Travel Insurance Basics – What are you Actually Buying?

What does Travel Insurance even cover? Why are you always being asked to buy it when you buy airline tickets on Expedia, Zuji, and airlines’ own websites?

In Western countries, many benefits are bundled into your credit card – most people don’t even know! But in Hong Kong, consumer protection is not very good –  a HKD 50 Wellcome cash voucher is considered a great benefit. Also, the travel agent culture leads people to pay with cash or bank transfer for discounts, not realizing that this further erodes whatever small protections are built in to paying through your credit card.

There are FOUR main protections you are purchasing when you buy travel insurance.

  1. Accident Protection

This usually covers accidental death and disablement/loss of limbs. Obviously if this happens to you or a loved one, your life is forever changed for the worse. But you can take some small comfort to know that the insurance can help ease your financial burden a bit.

  1. Medical Expenses

How much medical insurance coverage you have will typically determine the cost of the insurance – more medical = more expensive.

You may have some medical insurance from work, or you might have a personal policy.

But not all medical policies are created the same – assuming you’re covered for all scenarios can be a costly mistake. Here are 2 reasons to buy travel insurance for medical:

  1. Most medical policies (both local Hong Kong and even many International Plans) exclude winter/water sports – be careful when assuming your medical insurance will cover you when skiing, scuba diving or rock climbing – it might not.
  2. You have a deductible/excess on your personal policy where you won’t be reimbursed unless your medical bills are over a certain amount.

Travel insurance solves both these issues as they’re designed to cover “holiday sports” and acute medical conditions from the 1st dollar.

  1. Personal Liability

Many people ask if this will cover driving a car – it won’t. But it will cover accidents you may not think of – perhaps losing control of a shopping cart and damaging someone’s car, or accidentally stepping on and breaking someone’s toe at the airport while your hands are full with multiple bags.

  1. Travel Benefits

Anything associated with delayed/cancelled flights, lost or delayed baggage, or even lost money/passports fall under this.


Find this advice useful and ready to buy? Fill out this brief form for a quote and Groveland Financial Services Limited, our partner will get back to you in 1 business day. A HKID is needed to buy local travel insurance.

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