19Dec

Employer’s Guide to Employee Compensation Insurance in Hong Kong

 

Employee Compensation Insurance or EC Insurance is a liability cover specific for businesses with hired workers. This is mandatory in Hong Kong for all businesses.

According to Section 40 of the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, Chapter 282 of the Laws of Hong Kong, no employer shall employ any employee in any employment unless there is in force a policy of insurance to cover their liabilities both under the Ordinance and at common law for injuries at work in respect of all their employees, irrespective of the length of employment contract or working hours, full-time or part-time, permanent job or temporary employment.

This ordinance also applies to domestic helper insurance but will vary in cost and coverage.

An employer who fails to comply with the Ordinance to secure an insurance cover commits an offence and is liable on conviction to amaximum fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment for two years.

MUST-KNOW FOR EMPLOYERS

  • Minimum insurance cover

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  • Full cost of insurance CANNOT be deducted from your employees’ earnings. A breach in this ordinance makes the employer liable to a fine of $10,000 and 6 months imprisonment.
  • When you add more employees to your business, make sure you contact your insurance provider to discuss any adjustments.
  • Ask if the Employee Compensation Insurance covers subcontractors. You are not required to take out a policy for them as there is another type of insurance they can arrange for themselves. You can read our blog about being an expat contractor in Hong Kong here.
  • Take note of sick leaves and medical expenses in case an employee is injured during work.

Some information for Employers and Employees

Employee Compensation Insurance covers the following:

  • medical care from injury or illness
  • replacement income (start date may vary)
  • costs for retraining
  • compensation for any permanent injuries
  • benefits to survivors of workers who are killed on the job
  • policy does not cover pain and suffering
  • some policies can cover long term and permanent injuries
  • volunteers workers may also be covered by some policies

Once an employee makes a claim, they forfeit any chances of pursuing a legal complaint against the company.

FOR A QUOTE OR MORE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS INSURANCE, FILL UP THE FORM HERE: Employee Compensation Insurance Quote

14Dec

Expat Guide: Schools in Hong Kong

The former British colony’s education system is highly regarded with top standards. Even public schools uphold quality curriculums but are mainly taught in Cantonese with a focus on repetitive examinations—a system that might be different from what expats look for in a school. As a result, expats favor international schools.

ENTERING HONG KONG SCHOOLS

The first thing expats must know is that getting into good schools in Hong Kong could be challenging. The demand is high and so are the standards. If you’re planning to move with your family, we recommend you start your application a year early to take into account the waiting period. Affluent locals also compete for slots that make the process even more challenging. Some international companies sometimes reserve spots for their employees’ children so check to see if your employer can provide you with assistance.

Education is taken very seriously in Hong Kong culture. Teachers are treated with a great deal of respect, and students tend to be disciplined and well behaved.

The school year in Hong Kong typically runs from September to July.
top schools in hongkong
Expats who choose to reside in Kowloon or the New Territories choose an international school based because of their close proximity to more international schools.

Expats also have to note that if your package does not include subsidy for your kid’s education, you might find tuition for international schools quite costly so best to look at all possible options.

Below is a list of international schools you can start with:

Hong Kong International School
www.hkis.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: American
Ages: 4 to 18

Harrow International School Hong Kong
www.harrowschool.hk/
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: British
Ages: 4 to 18

American International School of Hong Kong
www.ais.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: American
div dir=”ltr”>Ages: 3 to 18

Australian International School Hong Kong
www.aishk.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Australian and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18

Beacon Hill School
www.beaconhill.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 10

Bradbury Junior School
www.bradbury.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Ages: 4 to 10

Canadian International Schools of Hong Kong
www.cdnis.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Canadian (Ontario) and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18

Carmel School of Hong Kong
www.carmel.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Jewish and general studies
Ages: 3 to 12

International Montessori School
www.montessori.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Montessori
Ages: 1,5 to 12

Kellet School (British International School in Hong Kong)
www.kellettschool.com

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: British
Ages: 3 to 14

King George V School
www.kgv.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: British (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 12 to 18

Quarry Bay School
www.qbs.edu.hk
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Ages: 5 to 13

Yew Chung International School
www.ycis-hk.com
Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: IGCSE (Cambridge) and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 6 months to 19

For any assistance on family or personal insurance, we help find the best cover for expats in Hong Kong. Get in touch with us today.

5Dec

Prostate Cancer Information in Hong Kong

Prostate cancer is among the most common cancers affecting men. In Hong Kong, it’s the fifth most common cancer with over 1,600 new cases every year and is the 3rd most common type of cancer among men in Hong Kong.

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The prostate is a gland that’s only found in men. It’s usually the size of a walnut, and is located below the bladder, surrounding the first part of the urethra, which allows urine to pass from the bladder to the penis. The prostate produces semen, a thick white fluid that mixes with the sperm produced by the testes. It also produces a protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA), which turns the semen into liquid. Prostate cancer is generally a slow-growing cancer, typically occurring in men over the age of 50. Research shows that over a third of men over 50 have some cancer cells in the prostate, while almost all men over 80 have some cells. The cause of prostate cancer is unknown, but generally the chance is increased if there is a positive family history; it is also more common in Western men.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of prostate cancer include:

  • reduced flow of urine
  • increased frequency in urination
  • uncomforatble urination
  • persistent pain in lower back, hips and thighs
  • in some cases, bloody urine.

EXAMINATION

The diagnosis of prostate cancer may include a digital rectal examination (DRE) by a doctor. Digital here is different to the “digital” in electronic equipment. Apart from DRE, PSA can be tested in blood to detect the presence of prostate cancer. However, PSA alone is not very accurate in diagnosing cancer.

It is important to have one’s self examined once you hit 40. Village Insurance’s best practice for recommending covers for males is to find insurance that also covers diseases such as prostate cancer. Insurance can cover treatment and maintenance for cancer.

We can help find the best global insurance for expats in Hong Kong. Get in touch with us for any inquiries. We’re always quick to revert.

 

20Nov

Updated Information on Hong Kong Healthcare

Updated info on healthcare in hong kong

Hong Kong remains to have one of the world’s best Public Health Care Systems however it is still advisable to supplement ourselves and our family with the convenience of additional private health insurance. Here’s updated information for your options in order to make the best choice when it comes to healthcare for expats in Hong Kong.

PUBLIC HEALTHCARE

Hong Kong provides residents with excellent and highly affordable health services. The life expectancy in the country is currently the world’s third highest and infant mortality is the ninth lowest. Here is the list of public health institutions.

DOCTORS

Finding your preferred doctor is easy; simply log on to the government’s Primary Care Directory (http://www.pcdirectory.gov.hk/) and select your specialist. Antenatal and postnatal care, well women services and childhood vaccinations take place at 34 dedicated Maternal and Child Health Centres across the SAR.

When attending an appointment, you’ll be asked to register with your Hong Kong ID and pay a small fee, usually by cash or Octopus card.

There are also a good number of private healthcare practitioners in Hong Kong, and access to their services will depend in no small part on your individual insurance coverage. Some insurers provide a pre-approved list of doctors, whereas others will allow patients free choice of doctor according to their policy’s financial limit. Opting to visit a private doctor will usually mean that you can choose your specialist according to your own needs and schedule, with shorter waiting times than in the public system.

Make sure to ask your insurance provider and confirm your cover details as well as payment methods.

HOSPITALS

In an emergency, you’ll be transported by ambulance to the nearest public hospital for treatment. With 17 public hospitals across Hong Kong providing Accident and Emergency services, and air ambulance services available to assist with evacuation from Hong Kong’s less accessible regions, you’re never too far away from help. Hong Kong’s A&E care operates on a triage basis, and is charged at a flat rate of $100 per visit. Once assessed by a doctor, if you’re subsequently admitted to hospital, you’ll be charged a $50 admission fee, then $100 per day, payable by cash or Octopus card.

There are currently 11 private hospitals that are internationally accredited in Hong Kong. Most provide 24-hour outpatient services for urgent cases and can arrange transfer to a public hospital for accident and emergency services if deemed necessary. Many of Hong Kong’s private hospitals are renowned for their specialist areas of expertise, including obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics and ophthalmology, to name a few.

As with private doctors, you should always confirm the hospital’s billing process with your insurer, and check that any extras, such as medicines, private accommodation or out-of-hours surgery are covered.

To get the best insurance for personal or family cover, get in touch with us. We specialise in insurance for expats in Hong Kong.

17Oct

What Insurance Do I Need Abroad?

Living a nomadic life can be an exciting one. The culture of traveling and living in a country other than your own is now more than just a trend but a life choice for many individuals and whole families.

On top of the usual preparations of finding a place to live, knowing where and how to reach the expat community and learning the culture of the country, you also need to make the necessary arrangements to prepare for the unexpected; health emergencies, financial fallbacks and other similar concerns.

The key feature of a good insurance for expats is mobility. Your insurance needs to follow you wherever you are. The second feature of a good expat insurance is that the benefits cover you and your family regardless if you are in the same country or not. And while it is seen as an added expense, the benefits certainly outweigh the costs because being far away from your country and the usual advantages that are given to its citizens may not be the same for every place.

Must-Have Personal Insurance

HEALTH INSURANCE

As an expat in Hong Kong, the number one type of personal protection we recommend is proper health insurance. Public healthcare in Hong Kong is one of the best in the world, however, it may not guarantee immediate and full care if you’re also waiting in line with many others who are also subscribing to public hospitals.

We wrote about the medical charges to expect in Hong Kong and compared the costs and benefits between private and public hospitals. This can give you a general idea of why you need private health insurance in case of emergencies.Remember that  the costs of even minor or routine medical treatment can quickly mount up. A benefit you must make sure is included is transport to a specialist unit and repatriation. You can lower your premium by opting to pay for any excess.

Critical Illness Insurance is also something for expats to consider if they are prone to serious ailments like cancer, heart attacks and other related diseases. Benefits of this policy will pay for therapy, drugs and other maintaining treatments. Some insurance policies may even cover death which means your families are left with a lump sum to pay for medical bills left behind.

We can help you find the right expat health insurance.

INCOME PROTECTION

This type of insurance can either be offered as a benefit along with your employment or you may choose to get one for yourself. This insurance ensures you have a monthly source of income in case you get into an accident or become gravely ill that you aren’t able to work for a period of time. We’ve also created an infographic showing How Income Protection Insurance Works. More importantly, this insurance takes care of your family when you temporarily cannot do so. We strongly recommend this to expats with children. Get in touch with us if you’re interested to see what options are available in Hong Kong.

LIFE

There are a number of good, affordable international life insurance policies for expats. This is usually a combination of two or more benefits such as critical illness plus total and permanent disability. It’s best to buy life insurance while you’re young because premiums are a lot cheaper. You can pay as little as US$33 a month and be covered for 20 years. We can also help find an insurance that suits your lifestyle and budget.

Remember that you need an insurance policy that is able to change as your circumstances change. Cost of premiums is also a crucial factor to consider so take your time when shopping for a provider. Evaluate your needs and determine your plans on a yearly perspective to see any drastic changes.

7Oct

Setting Up Your Utilities in Hong Kong

When you’ve settled in nicely in your new apartment in Hong Kong, the next step is to set up your utilities! In Hong Kong, it’s the tenant who takes it upon himself to sign up for water, electricity, and gas. We’re here to make it easy for you by listing down some supplier names so you can get started on your new life in the Pearl of the Orient.

ELECTRICITY

Hong Kong Electric started way back in 1890 and is now one of the most trusted utility companies in the world. Their service is reliable and affordable as well. They also have a reputation of being environmentally responsible which is a plus for some people. You can apply for Hong Kong Electric by downloading their form and emailing it to customerservices@hkelectric.com or dropping it at their customer service center along with your Hong Kong ID or passport and a deposit equivalent to around 60 days of consumption. Bills are due monthly and you can register for e-bills payment for a more convenient and environment-friendly payment. For more information, you may call them at 2887 3411 from 9AM-6PM, Mondays-Sundays. Once you’re a customer, you can download their Low Carbon App which provides information on energy safety and efficiency while helping with electric consumption estimation and tips on how to save energy. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.

WATER

Water Supplies Department provides clean and safe water to around 7 million people in Hong Kong. To sign up, you may download theirform WW01 along with a copy of your Hong Kong ID. Applications take about a week to process and bills are sent every four months. They also have a free downloadable app on the App Store and Google Play that provides information about your bill and notifies you in case of suspension. You can also click the Payment icon to access a QR code in order to pay your bills with cash at any 7-Eleven, Circle K, or VanGO convenience stores. For more information, call them at 2824 5000 and press 3 for English.

Make sure to also get home insurance in case of accidental fire from bad wiring and plumbing. We help expats in Hong Kong find cheap insurance for their apartments.

24Sep

Tips for Staying Fit While Pregnant

Exercise during pregnancy is different for every expectant mother. The most important tip to remember is to get clearance from your doctor before engaging with any type of fitness plan.

Women who regularly exercise and have been physically active prior to conceiving will more or less have zero issues with working in a fitness routine in their day. Walking is considered a safe and simple way to get one’s heart rate up.

CALORIE INTAKE

Although you are eating for more than one person, doctors advise that it is important to keep track of your pre-pregnancy weight to determine your required calorie intake to maintain your body’s and baby’s need for proper nutrition.

If your body mass index (BMI) is in a healthy range (between 18.5 and 24.9), you’ll need to eat about 340 more calories a day in the second trimester than before you were pregnant and about 450 more calories a day in the third trimester

PROPER WARDROBE

Stay comfortable by choosing looser fitting clothes that breath and regulates body temperature. Pregnant women tend to have higher body temperature and may overheat during a workout. In addition, make sure your maternity bra is supportive enough, and choose athletic shoes that fit properly. With your feet a little swollen than normal, choose footwear that is 1 to 2 sizes bigger.

EXERCISE AND STRETCHING HELPS WITH BACK & HIP PAIN

Common problems during pregnancy are increased lower back pain, pelvic instability, urinary issues, or reduced functional strength of the abdominal wall. Exercising during pregnancy helps reduce muscle tension. Prenatal pilates and yoga are popular fitness routines women can safely do to help with the usual discomforts of the condition.

STAYING SAFE WITH PROPER MATERNITY INSURANCE 

Maternity insurance covers costs for pre-natal and post-natal treatments. It also covers cost for natural or caesarean delivery where the latter can get very expensive without private insurance. Maternity insurance with extension also helps with costs incurred for fertility treatments and congenital birth defects.

Village Insurance provides help for expats in Hong Kong in finding the best maternity insurance for all of your needs. Get in touch with our agents for more information.

 

15Sep

Is Localization of Expat Salaries in Hong Kong A Positive Change?

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‘Expat’ has been a word synonymous with wealth and luxury. Being an expat meant living on a generous salary plus benefits and allowances from the company one works for. It meant living in classy locations in swank apartments, sending one’s kids to the best schools, eating in expensive restaurants, and travelling to the most beautiful countries.

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Not all expats enjoy the comforts associated with living in Hong Kong because of work. Research has shown that since 2004, most expats in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai have been given the localised compensation, in which companies give their employees pay that is comparable to those being offered to locals.
With localisation, the base salary is lower than those of regular expats and no longer includes benefits such as:
  • Allowances
  • Social security
  • Retirement
Obviously, fancy dinners, extravagant vacations, and prestigious schools are also no longer in the picture.
Still, expats don’t always see this as a loss on their part and similarly, companies don’t practice localising to reap the benefits. Localisation for expats can be seen as an opportunity to take charge of their own life someday. Because along with the generous salary and benefits of the old compensation came the reality of being tied to the company for an indefinite amount of time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but some prefer the freedom of being able to pick up and leave and move on to another job whenever they want or relocate to a whole new place. Deciding their own future is a big plus.

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This is also why localising isn’t a win-win deal for companies either. Despite the practice saving them money in the face of difficult economic conditions, they also no longer have a financial bind on their employees and thus risk the possibility of losing their talents.
This is why some companies offer a “local-plus” package to aid their employees in managing their finances and adjusting their spending habits over a period of two years. This package also includes benefits such as transportation, housing, and education for their dependents.
Companies also know who to localise versus those they know won’t stay unless given the full compensation and benefits package. The former is usually the younger employees who are grateful for any opportunity while the latter is the more senior employees who have been loyal to the company and therefore deserve such benefits.
While localisation may mean keeping a closer look on the household budget and saving up for the children’s college education, it also means a certain freedom career-wise that isn’t possible with the generous package. And it’s also a desirable strategy in the long run for companies; it helps them maximise the talent they have in their employment and saving themselves money in the future. So it looks like localisation in the expat world is here to stay.
Village Insurance Direct provides expat assistance in finding insurance to cover personal and business needs while in Hong Kong.Contact us or LiveChat with us for more information.