Travel insurance no guarantee

Local | Sophie Hui May 16, 2018
The threshold of claiming travel insurance is at such a high level that some insurants don't receive any compensation, the Consumer Council revealed. The watchdog studied 18 insurance plans from 16 companies, which covered 44 different benefit levels. The premium varies between plans, even for those with the same destination and duration. For example, the premium of a seven-day tour of Japan can range from HK$48 to HK$400. But the plan with the highest premium doesn't mean it has the most comprehensive protection. Furthermore, its insured amount was less than some cheaper schemes. Even if the insurance has extensive coverage, insurants have to provide relevant documents based on the terms and conditions for claims. Some plans have extremely strict rules. For instance, insurants who are robbed have to report to the police within 24 hours of the incident taking place and attach the case report and details with their claims. Most of the plans will cover the loss of money in the event of a robbery. However, "the definition of robbery could determine the success of the claim," chairman of the council's publicity and community relations committee Clement Chan Kam-wing said. To illustrate his point, he recalled how an insurant lost his wallet in London after he was stopped and searched by two thieves who impersonated police officers. However, the insurance company rejected his claim as it thought the case had more to do with fraud than theft. Some schemes also required insurants to visit a qualified doctor for an initial consultation and obtain a medical report. But, most schemes will not cover the cost of acquiring the report. The survey also found that insurance schemes generally provide claims for flight delays of more than five to six hours, while one only compensated for a delay of eight hours or more. The council reminded consumers to be vigilant when reading the insurance terms and conditions.

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