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Travel Industry Compensation Fund --- A complement to travel insurance
Many people may not be aware that if they unfortunately encounter travel-related problems, other than the travel insurance thay have taken out, they can also enjoy protection provided by the Travel Industry Compensation Fund (TCIF),which is an effective regulatory control over the operation of Hong Kong's travel industry:
Firstly, if a travel agent goes bankrupt, the affected customers are entitled to receive from the TICF an ex gratia payment of up to 90% of the tour fare paid. This coverage is outside the scope of travel insurance cover.
Secondly, if customers are injured or killed in accidents whilst touring abroad, they or their relatives can claim from the Package Tour Accident Contingency Fund Scheme, which is operated by the TICF. On successful application, the following ex gratia payment will be granted:
|Medical expenses incurred in the place of accident outside Hong Kong||Up to HK$100,000|
|Expenses incurred in the place of accident outside Hong Kong for funeral or return of dead body/ashes to Hong Kong||Up to HK$100,000|
|Expenses incurred by relatives of an outbound traveller for making compassionate visit to the place of accident||HK$25,000 per relative and no restriction on the number of relatives, but subject to a total maximum amount of HK$100,000|
As you can see from the above table, the maximum amount of financial relief to the victims may not be enough to cover the necessary expenses. If, unfortunately, customers are injured during their trips and need medical evacuation or emergency services, the cost can be as high as millions of dollars. Therefore, taking out a proper travel insurance plan is critically important.
In general, travel insurance provides necessary coverage that may cover most of the expenses. Take MSIG's iTravel Plus (Single Trip) as an example, it provides:
- Up to HK$2 million cover for worldwide emergency medical evacuation and repatriation after treatment
- Deposit guarantee for hospital admission
- Hospital cash
- 24-hour worldwide travel assistance services
It is suggested that all travellers take out travel insurance and you can remind them to consider the coverage and the cover limit rather than the premium as their primary concern. By the way, although the coverage granted by the TICF is limited, it can still complement the travel insurance taken out by your customers. If your customers would like to claim from the TICF, you can remind them to prepare all necessary documentations especially the receipts issued by the licensed travel agents franked with 0.15% levy payment.
Review your customers' insurance plan now!