20Sep

D&O vs. Professional Indemnity Insurance

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In any professional setting, it is not unheard of that a client and a hired professional or business may not always agree with each other in terms of the work delivered. Sometimes it’s just a matter of professionals simply making a mistake. Sometimes a client may be too demanding and allege that a business provided inadequate service or advice. If the client suffers a financial loss due to a business or professional’s negligence, the client would have every right to sue the business or the professional and the latter in turn would need to cover for the legal costs as well as compensate the client for the mistake.

During these times, a typical liability insurance wouldn’t be the appropriate type of insurance to have. Liability insurance responds to situations in which an employer receives an injury while at work or property damage among other things. But when it comes to a service or product promised by a business or professional that in the end does not deliver, this would not be considered a bodily injury or property damage and therefore a liability insurance would not apply. This would be taken care of by professional indemnity insurance.

Professional indemnity insurance generally protects you from:

  • claims of malpractice
  • professional misconduct

Without it, a business would be left paying for compensation and legal fees to defend these claims.

In Asia, professional indemnity insurance has started to become an emerging trend. This is due to growing legislation in some Asian countries and the increasing realization that consumer protection is important. Clients in Asia tend to be demanding and would often file claims against professionals on the event that the latter falls short of delivering on their high expectations of their advice or services. Additionally, professional indemnity insurance has become a requirement of sorts in which it appears on client engagement contracts and be shown as evidence. If businesses fail to acquire professional indemnity insurance, they can lose out on major deals with multinational corporations.

Some examples of professionals that need the said insurance are:

  • medical and healthcare professionals
  • real estate
  • Accountants
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • public relations people

Claims against architects and engineers happen often especially when clients have worked with a different set of architects and engineers in the past and find that the present work is not up to par, or when clients are not familiar with the scope of work of architects and engineers and may demand unrealistic projects and deadlines.

So being covered by a professional indemnity insurance is of the utmost important. Regardless of how experienced a firm is, mistakes happen, errors occur, and expectations are not met. In the end, it is always better to have protection in the event of litigation.

Village Insurance Direct helps expats in Hong Kong with Indemnity Insurance and other business covers required by law. Contact us today.

 

6Sep

Home Contents Insurance vs. Property Insurance

Every homeowner must know the value and importance of getting insurance. An insurance policy is your ultimate financial protection from external risks and damages. Accidents and natural disasters can strike at any time and the only way to be protected is to be insured.

Property Insurance and Home Contents Insurance are two separate types of policies. Home Insurance is a specialized type of Insurance that specifically protects ones private residence and its contents from loss or damage. It is a multi-line insurance policy which means it covers a holder’s property and shields them from liability

On the other hand, Property Insurance is not restricted to ones private residence but individually protects specified jurisdictions of property such as rare collections, jewelry, expensive cars, luxury flats and other such valuables.

Things to remember about Home Contents Insurance

In a survey done by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in May of 2014 showed that participants believed flood damage, earthquake and mold problems were covered with a standard Property Insurance policy. This common assumption brings us back to the difference between the two types of policies. Home Insurance will cover the expenses of the abovementioned damages but  Property Insurance will protect items that have only been itemised for coverage.

What we also consistently remind policyholders is that claims to damages must have only recently happened (3 days to 1 week) brought about by unavoidable events. Damages incurred months ago will not be covered. Read the details on your policy to know which damages and risks are covered and find out if you will need a supplemental Property Insurance policy.

See the checklist below to know if you have adequate Home Insurance:

Liability Protection

Home Contents Insurance is not just about protecting your residence. It also protects you from certain liabilities that happened within your property. A sample scenario would be if you drove your car through your neighbor’s fence and tore through it. As the party at fault, you are obligated to pay for the damage on their fence as well as medical bills if there were people injured. Home Insurance will pay for litigation expenses and third party insurance claims in such a case. The legal costs of a defense normally do not affect policy limits unless the policy expressly states otherwise; this default rule is useful because defense costs tend to soar when cases go to trial.

High-Risk Properties and High Premiums

Homeowners must know that premiums differ for every type of property. The basis of how premiums are quoted is the number of risk factors of the property and the homeowner. Properties that are older tend to have higher premiums. Properties located in hurricane or flood prone areas will be quoted higher. Even homeowners who smoke can be charged a higher premium.

Hong Kong Property Insurance

In Asia one of the countries that have the most developed insurance markets is Hong Kong. To date Hong Kong attracts the world’s best insurance companies. In the 2012 OCI annual report documented by the HKTDC Research, the top ten players in Hong Kong’s insurance industry include: HSBC Insurance, Zurich Insurance, Chartis Insurance, Bank of China Group Insurance, Bupa, CNOOC Insurance, Lloyd’s Underwriters, Asia Insurance Company, MSIG Insurance and China Taiping Insurance. These ten companies account for 41.6 % of the total market share.

Additionally, the total gross premiums have significantly decreased, helping the country’s GDP in 2013.  Total gross premiums increased 13.9% equating to US$37.4 billion. This makes up 13.7% of Hong Kong’s GDP.

There is no denying that the Hong Kong government is taking the right steps to educate its citizens about the importance of insurance and encourage them to get covered. Attracting international insurance companies to do business in Hong Kong is certainly a sign that insurance is more than just an expense, it is a financial investment.

Get a quote for Home Contents Insurance and Property Insurance today.

3Sep

Expat Guide: Finding a Place to Live in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is home to one of the world’s biggest international trading posts, a powerful manufacturing base and a booming financial centre. It attracts expats from all over the world and the city has become a melting pot of cultures and landscapes.

We’ve listed a few hacks for expats who plan to move to Hong Kong or have only started finding their way through city. These tips should guide you through the process of finding a temporary home while you’re here.

RECOMMENDED DISTRICTS & NEIGHBORHOODS

Mid levels HK

Mid-Levels comes highly recommended for newcomers as it is ideal for singles and families. It is located halfway up Victoria Peak, directly above Central. There’s a large expat community with a mix of affluent locals. Its features are its close proximity to nature (Hong Kong Park and Wan Chai Nature Trail) and a comparatively better air quality than many parts of Hong Kong Island. The University of Hong Kong is also within the area along with primary and secondary International Schools. The Central–Mid-Levels escalator runs through the Mid-Levels from Central to Conduit Road. It allows people to travel quickly between these two places, compared with travelling by the winding roads up the mountain.

Average Monthly Rent for 2 bed, 1 bath apartment (870 sq. ft): HK$ 38,000 – HK$43,000

Wan Chai

Expats looking for more reasonably priced housing and a sense of integration with the local community should consider renting in the residential area running from Tin Hau to North Point.  Although this neighborhood doesn’t have any large-scale shopping malls it does have supermarkets, traditional wet markets and good restaurants for expats to enjoy. The well-priced apartments in this area are also generally in good condition.

Average Monthly Rent for 2 bed, 1 bath apartment (850 sq. ft): HK$ 31,000 – HK$41,200

Kowloon Tong HK

Wan Chai is also a good district to explore because it’s a commercial district with a trendy residential area if you prefer an active social scene. There is also a wide range of housing types—from budget-friendly dwellings to serviced apartments and complexes. There are also nearby parks, culture & arts centers as well as office buildings for medium and small scale businesses.

Average Monthly Rent for 2 bed, 1 bath apartment (470 sq. ft): HK$26,000 – HK$34,000

Blog - image 5 Lantau Island

Expat families have also begun looking at Kowloon Tong because of nearby quality international schools. It is a quiet neighborhood with relatively more spacious apartments for rent. Colonial-style houses, low-rise apartments and a smattering of gated communities make up this high-end residential area. Kowloon Tong is serviced by Festival Walk, an upscale shopping centre, and is connected to the city centre by the MTR that is about a 20-minute commute to town.

Average Monthly Rent for 2 bed, 1 bath apartment (600 sq. ft): HK$ 21,300 – HK$28,100

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RENT CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE

Apartments in Hong Kong are very compact but it does not equate to cheaper rent. The cost will generally depend on your location. If you’re single other expats would recommend a shared apartment to save money.  Moving to Hong Kong with your family would require different arrangements and priorities.

A real estate agent with expats as their clientele can help in finding properties that might be more tailored to western tastes.  However we suggest you ask a local friend to help you find an estate agent.  Prices tend to go up for western clients and the best deals are kept for Hong Kong locals!

MAKING A CHOICE

What is your priority in terms of dwelling? Is it comfort or practicality? Do you prefer living in the city center or somewhere less fast-paced? How much is your monthly budget? This will help you decide as you choose a place to call your temporary home.

When renting or buying your home, make sure you also get an All Risks Home Insurance policy to protect you from any liability and expenses during your stay. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities to live in so find an insurance policy that will cover all your needs from mortgage payment liability to loss of properties inside the house.

Sources:

http://www.expatarrivals.com/hong-kong/areas-and-suburbs-in-hong-kong

http://www.expatexchange.com/ctryguide/4105/7/Hong-Kong/Expat-Hong-Kong-10-Tips-for-Living-in-Hong-Kong

http://www.expatinfodesk.com/destinations/hong-kong/

2Sep

Why Do You Need Corporate Travel Insurance?

Companies or organizations that send their employees overseas for business have two options when it comes to Travel Insurance.

First option is to have insurance as an add-on to their tickets. These come as individual cover for each person. The second option is to get Corporate Travel Insurance that protects your employees as a group.

Why is this insurance necessary?

The question should actually focus on WHEN you need this type of travel insurance. With the numerous claims we’have helped our clients with in recent years, Corporate Travel Insurance becomes crucial when employees are being sent to high-risk places.  For instance, non-profit organizations that provide volunteer services to countries with epidemics or ongoing national conflict are considered high-risk.Avu-gfOzbAxU6OQTf0Xja7YoncE7OqHxr8LsF4CZ-sDJ
This insurance is also a more cost-effective means of protecting your company from extra expenses incurred by your staff during the travel period. If it’s a big group, there are policies that offer protection based on headcount instead of specific names (usually for groups of 5 or more).

What does Corporate Travel Insurance Cover?

Providers offer a wide range of options for different needs. We help expat companies in Hong Kong make arrangements for their staff. Below is a list of common policy benefits for Corporate Travel Insurance:

  • Cover for events resulting from any terrorist attack, including the use of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons
  • Cover for all journeys of less than 120 days
  • War Zone coverage (optional with added premium)
  • Cover for a company’s regional or worldwide offices can be arranged, if permitted by local laws
  • Personal deviation up to 31 days
  • Repatriation
  • Medical expenses
  • Legal expenses
  • Travel or baggage delay
  • Flight delay
  • Emergency travel of family & friends
  • Personal Liability
  • Hospitalization
  • Loss of personal money or documents
  • Accidental Death

Leisure travel may also be covered if it coincides with your business travel dates.

For a quotation on insurance, you may Contact Us here.