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Injury & Compensation


Articles exclusively contributed by the Gain Miles Group

Getting sick abroad


Getting sick abroad Ms Tam, who works for a Hong Kong-based company, had to go on an extended business trip to China. While working on the Mainland, she was injured in a traffic accident and received medical treatment from a registered medical practitioner there. Her company had purchased both employees' compensation and travel insurance for her business trip. However, is she able to claim both employees' compensation and compensation from her travel insurance?

Employees' compensation insurance

This insurance mainly covers situations where an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment. This includes compensation for:
* periodical payments
* permanent total or partial incapacity
* medical expenses
* the costs of prostheses and surgical appliances.

Ms Tam is therefore able to claim compensation for her medical expenses, as well as the costs of any prostheses or surgical appliances required for her medical treatment in China, provided that she submits the receipt from a registered medical practitioner. In addition, she is eligible to obtain periodical payment compensation if she has been granted a period of sick leave. In a worst-case scenario, she could also receive additional compensation for permanent total or partial incapacity.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance generally covers the following benefits:
* emergency medical expenses
* personal accident protection
* compassionate death cash
* journey cancellation and interruption
* child guard
* personal effects coverage
* delay coverage
* personal liability.

Eligibility

Ms Tam is eligible for emergency medical expenses compensation to pay for the costs of medical treatment, surgery and hospitalisation arising from her accidental injury. If she has suffered permanent total disability, she could also obtain the benefits of personal accident protection. Furthermore, if the requirements are met, she may receive other benefits from the above list.

However, Ms Tam is not able to obtain double benefits, especially for medical expenses, under both types of insurance. She is only able to claim the balance of these expenses. For further details on how to proceed with the claim, please see the question below.

Q & A about travel insurance in employees' compensation
Q1 Which insurance should Ms Tam claim first?
A1 It is better to claim the benefits of travel insurance first, in order to obtain emergency assistance. Ms Tam could claim the balance of her medical expenses and other benefits and compensation later.

Q2 Is there any protection for employees working outside Hong Kong, other than employees' compensation insurance?
A2 Additional protection includes, among other items:
* personal travel insurance for single business trips
* annual travel insurance for business trips throughout the year
* China emergency cards for employees who frequently travel to mainland China
* personal accident insurance.

Q3 Is it an offence for an employer to terminate an injured employee's employment if his or her compensation case is still outstanding?
A3 Under section 48 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, an employer shall not, without the consent of the Commissioner for Labour, terminate the contract of service of an employee who has sustained an injury on duty or give notice to the employee of such termination. An employee who terminates or gives notice to the employee of such termination is liable, on conviction, to pay a maximum fine of HK$100,000.


Taken from Career Times 22 August 2003

(Last review date: 23 August 2013)


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributor.

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