Muay Thai Insurance – What You Need to Know

Two students practicing,Muay Thai, Emerald

Everybody knows that the best place to train in any martial art is its country of origin. Although there are elite-class gyms in many countries, training Muay Thai in Thailand offers a chance to be coached by the sport’s superstars in an intensive setting. Couple that with jaw-dropping scenery and it’s easy to see why Thailand’s Muay Thai training camps are so popular.

But before heading off to spar your way through your holiday, you should make sure you’re insured. 

Luckily, most Muay Thai injuries don’t require much treatment. However, more severe injuries like broken bones and head traumas can happen, and although they’re rare, they’ll leave you seriously out of pocket should you need to go for treatment. This makes getting the right insurance policy for Muay Thai super important! Feeling a bit out of your depth? That’s where we come in!

Popular Travel Insurance Companies for Muay Thai Cover

  • Cover for Muay Thai training
  • Full contact cover included.
  • Cover may be offered for amateur competitions but not for professional fights.
True Traveller
  • Martial arts training covered
  • Non-contact only
World Nomads
  • World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance.
  • Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
  • Check policy wording for full information on Muay Thai coverage.

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Is Muay Thai Covered by Travel Insurance?

As with most money and insurance-related questions, the answer is ‘it depends’. 

Some of the more popular backpacker travel insurance policies cover you for training Muay Thai but they may have stipulations like it must be non-contact. So punching pads is okay, punching people is not. 

Individual Muay Thai practise by student, Bangtao, Phuket, Thailand
You may have to stick to fighting pads and bags if your insurance won’t cover you for sparring!

Others may cover you for sparring or even amateur competition – although the latter is unlikely unless you get bolt-on additions to your policy. 

No travel insurance policy I’ve ever seen offers cover for professional fights – usually defined as fights you’re being paid to take part in or fights with a monetary prize purse for the winner. 

The problem with Muay Thai and travel insurance is that insurers classify the sport in different ways. Some consider it a martial art, while others consider it an extreme sport. This is why you need to read the small print so carefully.  

“Who cares what an insurance company thinks Muay Thai is?”

I feel you. For someone who spends too much of their time reading travel insurance small print, I really can’t stand insurance companies. But their definition of Muay Thai makes a real difference here. 

If you buy a policy because they cover you for training martial arts and you get hurt while at camp, you’ll be super p*$$ed off if you go to claim and discover that they class Muay Thai as an extreme sport – that they don’t cover. 

When choosing your travel insurance, read the small print and description of coverage thoroughly. Pay close attention to the exclusions and sections about sport. If you’re looking at the policy on a computer, use the search function (ctrl + f on PC or command + f on Mac) and search for the words ‘Muay Thai’ and ‘martial arts’. This will highlight all mentions of the search term and make sure you don’t miss anything. 

We also recommend contacting the insurance provider directly to ask about their coverage. Most good travel insurance companies offer a chat service on their website, so you can speak to a member of their customer support team through there. 

Top Tip

Whenever you speak to an insurance company, make sure you keep a copy of the conversation – especially if it’s about what you are and aren’t covered for. This may help you with any potential disputes later down the line. We always recommend getting advice or help in writing from your insurer. 

Specialist Muay Thai and Martial Arts Insurance

Some insurance companies either specialise in or offer specialist martial arts insurance for an additional fee. This tends to cover you for training, sparring and sometimes even amateur matches. However, if you’re looking for professional fight cover, you’ll need to find a very specialised company or rely on the insurance provided by the promoter. 

Make sure your insurance covers sparring!

As with all insurance, make sure you read the small print properly, so you understand exactly what you’re covered for. 

While we’ve never used them personally, plenty of travellers in the Southeast Asia Backpacker community recommend Pacific Prime for their Muay Thai insurance needs. Pacific Prime are a broker who can help you find the specialist insurance you need!

Training in a Different Martial Art?

While Muay Thai is undoubtedly the most famous of the martial arts in Southeast Asia, it is not the only one. Kun Khmer (Cambodia) and Muay Lao (Laos) are both growing in popularity. If you are looking to train in an alternative martial art, make sure you tell the insurer exactly what it is when you take out your policy to avoid any loopholes when it comes to claiming.

Will the Severity of a Muay Thai Injury Make a Difference to My Insurance?

The severity of an injury sustained while partaking in any activity covered by your insurer shouldn’t make a difference to your level of cover – unless it’s so severe you go over the value of your coverage. 

But in reality, an insurance company is much more likely to look closely at an injury that’s about to cost them a lot of money. If you get a cut and just need some quick stitches and a course of antibiotics, they’re unlikely to ask too many questions. But if you break a leg and need to be rushed for surgery, they’ll likely take a bit longer with their checks. 

That’s not to say you’re covered for small injuries but not large ones. It’s just that an insurer’s number one job is to make money. If they’re about to spend a lot of money on you, they’ll look into why and if there’s a way they can wriggle out of it. If you’re insured for non-contact training only, but get a cut while sparing, you might get away with it. But if you break your femur, you probably won’t. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re covered for. 

Does Thailand Have Good Hospitals?

Here’s the answer for your worried mum: Thailand has some great hospitals. The level of medical care provided in many of these facilities is truly world-class. English is commonly spoken in private clinics and if you’re willing to pay, or have a good insurance policy, waiting times are surprisingly short. 

Doctor performing an operation.
Thailand has some of the world’s best hospitals!

But this isn’t the full story. Thailand’s really good hospitals tend to be centred around Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui. The further you travel from these areas, the harder you’ll find it to get to a good hospital. 

Thailand also has some bad public hospitals. To avoid these, you’ll need to go private. Which is expensive by Thai standards but for minor treatments, very affordable compared to other nations. 

As a general rule, the better the hospital, the more it will cost you. 

Do I Need Insurance for Muay Thai in Thailand?

As with all forms of travel insurance, the final decision is yours. While we strongly recommend getting the right insurance for your needs, plenty of travellers in Thailand have been injured while training Muay Thai and managed to get treatment without the correct insurance. We DO NOT recommend this but you’d be amazed at how many sweaty Westerners wearing Muay Thai gear and covered in Vaseline ‘fall down the stairs’ in Thailand. Must be something to do with all that Vaseline…  

Muay Thai Insurance for Thailand – A Round-Up

Muay Thai is regarded as one of the finest fighting disciplines in the world. If you have even a passing interest in combat sports and are in Thailand, it is well worth diving into a gym and experiencing life as a fighter – even if it’s just for a single session or two. 

But before doing so, make sure you understand whether you’re going to be insured and if there are any exclusions to the insurance. I know it’s boring but reading and understanding the small print is the only way to know whether you’re insured or not! 

Do you have experience with Muay Thai insurance in Thailand? Let us know about it in the comments!

Tim Ashdown | Gear Specialist

After a life-changing motorcycle accident, Tim decided life was too short to stay cooped up in his home county of Norfolk, UK. Since then, he has travelled Southeast Asia, walked the Camino de Santiago and backpacked South America. His first book, From Paralysis to Santiago, chronicles his struggle to recover from the motorcycle accident and will be released later this year.

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