Five important notes when making home insurance claims

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When Typhoon Mangkhut pummelled Hong Kong on 16 September last year, trees were uprooted and many parts of the city were flooded. It was not completely safe indoors either. Windows in buildings across Hong Kong were broken and water seeped into homes, even causing injuries in some cases.

While home insurance generally offers protection for home contents, including their damage or loss due to accidents such as floods, typhoons, etc., depending on the extent and reason for the damage, building insurance offers protection for building structures, such as walls, ceilings, windows, doors, etc.

What should you be aware of when making home insurance claims for damages to your home or home contents caused by a typhoon?

1. Glass windows are the structural part of your home

Glass windows in your home are considered structure, and are covered by the building insurance. However, if a broken window results in the damage to furniture or electronic appliances indoors, and even property damage or physical injury to third party, such damage or injury are covered by home insurance. Therefore, owners should purchase building insurance as well as home insurance to enjoy comprehensive protection.

2. Third party liability coverage

If a typhoon damages a glass window, and the falling glass shards cause death or injury to a passer-by, the owner may be held liable to it. The personal liability section in the home insurance will offer protection in such cases.

In case of any accident untoward, the insured should not, on their own, admit to any liability to a third party, offer promise or make any compensation. When necessary, please call MSIG claims services hotline* to seek professional advice.

Claim procedure:

  1. Copies of any documents related to the claim.
  2. Claims or writs of summons or legal documents (if any).
  3. Photographs showing the scene of the accident, and the extent of damages or injuries.
  4. Complete the claim form online using EASY Claims and upload the relevant supporting documents.

3. Home contents

The coverage of home insurance includes the home contents and valuables belonging to the insured and his or her family members who are living in the same residence. In respect of different sums insured for each home content and valuable set by different insurance companies, the insured may have a rough estimate of the total value of his or her home contents and valuables belonging before making decision on the sum insured. The insured may increase their sum insured for his or her personal valuables to enjoy a comprehensive protection.

Claim procedure:

  1. Do not discard or repair damaged objects.
  2. Photograph the damaged objects that clearly shows the damaged parts.
  3. If possible, provide the invoice issued at the time of purchasing the damaged object.
  4. Complete the claim form online using EASY Claims and upload the relevant supporting documents.

4. Crucial 30-days

With a view that there is a greater risk of accidents and more severer damages if the premises are not lived in for a long period of time, most home insurance plans in the market stipulate that the insured and their family members who are living in the same premises shall not be unoccupied from the premises for more than 30 consecutive days. For example, the longer the time a burst pipe at home remains undetected and unattended to, the greater the damage to the home contents. Therefore, if the insured leaves the premises for a long period of time, especially during the typhoon season, he or she can arrange family members and friends to check the premises regularly during the period to reduce the risk of accidents and the damages caused. When family members and friends arrive, they can also register at the management office. In case of claim, they can prove that the premises do not exceed the unoccupied period.

5. Take note of deductibles

When choosing a home insurance plan, the insured may focus only on the coverage but neglect the deductibles and claim limit of the policy. Most insurance companies set a deductible, and for damages caused by a serious disaster such as landslide and subsidence, the insured shall bear a higher deductibles. Given that different insurance companies set different terms and conditions for deductibles, the insured should compare the fees and terms and conditions of different plans before making decision.

* MSIG claims services hotline: +852 2894 0660

Please contact contact for your enquiries about the details of home insurance.

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