House insurance is not compulsory but may be worth acquiring if you move into a house that you have purchased or if you want to insure your personal property in a rental property. There are three general types of house insurance:
- Third Party Liability Insurance (Damage done to a third party’s belongings and personal injury while on your property)
- Fire Insurance
- Burglary Insurance
There’s also the option of getting ‘All Risk’ insurance, which covers all of the above. You may be particularly interested in fire insurance as the wiring in Thai houses is often faulty. Burglary or theft insurance can be practical but you must be able to prove what has been stolen.
The Metropolitian Electricity Authority (http://www.mea.or.th/home/index.php?l=en) is the government agency responsible for electricity in Bangkok. The current official rate is between 1.9-3 Baht/Unit depending on the amount consumed. If you rent a condo you will likely receive the electricity bill in your mailbox unless you make other agreements with your landlord. You can pay your electricity bill in several ways. The easiest is probably to go to your local 7-11 store and pay it there, you will receive a receipt. You may also be able to pay the bill in your condo’s convenience store or even at the condo office. Lastly, you can pay at your local MEA office or at the post office.
The average cost of electricity per month depends on usage. A 2 bedroom condo with the air-conditioning running 24 hours will cost about 3000-5000 Baht a month. A condo with the air-conditioner used sparingly will cost around 1000-1500 Baht in electricity monthly.
If you live in a rented apartment, you will pay your electricity bill directly to the apartment office. Apartments usually charge a premium on top of the official rate.
If you are a homeowner, you will have to setup an account with the MEA. This is done at the local office depending on where you live. The main MEA office is located at:
- The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA)
At: 30 Soi Chidlom, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok 10330
Fax: 02 253 1424
You will need to bring the following to setup an account:
- Passport or ID Card
- Condo Title Deed or House Registration Document (Tabien Baan) and/or the Land Title paper (Chanote)
The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand is the agency for water distribution in Thailand. Water is cheap in Bangkok and should not cost more than a few hundred Baht per month. Your landlord or apartment will provide you with a bill on a monthly basis. You can pay the bill at the post office, service agents or MWA office.
Just as with electricity, if you are a homeowner, you will have to get connected by visiting the local MWA office and bring the same papers as you would to the MEA (see above).
The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand (http://www.mwa.co.th/ewtadmin/ewt/mwa_internet_eng/main.php?filename=index) provides the main water supply in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samut Prakan.
- Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand (MWA)
- Full list of MWA offices: http://www.mwa.co.th/ewtadmin/ewt/mwa_internet_eng/main.php?filename=contact_us
Gas is not centrally distributed. Gas is only used for cooking and is circulated in cylinders from store shops. You can usually get delivery after the first purchase. An employee from the gas shop will help set you up the first time and do the safety checks. Be aware, though, that most condo’s and apartments don’t allow gas to be used in the units. If they do, however, your landlord should direct you to the closest gas shops, which are everywhere. Look for canisters outside the shops.
Thailand Postal (http://www.thailandpost.com) is both cheap and reliable. You can send letters and packages from any post office. There is no special procedure required for receiving mail. Once you have moved in and give people your address, delivery is automatic. Opening hours are 8 am to 4.30 pm.