Below is some information and FAQ on domestic helper insurance issues


Is Domestic Helper Insurance same as an Employee's Compensation?
An Employees' Compensation Insurance covers compensation that the policy holder is legally liable to pay as an employer to his/her employee for his/her bodily injury by accident or disease arising out of and in the course of employment. A Domestic Helper Insurance Policy is a specially designed insurance product. The Policy includes an Employees' Compensation Insurance cover (usually as a compulsory section of the Policy) that a person needs to insure for his domestic helper and some other optional insurances that the employer may want to buy because of the employment of a domestic helper. Domestic Helper Policy is now generally regarded as Employees' Compensation insurance for employment of domestic helper.


My domestic helper only work for us on Sunday? Do I need to buy insurance for her?
As long as he/she is an employee of you, you are required to buy the insurance even he/she only works for you on a part time basis. However, you are only liable to pay for and your insurance will only cover the domestic helper's injury in the course of your employment but not of the others'.


Is the Domestic Helper Insurance applicable only to helper recruited outside Hong Kong?
Although this special insurance product was developed as a result of more and more household servant being recruited from other countries such as Philippine, the insurance policy does not have any limitation as to nationality of the helper. However, as many insurance companies choose to insure their preferred risks, there is less popular to see insurance policy covers local helper in Hong Kong.


I have already bought a very comprehensive personal accident and medical insurance for my domestic helper. Do I still need to buy a Domestic Helper Insurance for her?
Yes, the insurances you have bought are only considered as additional benefits which can not replace an Employees' Compensation Insurance or a Domestic Helper Insurance. It is a statutory requirement that a person has to purchase Employees' Compensation Insurance for all person(s) who is (are) working with him under a contract of employment whether in writing or oral, express or implied.


What does a Domestic Helper Insurance cover?
A Domestic Helper Insurance Policy would contain various sections of insurance cover. Different insurance companies would provide different number of sections and different coverage. However, an Employees' Compensation Insurance is included as a compulsory section. The other sections that may be included are: -
  • Medical Cover (can be further divided into Hospitalisation and Clinical Expense)
  • Personal Accident Benefits
  • Dental Expenses
  • Repatriation Expenses
  • Fidelity Guarantee
  • Personal Effects (of the domestic helper)
  • Replacement Helper Expenses
  • Services Interruption Cover
  • Emergency Assistance

    Do I need to effect the Domestic Helper Insurance once I signed the contract?
    No, you are only required to have the insurance when the domestic helper commences his/her services to you. For instance, you don't need to effect the insurance when you signed the contract for recruiting a helper outside from Hong Kong but on the date he/she reports duty and commence his/her services to you.


    I have employed a domestic helper to look after my mother at her house. How should I arrange the Domestic Helper policy?
    A domestic helper contract (particularly that for domestic helper recruited from outside Hong Kong) should have stated specifically at where the helper shall work and reside and where can only be the residence of the employer. Therefore, you need to be very careful whether or not this arrangement is in conflict with the contract you have with the helper. Otherwise, you are at the risk of doing something that is in breach of the contract and is legally not allowed. To ensure the insurance policy agrees with the contract and both are legal, you are advised to enter the contract with the helper and arrange the insurance in the way that your mother is the employer and her house is the residence.


    Can I cover my domestic helper in the insurance I bought for the staff working in my office?
    The laws do not have any specific requirement as to how you insure Employee's Compensation for your helper. However, unless you have some professional insurance people advising you how to arrange the policy, you are not suggested to do so, as it requires professional insurance knowledge. Firstly, particulars such as employer's name and place of employment under the contract you entered with your office staff and that you entered with your helper are normally not the same. Secondly, insurance company, unless specifically advised the otherwise, is not prepared to cover domestic helper in a policy that is designed for an office environment. Furthermore, office insurance will not provide the other optional insurance coverage mentioned above and that you may want to buy for your helper.


    My family is moving away from Hong Kong and my domestic helper will go with us, will the domestic helper insurance continue cover?
    It is very unlikely that the Domestic Helper Insurance Policy can continue the cover after you have moved to other country with your helper. Firstly, the Employees' Compensation Insurance in the Domestic Helper Insurance Policy is subject to related laws in Hong Kong. Other country would have different legislative requirements so that your Policy is no longer applicable. Secondly, a Domestic Helper Policy normally contain a geographically limit which is Hong Kong that makes your Policy become invalid once you have moved out of Hong Kong. Furthermore, your Domestic Helper Policy's insurance company may not have office in the place you are moving to thus are not able to continue its services to you.


    My family is going to take vacation out of Hong Kong and I will bring my domestic helper along with us. Does my Domestic Helper Insurance covers accident happening during my vacation?
    A Domestic Helper Policy normally contains a geographical limit that is Hong Kong. As such, unless there is specific condition that allows you do so, you are recommended to advise your insurance company your such plan and obtain specific agreement from them.


    Does the Domestic Helper Insurance provide cover when my domestic helper is off-duty?
    The Employees' Compensation section of your Domestic Helper Policy covers only accident or disease arising out of and in the course of employment by you and will not cover off-duty. However, the Personal Accident Insurance section and the Medical Insurance section are usually on 24 hours and 365 days basis and are not restricted to employment related event and cause.


    My domestic helper does part time work when she is off-duty. Do I need to insure her injury during the part time work? Does the Domestic Helper Insurance cover it?
    Legally, you are not required to insure injury to your helper in the course of his/her employment by other employer. However, the following sections of your Domestic Helper Insurance shall respond to her injury: -
  • Personal Accident Insurance, which is on 24 hours 365 days basis.
  • Medical Cover to cover medical expense, which is not necessary as a result of your employment
  • Services Interruption should your helper cannot perform your employment as a result of the injury
  • Repatriation Expense should repatriation is necessary.

    Does the Domestic Helper Insurance cover all kinds of work my domestic helper doing for me? For example, apart from doing housework in my house, my domestic helper also works in the restaurant I owned and she also drives my son to school. Does my Domestic Helper Insurance cover these activities?
    A Domestic Helper Policy usually does not contain any expressed condition as to what your helper can and cannot do. However reference may be made to related contract and laws. For instance, the Employment Ordinance stated that '"domestic servant" includes a garden servant, chauffeur and boatboy and any other personal servant of a like class. The current standard Employment Contract (For A Domestic Helper recruited from outside Hong Kong) has specifically included "household chores, cooking, looking after aged person in the household, baby-sitting, child-minding" as duties of a domestic helper. Duties apart from these have to be listed in the contract. Working in a restaurant obviously will not be considered as a household helper's duty and will not be covered under the Employees' Compensation Insurance Section. Driving your kids to school but not driving you to work will be considered a domestic helper's duty.


    My domestic helper stole my wife's neck ring, was it covered under a Domestic Helper Insurance?
    The Fidelity Guarantee section covers your direct loss or money or property through any dishonest or criminal act committed by your domestic helper. As long as you have insured this section, the insurance company will reimburse your loss subject to Policy's other conditions and limit.


    My domestic helper is sick and needs to take medical treatment in the hospital. What compensation I can get from a Domestic Helper Insurance?
    If you have insured, the Medical Cover section will cover subject to the Policy's other conditions and limit the medical expense. Some Domestic Helper Policy contains section of "Services Interruption Cover" which, if you have taken, will pay you a certain amount per day of your helper's services being interrupted as a result of such hospital confinement. The amount payable will be several hundred dollars per day and subject to a maximum amount of several thousand dollars.


    I am not going to renew the contract with my domestic helper and I need to send her back to her country of residence. Does the Repatriation Section of my Domestic Helper Insurance cover this expense?
    The Repatriation Section will only cover cost of repatriation because of specific reasons such as your helper is medically unfit to complete the contract or in the event of death, the repatriation of his/her mortal remains to the country of residence. Your willful repatriation because of reason such as you are not satisfied with his/her performance will not be covered.


    I send my domestic helper to medical check up once for every two years. Does the Medical Cover Section of my Domestic Helper Insurance cover this expense?
    The Medical Cover Section will cover medical examination that is certified by medical practitioner as necessary for diagnosis purpose but not routine medical check up or medical check up for employment purpose.


    My house was just broken in by a burglar. The burglar has stolen my property as well as that of my helper. The burglar injured my helper when she discovered it. What compensation I can get from a Domestic Helper Insurance?
    The following sections of a Domestic Helper Policy will compensate you as long as you have taken it.
      i) Employees' Compensation Section will compensate the helper's injury according to the Ordinance.
      ii) The Medical Section will cover medical expense that is not covered under the Employees' Compensation Section.
      iii) The Personal Effects Section will cover your helper's loss of property.
      The amount payable under ii) and iii) will depend on the Policy's limit.


    I changed domestic helper in the middle of my Domestic Helper Insurance Policy period. Do I need to arrange another policy and will I get refund from my current policy?
    Your insurance company shall allow you to continue the policy for cover to the new helper. What you need to do is to provide information such as date of change, personal particulars of your new helper.  


    My domestic helper is 65 year old. Will the Domestic Helper Insurance covers if I continue her services?
    Almost all Domestic Helper policies available from the market contain an age limit. However, the limit varies from policies. You are suggested to refer to your policy or consult your insurance company’s representative for the limit in your policy and whether it can be extended to cover helper of age over 65?for details.


    Does my domestic helper needs to take medical examination before she can be covered under a Domestic Helper Insurance?

    Usually not. However, the application usually ask for declaration on your helper’s heath condition based on that the insurance will decide whether to accept the application and if accept on what terms.


    How is premium of a Domestic Helper Policy charged?
    Usually, insurance companies charge a single premium for all sections included and under such circumstance all benefits are packaged.


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