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Phuket jet-ski insurance may leave some work still to be done

Phuket Jet-Ski Collision: Back to the Bad Old Ways

Monday, November 23, 2009
DOUBT has been cast on the new jet-ski insurance scheme after a weekend collision between vehicles led to an old-fashioned row about who should pay.

A senior manager at a resort, who became involved as the dispute became more heated, said: ''Jet-ski operators don't know how to use the new system, so they went straight back to their old ways.''

However, in this case, a tourist also turned out to be in the wrong when he at first refused to pay what was eventually agreed by all parties to be adequate compensation.

Sunday's collision, the first reported jet-ski insurance claim since the new system was agreed by more than 200 jet-ski operators late last week, took place off a popular resort.

For understandable reasons, the manager who reported what happened in detail to Phuketwan prefers not to disclose the identity of the resort.

''Two jet-skis collided, with the husband on one and the wife on the other,'' the manager said. ''Fortunately nobody was hurt, but the jet-skis were damaged.

''I had been down earlier on Sunday morning to check and all the jet-skis carried the new diamond insurance sticker.

''But after the crash, nobody knew what to do, so the jet-ski operators immediately demanded US$1000 in compensation.

''It was a case of going straight back to the system they knew. When we intervened, we pointed out to the operators that there were numbers to call on the new sticker on the jet-skis.

''The general numbers only work on weekdays, but fortunately there was a mobile number and we were able to contact somebody, although it was an hour before they actually came on the scene.

''It turns out that the new insurance system contains provision for a 1000 baht excess, which has to be paid with each claim.

''Another problem emerged in that there is nothing in the new insurance scheme dealing with the period a jet-ski is out of action.

''So in the event of an indicent, it is still necessary to negotiate a settlement. We discussed what would be a reasonable figure, and agreed on 3000 baht a day for the three days that the badly damaged jet-ski would be out of action.

''However, by this time, the guests had retreated to their room. When the guest, a non-English speaker, heard that he had a bill for 10,000 baht, he refused to pay.

''It was explained that if he did not pay, the jet-ski operator would be forced to call in the police, and dealing with the effects of the incident would probably consume a large part of the rest of his holiday.

''At that point, he decided to pay up.

''It's worth noting, too, that the insurance does not cover injuries to the riders, only damage to the jet-sksis.

''This particular guest had been asked to sign a permission form when he hired the jet-skis, but waved it away and the operator simply took the cash.

''The insurance representative said that this means he had effectively entered a legal agreement anyway, even though he had not signed the official form.
''Our conclcusion is that a lot more work needs to be done on educating operators and guests, and that standard forms are required to help solve this and other cases that are bound to happen.

''Provision also needs to be made for the many jet-ski hirers who do not speak either Thai or English. I have no doubt that until the changes are fully implemented, the old system of claims and counter-claims will continue.''

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Comments

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Good thing it is reported from the manager. So the JetSkis are insured. But no insurance for the loss of income while in repair and no insurance for injuring someone else. What if the jetski crashes a third party boat? Is that insured?

Solution? Offer a personal liability insurance for that also, the customer can think about and decide.

For not English and not Thai speakers make pictograms (little pictures) like the one you have in an airplane what to do in case of a crash. Only here the pics show type of accidents and what is insured (big green tick) and what is not (big red x). For example crashing a swimmer / diver red x, crashing into something else (red x for the something else). Crashing two jetski red x for both drivers, green tick for the jetskis (if insured??). On every picture a green tick only for the jetski. Then also a pic of the jet ski in repair shop and a calender with falling leaves, with every day worth 3000 Baht (the fiscal policy should check that claim). Ah, and the excess fee is also to be noted of course...

This is to be signed by the customer. Then he will understand, what is to be paid even with the diamond sticker on the jetski. And maybe he will drive a little more careful.

For the claims of an injured opponent or wreaked goods, normally europeans have a personal liability insurance. But it does NOT COVER jetski accidents. Mostly. Because in most of europe watersport things like a jetski have a mandatory liability insurance (costs about 5000 Baht a year for jetskis) and therefore the personal liability insurance does not take the fall. So if you injure someone, then renting was a bad idea.

Posted by Lena on November 23, 2009 20:48

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I have no sympathy for touristswho rent the jetskis. It is an irresponsible activity causing noise, pollution and often putting the lives of others at risk. In respect to the damages, it seems to me that the jetski operators make more money from the jetskis being out of service than in service. In any case, maybe it will cause some other tourists to think twice before renting.

Posted by Bobby G on November 23, 2009 20:56

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same same then.
I'm sure I saw another jet ski incident today [monday 23rd].
The cost of lost profits should fall to the operator, not the customer. I'm sure many have multiple jet skis in reserve anyway so it's just an excuse for more money...

Posted by gg on November 24, 2009 00:26

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Blah Blah Blah Blah. Same BS, Different day. Heard it all before, so nothing new to report.

Posted by Graham on November 24, 2009 04:48

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guys, the jest ski operators have pre printed contracts, I read through one of them yesterday and all issues in this case are covered in the contract, retainer fee for damage, retainer fee for jet ski out of operation.

Editor: 'Jest ski' may have been a slip of the finger but it seems appropriate.

Posted by Wolfgang Meusburger on November 24, 2009 10:51


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