11 Tips for Buying Insurance in Hong Kong

Wanting to purchase some insurance products in Hong Kong, but feel overwhelmed by choice?

Buying insurance products in Hong Kong is expensive, and selecting the right ones can be difficult.

We’re sure you’re keen to figure out how to save money on your insurance premiums. In this article, the topics we will cover include:

  • The importance of comparing policies
  • Important considerations for health insurance
  • Why an insurance broker is a good idea
  • That you might be able to cancel your insurance policy & switch to a new policy immediately
  • Our favorite helper insurance

1. The importance of comparing policies

There are many insurance products available in Hong Kong, and there is a massive difference in pricing from policy to policy.  It’s worth taking the time to review all of your insurance policies and ensure you are getting the best deal.

When living in Hong Kong, you might find yourself accumulating many different insurance policies, including medical, home & contents, household fire, car, and helper insurance.

Take the time to look at your insurance policies and do some research on all the products available. With some research, you should expect to be able to lower your premium costs.

2. Health Insurance

Private health insurance in Hong Kong is super expensive, before you commit to it, consider if public healthcare is an option.

Health insurance in Hong Kong is expensive. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive places in the world for health insurance coverage.

But did you know that in Hong Kong, if you have a valid visa and HK-ID card that you will be able to access Hong Kong’s high-quality public healthcare for free or at a meager cost?

The major downside to public healthcare is the amount of time you may have to wait to get an appointment for non-urgent cases. When you get an appointment, you can expect to spend some time queuing to see the doctor.

If you decide you want to purchase private health insurance, a way to cut health insurance costs is to select the “Ward” room option over the “Private” room option. By opting for the “Ward” room option, you might be able to save up to ~30-40% for your health insurance.

You can save so much money by selecting the “Ward” room option because doctors alter their fees depending on the type of room you are staying in.

So, for example, for a particular surgical procedure, you can expect to get charged a higher surgeon’s fee if you are staying in a private room versus than if you were staying in the ward. That’s crazy, right?!?!

3. Seek help from an insurance broker

We highly recommend you use an insurance broker. They will have strong product knowledge across all brands, and will be able to provide you with the best quotes.

In Hong Kong, there are many different companies offering insurance products. This makes comparing all the different policies time-consuming.

We highly recommend seeking advice from a professional insurance broker.

Insurance brokers should be able to provide you with advice and insurance quotes across all brands. This is absolutely critical.

Once you have the information and have all the insurance quotes, the insurance broker can then help you to decide which products will suit you the best, and how you can save money on your insurance policies.

Best of all, insurance brokers won’t charge you a fee, and the cost of your insurance premiums will not change by using an insurance broker. The insurance company will wear the cost of any commission fees paid to brokers.

We don’t recommend consultants who only cover a specific (or few) brands because of their inherent conflict of interest.

Instead, we like Monica Yiu (monica.yiu@oreana.com, WhatsApp: 9192 6658) from Oreana Financial Services, who provides advice across many different insurance products.

4. You might be able to cancel your current insurance right now

If you’ve done a review of your insurance policies and realized that you want to change to a different policy, you may not have to wait until all your insurance policies have expired. You can cancel many general insurance policies in Hong Kong before the policy period has ended and get part of your premium refunded. Call the providers of the policies you have realized are more expensive than necessary and check to see if they will offer you a partial refund.

For example, if you have a 12-month policy that permits cancellations and you want to cancel six months into the plan, you can expect roughly half your money back. This may change depending on the specific policy, so check the fine print before you cancel.

The key message here is that you shouldn’t wait until your insurance policy ends before moving to a cheaper policy.  

5. Helper Insurance 

In Hong Kong, helper insurance is mandatory.

Hong Kong law requires you to have valid insurance coverage for each helper you have. The good thing about Helper Insurance is that you should move the coverage to a new helper if the policy is still current and has not expired.

Our favorite Helper Insurance is Allied World Maid Guard (Plan III). This insurance provides good coverage at a reasonable cost.

With this insurance plan, helpers will get their own medical card, see a doctor up to 25 times per and receive three days of medicine (no need to pay, present the card). The insured helper will also receive a voucher to get the flu vaccination at a reduced price.

6. Two-Year Insurance Policies

Some insurance policies will offer 2-year coverage (instead of a single year of coverage). If you can buy 2-year coverage, you will likely be able to lower your annual premium.

Importantly, you may still be able to cancel a 2-year policy part-way through the insurance policy. Thus, this can be a really great option.

7. Combine insurance policies

Check to see if you can reduce your insurance premiums by purchasing multiple policies from a single provider.

For example, it is often cheaper to buy household contents insurance and fire insurance instead of purchasing these policies separately. Your insurance broker will be able to tell you all about this.

8. Home Contents Insurance

When it comes to buying a home contents insurance policy, the age of your apartment may matter, and it may matter if the layout of your apartment has changed. Be sure to check these details before committing to an insurance product. Some insurance providers in Hong Kong will charge you a hefty premium for your Home Contents Insurance if you live in an older building.

We have found that AXA Insurance, in particular, adds a hefty premium for older buildings. Also, AXA Insurance tends to charge you a higher premium if your apartment’s layout has been altered from its original state.

When you are purchasing home contents insurance in Hong Kong, be sure to ask about both these factors. We have found that in Hong Kong, Zurich Insurance tends to offer the best deal for household insurance as they won’t charge you more for living in an older building or for having an altered internal layout.

9. Fire Insurance

Most banks that provide you with a mortgage in Hong Kong will require you to purchase Fire Insurance to secure a mortgage.

Do not just blindly accept whatever Fire Insurance your bank is offering you. You will likely pay 2-3x more than what you should be paying if you take the bank’s offer for Fire Insurance.

10. Be wary of policies that offer the first year free

Policies that come with “freebies” are precisely the kind of insurance policies that you will end up spending far too much money on unnecessarily.

Do not sign up for any insurance policy before first doing your research; this includes policies that offer the first year of coverage. These are often exactly the kind of policies you will end up over-paying for.

In such cases, the insurance company is often hoping that the offer of a free year of coverage will stop you from looking at any further details.

11. Things you shouldn’t ignore while buying insurance

1) Research is the key to get yourself the right insurer so, always do your research before finalizing anything.

Here’s a list of things that you must check concerning your chosen insurance company before deciding on buying any insurance policy from them:

  • How well-established is the company?
  • Do they have a license for their services?
  • What is their financial condition?
  • Have any of your friends or colleagues availed of their services in the past?
  • Are they rated by an independent security-rating agency?

The answers to all these questions will help you decide whether the particular insurance company is right for you or not.

2) You don’t have to accept the lowest price always. Many policies do not provide the required protection. So it is essential to read every information carefully.

  • There might be a very low limit of business liability protection in your contract. In such a scenario, if your policy limit exceeds at the time of settlement, you might have to pay the balance yourself. So it is important to read all the details carefully.
  • Carefully go through your policy to ensure that legal expenses will be paid additionally to the limit of liability since legal fees in Hong Kong is very expensive.

Going digital with insurance: How is it benefitting the insurance buyer?

  • Reduced operational costs: The digitization of the insurance industry has improved the prices big time as now companies are offering more competitive prices coupled with customization.
  • Identifying and mitigating risks: With insurance companies going completely digital, fraud chances are reduced as everything is under check. The technology is helping in detecting the frauds beforehand and preventing the risks for safer businesses.
  • Improved customer experience: Great customer experience is another plus buying insurance online, saving you time and money.

As one of the most sophisticated insurance markets globally, Hong Kong is now digitally empowering its people to scale up and adopt this new way of buying and selling insurance.

As a result, more and more people are switching to purchasing insurance online. Hong Kong also encourages its insurers to use technologies and adapt to it to enhance their services in the form of risk analysis, determining premiums, and managing claims. The right usage of tools will directly impact their business growth.

Finally

We are committed to helping people with advice on everyday living in Hong Kong.

Our tips are intended to save you money, improve the quality of your life. If you’re a newbie to Hong Kong, you might be interested in our article about A Guide for Newbies in Hong Kong. 

If we have missed any tips for buying insurance products in Hong Kong, please let us know in the comments below.

 

Related articles

Spread Savvy's tips

Related blogs

Guide on Where to Donate Items in Hong Kong

We cover all kinds of specific items including kid’s toys, furniture, clothes, and more.

Vegan For Beginners – 10 Vegan Essentials

So, you’re interested in becoming vegan? Hopefully I can help shed some light on everything vegan...

The 10 Best Plant Based Protein Powders Hong Kong

Read our in-depth review of the 10 best plant-based protein powders available in Hong Kong. Build and repair muscle, & get all your protein needs.

Ultimate Leaving Hong Kong Checklist

We provide a checklist of things you’ll need to do before leaving Hong Kong.

The Ultimate Hong Kong Bucket List

Here is the bucket list of the best places to go and things to do in Hong Kong before you leave.

Keto Diet 101- Hong Kong Guide

Helping you to find keto products in Hong Kong.

The 9 Best Second-Hand Stores in Hong Kong

Buying second-hand goods in Hong Kong is much easier than in most cities.

10 Best Cult Makeup Products 2020

Cult makeup products have everything you are looking for if you are looking for makeup products...

The Ultimate Beauty Guide for Hong Kong

Want to get hold of beauty products & services in Hong Kong at reasonable prices? We tell you how.

Cheese in Hong Kong: Where to Buy It

Does cheese in Hong Kong need to be so expensive?

About us

Let’s Hang Out

 

Brighten Up Your Inbox

This Month

Our Partners

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Vegan For Beginners – 10 Vegan Essentials

Vegan For Beginners – 10 Vegan Essentials

So, you’re interested in becoming vegan? Hopefully I can help shed some light on everything vegan related - think of this article as “vegan for beginners tips”. I’ve been vegetarian for over 6 years now, and vegan for about 2 years.  So I definitely know how it feels...

Brighten Up Your Inbox

Brighten Up Your Inbox

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Savvy in HK.

You have Successfully Subscribed!