Hong Kong is known as a city that never sleeps. A population of 7 million-plus citizens. Almost every adult in Hong Kong works from morning to evening and lives a hectic lifestyle focused on work and earning. This leaves little time for the things that need to be taken care of at home, for example – cooking, cleaning, childcare and other domestic errands. Unfortunately, the busy lifestyle does not make this easy, as both partners must work to provide their families with the best life.
Living in Hong Kong sounds tough, doesn’t it? – This is why nearly all Hong Kong residents have hired saviours known as domestic helpers, nannies, housekeepers or maids. It is believed that Hong Kong would not be able to survive without these silent heroes, as they are the backbone of many Hong Kong homes.
The domestic helper may perform some or all of their duties while the employer is at work. These domestic helpers make life much easier and more manageable for an average working Hong Kong resident. Their duties involve cleaning, cooking, taking care of the children in the family, and shopping for their needs. Their jobs come with various serious work risks.
These risks are why the Hong Kong labour department has made it mandatory to have domestic helper insurance when hiring helpers. The article will explain why purchasing the best domestic helper insurance is essential to protect your helper and your family.
What is Domestic Helper Insurance?
There are more than 350,000 domestic helpers in Hong Kong, mainly from the Philippines and Indonesia. The government has projected a total need of 600,000 migrant domestic workers by 2047.
Most domestic helpers have moved away from their home country to Hong Kong to earn money for their families (in their home country). However, performing all the duties expected of a domestic helper can have its risks, including injuries, illness, and more.
Every domestic helper needs insurance when they are employed in Hong Kong. Domestic helper insurance provides the helper with the necessary accidental and medical protection. In addition, the insurance helps the employer meet the agreement to be responsible and caring. This insurance benefits the domestic helper and the employer from unforeseen accidents or even fraud caused by the helper.
Reasons For High-Quality Domestic Helper Insurance
1. Employee Compensation– (Injuries At Work)
Domestic helpers may be heroes, but they are still humans that are vulnerable to injuries. These injuries could happen anytime while they are performing duties for their employer. For example, it could be from cutting themselves while cooking or falling while cleaning the home. These injuries can be severe and result in rushing to a hospital.
It will be the employer’s duty to pay for their recovery and care. Not all injuries can be fixed with a simple bandage and may add up to a significant financial bill.
Employee compensation is part of the domestic helper insurance, which covers the domestic helper when they suffer an injury or illness while working and performing duties that the employer instructed. The insurance will cover all medical bills that have resulted from an injury at work. It is the basic role of domestic helper insurance and is crucial for the domestic helper and the employer. However, it only covers working injuries and may not cover injuries they suffer on their days off.
2. Medical Protection-(Injuries and Sickness at Any time)
Domestic helpers must be safe wherever they are and whatever they do. Although we all know some accidents and mistakes unexpectedly happen. Accidents could be anything from the domestic helper slipping and breaking a bone on her day off to something more life-threatening like a disease or getting hit by a car. Especially due to the pandemic, the risk of illness has increased and can result in hospitalisation of the domestic helper. This, again, could cost the employer a sizeable medical bill and financial burden.
High-quality domestic helper insurance will cover these risks and provide medical protection for the helper in case of a severe injury. In addition, the insurance will also cover hospitalisation expenses due to critical illness. This factor provides the helper medical protection, no matter if they were working or on their off day.
Another crucial part of high-quality medical insurance is that when the domestic helper is hospitalised for more than five days, the insurance company will provide a daily cash subsidy to the helper (depending on the insurance company).
3. Protection From Third Party Liability
Like any person, domestic helpers are unpredictable, and their actions cannot always be controlled. Although, in the end, the employer is liable for their actions and will have to pay the consequences ( depending on how serious the actions are). Third-party liability can be either accidental injury or property damage caused by your helper.
The incident could be if she/he accidentally breaks someone else’s property or pushes someone resulting in an injury. The person injured or the owner of the property may take legal action against the helper. In such cases, you will be liable to pay for your helper’s legal costs.
Domestic helper insurance will assist during these surprising incidents on the third party. The insurer will pay for the costs involved, such as legal and settlement costs. These incidents may be unlikely, but it is always better to be safe with good domestic helper insurance, as accidents can happen anytime. Insurance will help the employer reduce liability risks and gives peace of mind if a helper does cause unwanted trouble.
4. Expenses For Helper To Return To Her Country (Emergency)
Sometimes, a domestic helper has to return to her home country due to drastic health reasons. The employer must send and pay for the helpers travelling home due to their health or termination of the contract. When sending a helper home, can be expensive, depending on the time and related issues. In the worst case, the helper may pass away in Hong Kong, and it will be the employer’s duty to send the remains back to the helper’s home country and the family, which can cost more than HKD 10,000.
In these horrible case scenarios, domestic helper insurance will help the employer pay for flight tickets to their home country and will cover all costs involved in any case. However, the helper’s reason for returning home must be an emergency or medical-related. Hopefully, no emergencies occur, but an employer should always be prepared to help their helper in any case.
5. Fidelity Protection
A domestic helper is like any employee, as there is a risk of them not being who they are. A company hires employees after maybe 1- 3 interviews- then are shared company secrets and work. Domestic helper is the same; they are in charge of the house, children, and sometimes even bank cards. It is unlikely, but possible that the helper may not be as honest as desired. An employer will only discover this when it is too late. Such dishonest acts mainly include stealing from the employer.
Domestic helper insurance provides fidelity protection from these risks and dishonest crimes. The insurance will cover whatever has been stolen and the cost of replacing the door lock. Some insurance will also provide re-hiring expenses when the employer fires the current domestic helper. Hence, it is essential to purchasing high-coverage insurance to protect yourself and your family – as it is almost impossible to forecast how the domestic helper will act in the future.
Domestic Helper Insurance Benefits for Everyone
Helper Feels Protected And Cared For
High-quality domestic helper insurance will provide all the factors listed above and more. Domestic helper insurance is an excellent investment as it can help both parties through many situations. Employers need to explain to their domestic helper that they are covered and taken care of during the period of employment. This gives the helper satisfaction that she is cared for and will be appreciated for her duties. This could increase their motivation to work for the employer and feel at ease knowing she is protected.
Most families are fortunate to find hardworking, kind, and trustworthy helpers. Although at first, helpers could be either a blessing or a curse to the family as they are strangers on day one. It can go either way and is a risk one has to take in Hong Kong. If things get bad, the employer does not have to worry – as the insurance will reimburse their financial loss and take action to ensure the family is safe.
The highest quality protection will still cost less than HKD 1,000 per year. Many factors make purchasing high-quality domestic helper insurance a good choice. The value of the insurance is defined by the amount it will cover the employer and the helper. Therefore it is vital to buy the best quality for the best outcome and protection. It is an investment for a better and safer tomorrow.
We never know what could happen to these silent heroes who serve our homes and our needs in Hong Kong.
To learn more about domestic helper insurance and get the best coverage for you and your domestic helper, contact Red Asia Insurance.