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Understanding Travel Insurance

What is travel insurance?

Having an accident while travelling outside Hong Kong can lead to a helpless feeling. Travel insurance (also known as comprehensive travel insurance) protects policyholders against losses and covers costs arising from unforeseen events during their trips. It is designed for people who travel anywhere outside Hong Kong for vacation, business or study. They are recommended to purchase travel insurance regardless of the length of the trip.

What are the various types of travel insurance?

In addition to general comprehensive travel insurance, insurers offer other types of travel insurance plans in response to market demand: for example, insurance plans for cruise vacations and short-term study tours, and China travel insurance plans specially designed for frequent travellers to Mainland China. Some products cater for travellers with specific needs, such as overseas student insurance and working holiday insurance. Policyholders should study the policy coverage carefully and choose the product that best suits their needs, so that they will be protected as comprehensively as possible on their journey.

When should you buy travel insurance?

Outbound travellers should buy travel insurance as soon as their itinerary is confirmed and they have made a payment or deposit for the trip, as the coverage commences only when the policy is approved. If an insured event takes place before departure, such as a severe natural disaster that makes the travel destination unsuitable to travel to, the insured person can file a claim according to the relevant policy terms before the trip starts. However, if an insurance policy is purchased only after the insured event has occurred, no claims will be accepted.

The coverage, benefit limit, exclusions and premium levels of travel insurance products offered by insurers vary. Travellers must understand the policy details and the terms and conditions clearly before taking out a policy and choose a plan that suits their needs and covers the entire itinerary to enjoy a worry-free journey.

The above information is for reference only. For the coverage, exclusions, benefit limit and premium levels of a specific insurance plan, please refer to the relevant policy terms.

Other useful information

Special thanks to the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers – Travel Sub-committee and Mr. Andrew Chow, a seasoned industry practitioner, for providing valuable information and advice on the contents of this thematic webpage.