Is my insurance still valid after migrating to another country?

insurance still valid after emigration

Most Hong Kongers wonder if the insurance plans they bought here are still effective once they’ve emigrated overseas. Lately, there has been a sharp increase in emigration cases, with America, Canada and Australia as Hong Kongers’ dream destinations. However, since these countries have high requirements for skilled and investment immigration, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia are quickly overtaking their places in popularity.

Given that moving abroad is a major life event, you must plan everything carefully. This includes doing extensive research and preparation. Thus, you must first understand your insurance options before you leave.

Today, our insurance experts at Kwiksure will answer your most frequently asked questions. 

Healthcare insurance 

Most health insurance companies in Hong Kong provide their clients with tailor-made health insurance plans suitable locally. When our government announced the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) with tax deduction as its main attraction, many worried that they won’t receive the benefits anymore if they emigrate while under the plan. This is a legitimate concern. 

Here, the insurance companies created their plans based on the risk landscape of Hong Kong. They factor in things like the local healthcare costs, inflation, and more to calculate the coverage area and determine the costs of their premium. 

So, when you leave Hong Kong, your healthcare insurance plan becomes unsuitable to accommodate your needs overseas. As a result, the insurance companies might deduct from your insurance plans or even cancel them altogether. For example, some policies stipulate that they will only cover half of the compensation for claims outside of Asia, whereas other policies stipulate that the policy cannot be renewed if the policyholder becomes a US citizen.

Even if certain insurance plans will cover medical expenses acquired overseas for their beneficiaries, there are still conditions you have to follow. Namely, taking into account which country their client is in, and how long they’ve stayed in that country. 

It’s important to note that you might be seen as changing your permanent place of residence if you are merely staying overseas for a long time. We recommend these beneficiaries to carefully examine their plan’s terms and conditions to avoid accidentally going over budget. 

Can Hong Kong’s medical insurance match other countries’ needs? 

We suggest getting to know your new country’s public and private healthcare systems since healthcare systems could be very different between countries. 

Many nations require emigration applicants to stay in their new country for several years before they apply for citizenship. During this time, a good health insurance plan is crucial. Usually, before becoming a citizen, you won’t have free access to public medical facilities. Private hospitals, on the other hand, are much more expensive. 

A comprehensive medical plan remains vital even after you’ve obtained your citizenship. For instance, Canada doesn’t even have a private healthcare sector. An ill or injured Canadian could enjoy the free public healthcare services, only needing to pay out-of-pocket for prescriptions. In this case, a Hong Kong health insurance plan can’t accommodate one’s needs. 

Interested in getting access to high-quality medical treatments no matter where you are in the world? The more expensive but comprehensive international healthcare insurance might be for you. 

Accident insurance

Accident insurance usually comes with global coverage. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you can renew your plan once a year. Since there is no or a very low cancellation fee, you can enroll in a new accident insurance plan again after emigrating. 

Life insurance

Again, accident insurance usually has global coverage with the amount of claim you are eligible for depending on your injuries. Because most premiums for life insurance charge a flat rate, if you cancel the plan before enrolling in one again, the cost will depend on your age at the time of enrollment. This means beneficiaries might have to pay a higher premium than before. We recommend keeping a record of all previous insurance statements. 

Motor insurance

Your Hong Kong motor insurance plan will stop working once you go overseas whether you are taking your beloved car with you or not. Moreover, you can’t transfer your plan to someone else. 

Every country calculates their no claims discount (NCD) differently. This is why car owners cannot directly transfer their NCD to be used overseas. However, you can ask your insurance company in Hong Kong to issue a letter certifying that you have no previous claims and no accidents. This way, you can enjoy the current year's NCD when you purchase a new car insurance plan in your new country.

Investment-related products

Most of the investment-related products are based on your investment profits and losses. Even if the policyholder leaves Hong Kong, your plan will not be greatly affected. If the country you are emigrating to does not calculate the income of the policy as profits tax or value-added tax, then you can continue to keep the original insurance plan.

Want to learn more about our insurance products?

Aside from motor insurance, Kwiksure also provides motorcycle insurance, home insurance, VHIS, travel insurance, and many more. Brush up on your driver’s knowledge with our top articles: The benefits of keeping up your car maintenance in Hong Kong and Vehicle examination in Hong Kong. Contact us today and get a free quote