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Phuket Opinion: So say the crowd?

PHUKET: The two online fundraising campaigns, launched by tourists injured in Phuket last week, serve as apt examples of both the good and bad potential of the crowdfunding phenomenon. Both verify that the values of selflessness and generosity – simply helping someone in need if you are in a position to do so – are alive and well. It also shows how easily heart-wrenching pleas for help can be cynically used to take advantage of people.

tourism, accidents, crime, culture, opinion, patong,

The Phuket News

Sunday 12 November 2017, 09:00AM

In public fundraising campaign online, who needs support and who deserves support these days are matters truly left to the crowd to decide.
In public fundraising campaign online, who needs support and who deserves support these days are matters truly left to the crowd to decide.

Defrauding travel insurance is nothing new to Phuket, only a handful of years ago it was Australians capturing the headlines. Michael Laverty’s claims that he suffered a violent assault and robbery, quickly exposed as lies, have nonetheless rattled across UK websites, leaving a trail of vitriol about “dangerous Phuket” and “crowdfunding scammers”

It seems that Mr Laverty underestimated the Phuket Police, who despite their poor reputation here and abroad, did what they do best. No, not the high-tech, CSI-style crime fighting you see on TV – but simply using some good old-fashioned shoe leather.

Bad eggs like Mr Laverty make it worse for the likes of Stacey Liddle, whose leg was crushed in a bike accident in Chalong that was not covered by her travel insurance. Stacey also launched a campaign to raise money for medical bills. Getting coverage for riding a motorbike in Thailand is difficult for a reason – insurance companies have run the numbers and know it’s not a money-making proposition.

Stacey did what tens of thousands of visitors to Phuket do every day. She rented a motorbike from a company that did not require her to show a licence. Rode it on Phuket’s notorious roads, which still lack any decent, cheap, reliable public transport alternative. Then the statistically inevitable happened and fate decreed her number was up.

Like any technology, whether crowdfunding is used for good or bad is up to the people using it.

Crowdfunding will continue to be used as a de facto, post-accident insurance policy – whether with noble or less-than-noble intentions. In the case of Mr Laverty, we hope that a message for aspiring fraudsters has been sent loud and clear. As for Stacey’s case, it appears the crowd came through for her.

But if you’re thinking of riding in Phuket sans licence and insurance, take a leaf out of the insurers’ well-balanced books – and don’t risk it.



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CaptainJack69 | 12 November 2017 - 16:30:24

Here here.

Lets point out yet again that Thailand is officially listed by the World Health Organisation as having the second most deadly roads in the world.  But wait, that's including stats for cars too. In fact it's clear that Thailand is the worlds most dangerous country in which to take to the roads on 2 wheels.

No travel insurance policy is going to cover you to ride a motorbike...

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Kurt | 12 November 2017 - 11:53:49

As always, a fine PN Opinion article.
And always I hope people learn from it.

If one thing is clear than it is that foreigners visiting Thailand should before they take off from country of origin should have a solid health and accident insurance, that covers EVERYTHING in Thailand.
Including the transport of your coffin after a deadly accident at beach, with taxi, minivan, speed boat or motor...

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