Posted on Apr 10, 2015 by Travis Jones
Ask a parent and, no doubt, they’ll say that there is nothing more important to them in their life than their children. When they are with their kids, parents (especially new ones) will do whatever it takes to protect their children when they are around them. However, in Hong Kong, many parents frequently need to leave their children with others in order to attend to work. So in the event that something happens to your children when in the care of others, how well will they be taken care of? Below, we take a look at all the people and institutions that commonly look after children, and see if each has insurance that will cover medical expenses as needed.
According to the Hong Kong Education Bureau website, “All schools are advised to seriously consider” obtaining insurance that can protect students from accidents, injuries and fires. This liability coverage would likely be sufficient to cover most medical needs due to accidents where the school is at fault. In addition to this, the Government has taken out an insurance policy that includes public liability and group personal insurance coverages, known as the Block Insurance Policy (BIP). These can be used by Aided Schools, which are subsidized by the local government, and Caput Schools, which are non-profit private secondary schools.
If there is an accident involving a student that is caused by the negligent act of an Insured School, these policies would provide benefits to compensate them. Such accidents could range from anything to a student breaking their glasses during Physical Education class, to a missing tooth, to a skinned knee, to a more serious accident in class that results in a permanent disability. However, if the act is not deemed to have been caused by negligence on the part of the school, no claims can be made.
Further to the protection that is afforded to students during school hours and on school property, the school’s policy extends to other activities and events as well. As long as any activities for students outside of school facilities are organized or endorsed by the school or Education Bureau, the school’s insurance can provide coverage. In fact, the plan’s coverage area is worldwide.
Active parents will be glad to know that volunteers/chaperones on field trips or other official school events are covered under the Public Liability Insurance section of the BIP. Likewise, they are afforded liability coverage through BIP if their negligent act results in a claim against them from a 3rd party, including students.
Kindergartens/Child Care Centres
Both Kindergartens and Child Care Centres in Hong Kong (regulated by the Education Board and Social Welfare Department respectively) offer pre-primary care and education for children aged 6 years and under.
The Education Bureau’s Operation Manual for Pre-primary Institutions advises operators of such institutions “to seriously consider obtaining adequate insurance to cover public liabilities.” However, they do not provide any type of plans for pre-primary schools as they do with the BIP. For this reason, it is up to each parent to research any potential Kindergarten of Child Care Centre that their child may attend. Be sure to inquire about insurances as part of your regular due diligence.
While your Domestic Helper is watching your children, they are considered your employees. Due to this, they will only be covered by your benefits or any benefits you provide for them, and Hong Kong law does require that any nannies or domestic helpers be provided with health and worker’s compensation insurances by their employers. Don’t plan on being able to be reimbursed by anyone else here. Having your own insurance plan that covers your child is a must.
For those that don’t hire domestic helpers to take care of their children on a regular basis, hiring a temporary babysitter from time to time will be a much needed luxury, if not a necessity. While these types of arrangements are frequently rather informal, any serious babysitter worth their salt will have their own liability coverage.
Family Health Insurance
Although existing policies mentioned above can provide reimbursement for damages, they are not to be relied or depended upon. There are just too many reasons why they may not be effective. First being that the government’s insurance policies are really designed to protect the schools, not the children. Due to this, the bureaucracy surrounding them may not be the most friendly to a family that is making a claim. For example, benefit payments may come much later than you would like to think, thereby leaving the initial burden of payment for any medical treatments on the parents of an injured child.
Additionally, while it is good that schools and babysitters may have liability coverage that can provide benefits for any accidents they have either caused or allowed to occur, you should know that liability coverage sometimes pays only minimal costs. This means that their insurance may only pay for a small portion of any damages, and any additional payments will have to be pursued outside of their policy. While dealing with this headache, parents will want to make sure that their children’s needs are attended to in the meantime.
Regardless of whether or not the people or organizations that take care of your children have insurance, there really is nothing better than making sure that your kids have an insurance plan of their own. A Family Health Insurance plan can ensure that most any problem, big or small, can be taken care of without a high cost. Additionally, having a Family Health Insurance plan can allow your children to get treatment quickly at high quality healthcare facilities, without having to wait for anyone else’s say-so.
Let’s face it: sometimes kids just have a way of getting into accidents. To make sure that your family has an insurance plan that fits all of its needs, no matter how many children you have, contact one of the knowledgeable agents at Pacific Prime today. They can quickly help you to compare prices between various plans from major insurers, and give you a free price quote