IV. Insurance against damage or loss of property (relating to flats and motor vehicles)

Loss of or damage to household contents such as furniture, decoration, electrical appliances and personal valuables can be insured. A typical example of such kind of insurance is a "Householder's Comprehensive" insurance policy which may provide cover in one package for

  1. loss of or damage to the contents of a dwelling caused by fire, lightning, explosion, burst water pipes, theft, typhoon and windstorm, and flood;
  2. loss of or damage to servants' property;
  3. costs of alternative accommodation during the period in which the household is being repaired after a misfortune that is insured against;
  4. liability to the public; and
  5. personal accident benefits for the policyholder.

Thefts and traffic accidents are a great concern to car owners since they can cause bodily injury or death to a third party, and can also incur huge expenses. Some insurance companies which offer motor vehicle insurance enthusiastically encourage safe driving by granting a "No Claim Discount" if a policy remains claims-free (i.e. the car owner has not submitted any claim before). However, a motor vehicle policy generally does not cover the driver's own death or injury (unless otherwise stated).

  1. If my home and the furniture inside are damaged, will the insurance company compensate me for the full value of my property? Will the insurance company make a professional valuation or estimation before effecting payment?
  2. I am an owner of a flat inside a building that has coverage for third party liability. Can I escape from all liability if visitors or occupiers were injured in an accident inside the building?
  3. When an accident happens, what should a driver do or not to do? In case the driver is being sued by the victims, should the driver appoint a lawyer for defence before informing the insurance company?
  4. Should the driver arrange to repair the car immediately after a traffic accident? Is the driver required to obtain prior approval from the insurance company for the costs of any repair?
  5. I am the registered owner but not the "real owner" of a car ("real owner" is the person who actually paid for the car). Can I obtain insurance coverage in respect of the car? Will it make a difference if I am the "real owner" but not the registered owner?
  6. I am a car owner. Am I bound to purchase third party liability insurance for my car under the law? What are the consequences if I fail to do so?