Employers in Hong Kong have a statutory requirement to purchase Employee Compensation Insurance for their employees. This is the same for employers who have hired Maids or Domestic Helpers.
Trusted Union offers Domestic Helper Insurance plans which will fulfil the legal requirement for Employee Compensation, and we offer plans which include extra benefits to the entry level Domestic Helper Insurance plan.
Domestic Helper Insurance Faq
Why should I buy domestic helper insurance?
Any time you employ someone in Hong Kong, either in a business capacity or privately as a domestic helper, you are required to have health insurance for them under Hong Kong’s Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (EC Ordinance).
The EC Ordinance is a piece of labour legislation enacted in Hong Kong that establishes a system to compensate employees for workplace injuries. This compensation is provided on a no-fault basis so it’s paid regardless of who’s at fault for the accident and is non-contributory, meaning employees cannot have their wages deducted for this coverage. The ordinance makes employers liable for employee injuries sustained on the job including occupational diseases and applies to everyone even if they’re employed under contract or apprenticeship. It even provides coverage for injuries that occur outside of Hong Kong.
Most importantly however, this ordinance requires that employers carry Employees’ Compensation insurance to make sure employees are compensated for injuries – this includes domestic helpers. Companies with less than 200 employees are required to purchase a minimum accident limit of $100 million HKD or $200 million HKD if you have more than 200 employees on the payroll.
Penalties for failure to comply with this requirement are severe: fines can be upwards of $100,000 HKD and prison sentences as long as 2 years.
If those penalties aren’t enough to persuade you to buy domestic helper insurance (or maid insurance), consider that your domestic helper plays a large part in your daily lives playing the role of a much needed family caregiver. As a responsible employer, you should have adequate insurance in place to make sure they’re protected should anything happen to them while caring for you and your loved ones.
What does maid insurance cover?
Maid insurance (or domestic helper insurance) helps you fulfil the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance requirements as well as extra benefits to help you care for the one who’s taking care of you and your family.
For example, some extra benefits offered over and above the EC Ordinance requirements are:
- Personal Liability Insurance
- Surgical and Hospital Expenses
- Clinical Expense Insurance
- Repatriation Expenses
- Outpatient Insurance
- Dental Treatment Coverage
- Fidelity Insurance Protection
- Replacement Lock Insurance
- Loan Protection Insurance
- Cash Allowance for Loss of the Helper’s Service
- Additional Coverage for Heart Disease or Cancers/Tumours
Unlike a regular Employee’s Compensation policy, there are some special coverages like repatriation expenses that are tailored towards the specific needs of domestic helpers working in Hong Kong.
No talk about coverages are complete without mentioning some exclusions. Maid insurance has all the same exclusions you would expect of a health insurance policy. There is no coverage for: war related injuries, illegal activities, pre-existing conditions, suicide or self-inflicted injuries, acts committed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, etc.
Does the helper insurance’s coverage start immediately?
No, most maid insurance policies have a waiting period of about 2 weeks from the policy’s effective date before coverage would come into force. During this wait period, unfortunately, no medical benefits are payable.
That said, if you need a policy without a waiting period, some insurers do offer that as one of their selling points. If this is something you need, or if you have other special requirements, please contact a Trusted Union insurance advisor for help.
Do I need to submit the helper insurance certificate anywhere?
If yes, to whom shall I submit to?
No you don’t need to do that but the EC Ordinance does require that employers prominently display a notice in both English and Chinese showing the name of the employer, the name of the insurer, policy number, issue date, commencement date and the expiry date of the policy, the number of employees insured, and the amount of insurance coverage provided.
What maid insurance policies are available?
Many insurers including MSIG, Allied World and Liberty Insurance offer Employees’ Compensation insurance plans and they each have their own nuances and caveats clients have to watch out for. If you decide to buy maid insurance through your Trusted Union broker, let us know and we’d be happy to present a few options, help you break down the pros and cons, and guide you towards the insurance solution that fits your unique needs as an employer.
What does maid insurance cost?
The primary factor in play here, as with all health insurance policies, is the person’s age. If the domestic helper is over 60, expect to pay more. The job duties involved are also a key factor. Jobs such as driving, doula or gardening all pose different risks that have an effect on your final insurance premium.
Other key factors include how much limit you want to purchase, duration of the policy, and what types of extra coverages you want to add on to your maid insurance policy.
Most insurance companies offer different tiers of plans with add-ons that you can customize to fit your specific needs and budget. For a more detailed recommendation and quote based on your unique family needs, contact a licensed Trusted Union broker for a no-obligation quote.
If you would like to receive a free no obligation consultation or quote from Trusted Union for Domestic Helper or Maid insurance, please contact us here today.
You can find out more about Trusted Union's services by clicking here About Us.
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