While Hong Kong is a convenient city when it comes to public transport and daily commute, it may not be so ideal if you are traveling with kids. Just imagine the scene your child may make in a congested MTR compartment when there is a service delay or disruption (which seem to be getting much more frequent these days), or how difficult it is to grab a seat on a bus during rush hour. To that end, a car seems to be a necessity for new mothers and fathers. However, while driving with kids can be fun, it is also every parent’s responsibility to keep their children safe on the go. Before you get behind the wheel, Kwiksure will give you a few tips on how you can properly protect your kids in your car.
Before we dig deeper into the motor insurance side of this subject, let’s go through how you can ensure the safety of your little ones while driving:
Install a safety seat
While it is common sense that we should all buckle up our seat belts whenever possible, those seat belts are not designed for children and babies, as they will not securely sit across the right parts of their body. In the event of a car accident, normal seat belts will not provide proper protection against the impact of a crash. Therefore, to ascertain that your child is securely fastened to their seat, you should put them in an appropriate car restraint/safety seat. That way, they are less likely to be thrown around the car. The right type of safety seat will depend on your child’s age and weight, so be sure to check the Hong Kong Transport Department’s guide on child safety in cars to find the most suitable model for their size. Furthermore, you should make sure that the safety seat is properly installed, as well as that the harness fits snugly.
In the case that your child is in someone else's car, or if you are transporting more children than usual, where child restraints might not be available, you should still fasten the seat belts for your kids rather than not restraining them at all.
Install a backup camera
Young children are so small in size that they often end up in the driver’s blind zone. Attached to the rear of a vehicle, backup cameras can effectively reduce blind zones by 90% and help drivers avoid bumping into objects or young children while backing up.
Use child-safety locks
When a child-safety lock is activated, car doors cannot be opened from the inside. These locks can prevent children in the rear seat from accidentally opening the door or window while you are driving. Of course, you should also never let children play with keys or access an unattended vehicle.
You should secure any loose items in the cargo area using anchors so that they won’t fly into the seating area if you have a crash or have to brake suddenly.
Never leave children unattended in the car
You should stay vigilant at all times, as accidents can happen in cars even when you are not driving. Many children are left by their parents in the car and die every year from heatstroke, so it is crucial that you check the back of your car before you leave your vehicles, and be sure to remove your kids from parked cars.
Secure proper motor insurance to protect your children
While there is no form of insurance specifically for children, it is legally mandatory that every driver in Hong Kong should purchase a car insurance policy. The most basic form of such insurance is called third party insurance, which provides reimbursement of up to one million dollars in the event of bodily injury or death. On the other hand, comprehensive insurance covers not only third party injury or property damage, but also covers damages to your vehicle.
Which type of insurance should you purchase?
Interestingly, in Hong Kong passengers in your car are considered “third parties”, and are thus covered by third party policies for up to the plan’s limit. In order words, your children will benefit from the protection of your liability insurance. So if you are looking for the most basic form of insurance that can protect your children, third party insurance is the way to go.
Nevertheless, third party insurance only provides compensation for up to one million dollars per accident, and does not include the policyholder’s vehicle. So if the accident involves injuries of multiple persons, or if you have collided with an expensive race car, the reimbursement may not be enough, and you will have to pay a large sum out of pocket. Hence, it is recommended that drivers should secure comprehensive motor insurance, which is more expensive, but provides more extensive financial coverage.
Last but certainly not least, if you are looking to cover your injuries as a driver, you should note that any injuries you sustain will not be covered if the accident is caused by you as the driver, regardless of whether you have comprehensive or third party motor insurance. If you want to protect yourself against the costs of personal injury in such cases, you should obtain personal accident insurance and/or medical insurance instead.
With over 18 years of experience, Kwiksure is an established insurance intermediary specializing in Hong Kong motor insurance, as well as a range of other insurance products, such as travel insurance and home insurance. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and/or a plan comparison via our online quote system.