type of business. There are places that will be booked all year round because of the good location while there are those that will only have seasonal increase in bookings. It is important for an investor to know the different market conditions in the area where they want to hold a rental property. Aside from this, a number of things have to be considered too.

Unless you are well-verse with your local laws and rules with regards to short-term rental, it is best to inquire with your local office. The local laws are always changing therefore getting updated is important. In places where there is a short supply of affordable housing, local authorities mandate landlords that available properties should be listed on the market with long-term rental as a condition.

Do not think for second that your property will survive with short-term rentals forever. This is why it is important to ask if it can be listed for long-term rentals or any other purpose. This will ensure that you will have a steady passive income even if the age of Airbnb has long gone. The demand will not stay the same thus if you find financial advisor it is best to discuss these things beforehand.

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Thailand Considering Making Travel Insurance Compulsory

Thailand’s been getting a lot of extra press coverage recently, and not always for its Koh Tao villas or its Bangkok nightlife; not the reasons the Kingdom’s hoping for.

Following the trapping and the heroic rescue of a football club, comprised of 12 young Thai boys and their coach, earlier in July from Chiang Rai’s RhamLuang cave, Thailand has been caught in a series of tragedies and accidents, one after the other.

One notable example is the tragic boating accident in the south, when the Phoenix sank off the coast of Phuket, resulting in the death of 47 people, all Chinese nationals. Said incident led to thousands upon thousands of hotel bookings getting cancelled across the country, as well as causing a precipitous drop in the number of Chinese tourist arrivals into the Kingdom.

But Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly committee on religion, culture and tourism, are refusing to let the recent issues stop tourists from travelling for Koh Tao villas and beach vacations. Currently, Thailand holds the reputation as one of the best, if not the best, destination for Chinese tourists travelling internationally.

To that end, they held a special seminar late in July in the capital. There, proposals were discussed on how to entice Chinese tourists back into the Kingdom, as well as improving safety and security measures to ensure their well-being and peace of mind.

One particular initiative took the interest of WeerasakKowsurat, the Tourism and Sports Minister, which was to make travel insurance compulsory for any foreign visitor coming into the country.  Notably, this isn’t the first time the Kingdom has looked into the idea after the foreign tourists racked up a total of TBH3 billion (US$9.2 million) in unpaid hospital bills.

The seminar and its attendees were made aware of the fact that the boating accident cost Thailand THB64 million (US$1.9 million) in compensation paid to the families of the deceased. Said payout led to the country’s tourist protection fund being one major accident away from being completely drained.

The travel insurance hasn’t been enforced yet, but local news channels say that the Office of the Insurance Commission will be working on establishing distribution channels, like insurance vending machines at the international airports in the country.

Weerasak has admitted that there’s been too many major incidents in Thailand, despite the fact that absolutely no one wants them. He believes that, if the country becomes known as being unwilling to compromise on safety, it’ll be another point they can use to attract tourists.

Thailand’s been named as one of the world’s riskiest places, based on the number of insurance claims made from the country, emphasizing how crucial it is for the country to have travel insurance. On the financial side, the cost of travel insurance is minimal compared to the cost of having to handle compensating, on top of reducing the burden on the country’s healthcare system.

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