If you are an HSBC client and you hold a Platinum credit card or a Business credit card, the bank offers you various benefits, including extensive insurance for when you are travelling.
Complimentary insurance policies attached to your credit card can save you time and money. To be able to take full advantage of insurance you need to know what situations you are covered for, how much you can get as compensation and what you aren't covered for.
It's also important to know what measures and steps the insurance company expects you to take in the event that you have to file a claim. This is extremely important because if you don't follow the correct procedure, you could end up having your claim denied.
In this document, we'll be looking at every aspect of the insurance policies attached to HSBC Platinum and Business credit cards. So, if you hold either of these cards, you will have all the information you need to take full advantage of these complimentary insurance policies, which will save you money and time.
HSBC Platinum Credit Cards
What Insurance Policies Come with HSBC Platinum and Business Credit Cards?
HSBC offers two different insurance policies with their Platinum and Business credit cards, namely:
The former is designed to protect you, your family and your belongings while you are travelling overseas, while the latter is meant to offer coverage while you are in transit if an accident were to occur.
Let's take a closer look at these policies to discover what you are covered for, the maximum benefits offered and the specific exclusions that apply to each policy.
1. International Travel Insurance
The International Travel Insurance policy ensures that HSBC Platinum and Business credit cardholders are protected while travelling overseas and features a wide range of benefits.
Things to know
- Who This Policy Covers and Eligibility Conditions
Coverage and Benefits You Are Entitled to Under the International Travel
- Overseas medical and hospital costs
- Lost or damaged personal items, business laptops and cameras
- Resuming your trip after a relative has passed away
- Special event
- Cancelling your travel plans and other unexpected costs
- Coverage for rental vehicle excess
- Travel delays
- Funeral Costs
- Accidental Death
Who This Policy Covers and Eligibility Conditions
The first thing to determine, with any insurance policy, is who the policy covers and what the eligibility conditions are. This is especially important when it comes to policies attached to credit cards as they often have special conditions.
In terms of the insurance policy connected to HSBC's Business and Platinum cards, to be eligible for coverage you need to have used your card to pay a minimum of 90 per cent of the cost of your return travel ticket or at least $950 of your prepaid overseas travel expenses. The latter can include any of the following:
- Overseas return travel ticket
- Airport or departure fees
- Overseas lodging expenses
- Overseas travel expenditure
- Other prepaid items on your overseas itinerary
If you have fulfilled these conditions, then you will be considered eligible for coverage and the policy will become active. Note that once you become eligible, the same policy can also cover your spouse and any dependent children travelling with you, as long as they meet the same conditions. In other words, you have to pay for their return tickets or a minimum of $950 of their prepaid travel costs using your HSBC card.
Note that for HSBC Business cards, the employee to whom the card has been issued is eligible for coverage as well as their spouse and dependent children, as long as they meet all of the terms stipulated above.
Note that coverage applies for a duration that cannot exceed four consecutive months. The only situation in which this timeframe can be extended is if the person covered by this policy is involved in an event they are covered for and this event causes their delay in returning to Australia, or if the transport the person is travelling on is delayed due to circumstances the person in question cannot control. The extension cannot exceed four weeks but will end if you return to Australia before the four weeks are up.Back to top
Coverage and Benefits You Are Entitled to Under the International Travel Insurance Policy
The International Travel Insurance policy offers a wide range of covers, ensuring you are protected in various situations. It can save you a lot of money and hassle, so let's see exactly what you are covered for and how much compensation you can get in each situation.
Overseas medical and hospital costs
You are insured for any medical and hospital costs incurred overseas while you are travelling under an active policy. Note that the insurer has the right to demand you be returned to Australia to receive further medical attention. If this occurs, you will have to rely on private medical insurance or Medicare as Zurich, HSBC's partner and the insurance company offering this policy, is not licenced to cover your costs in Australia.
However, if you refuse to return to Australia, the insurance company will no longer cover any other medical costs you are saddled with while you are overseas.
The following are considered eligible medical costs:
- Surgery or medical and paramedical treatment;
- Any other type of medical therapy recommended or prescribed by a qualified and registered physician;
- Emergency treatment by a dentist up to $750, where the dentist gives written confirmation that you had to be treated because you experienced sudden and severe pain. Note that you are not covered for ongoing dental treatment;
- Nursing home, hospital or ambulance costs;
- Emergency transport to Australia or another location, if there are no medical facilities or services in the area where you are or if the medical care is substandard. Note that Zurich Assist must determine whether or not there is a reason to evacuate you and must handle the evacuation or you will not be eligible for compensation.
If the insurance company is willing to cover the cost of any hospital and medical charges you incur while you are in an overseas medical facility, you are also entitled to compensation for incidental costs, such as renting a television, purchasing newspapers or making phone calls from the hospital. You are entitled to this allowance for every continuous 24-hour period you are hospitalised as a bed care patient, as long as you provide the insurer with written proof from the hospital regarding the duration of your stay.
Note that the insurance company will only cover your medical expenses if you become sick while you are travelling abroad or suffer an injury as long as the latter was the result of an accident caused by sudden physical force.
The insurance company will cover the cost of a friend or family member coming to your location to accompany you back to your home in Australia. However, they will only cover said costs if all of the following conditions are met:
- You suffer an injury or become severely while the insurance policy is active;
- You provide the insurer with proof of the need for an escort under the guise of a written medical recommendation from a qualified, registered medical professional;
- Zurich Assist is in agreement with the medical professional's assessment regarding the need for an escort.
Note that payment will be made to the person who covered the costs. In other words, if you were the one who paid for your friend to come and get you, then you will be reimbursed. However, if your friend paid out of his or her own pocket, then they will be the one to receive compensation.
There are also other conditions attached to this benefit. Thus, the insurance company will only pay for any medical costs if all of the following conditions are met:
- The medical costs were incurred while you were travelling overseas, within one year of the date when you became ill or disabled;
- You are the personal who has the legal responsibility of paying the medical costs;
- You can provide the insurance company with proof under the guise of a written medical recommendation issued by a registered, qualified medical professional, showing what your illness or injury was as well as the therapy you need for the problem in question;
- The insurance company feels that the medical costs are at a reasonable level and that they were really required.
If you need to be urgently evacuated to Australia, note that you will only receive compensation if said evacuation is handled by Zurich Assist.
However, there are also certain limitations. Thus, the insurance company will not reimburse you for costs that:
- Were the result of you needing dental treatment for deteriorated or decayed teeth or treatment that involves the use of precious metals;
- Are the result of preventative dental treatment or your dentures, bridges or crowns suffering damage;
- You can be reimbursed by another source, such as a government scheme or private medical fund;
- You incurred at home, in Australia;
- Are the result of HIV, AIDS, ARC, or any connected illnesses, regardless of how you contracted the disease;
- Are the result of a sexually transmitted disease;
- Are the result of any disease that you contracted while taking or giving a drug. There is one exception and that is if the procedure was overseen by a registered and authorised medical professional and the disease isn't part of any other exclusion named in this policy.
In terms of compensation, there is no limit to how much you can receive. However, the level of your bed care patient allowance is limited to $75 per day and cannot exceed $2,250 in total, which accounts for 30 days of hospitalisation. In most cases, this should be more than sufficient, especially since it's quite likely that if you need more than a month in hospital, Zurich will arrange for you to return to Australia for further medical treatment.
Note that this policy does not apply to any pre-existing medical conditions unless you have spoken to the insurance company in advance and they have agreed to provide coverage. If the latter is the case, then you must have also paid the administrative fee for the policy to apply.Back to top
Lost or damaged personal items, business laptops and cameras
The insurance company will protect you while you are travelling abroad against certain items getting stolen, being lost or incurring damage. Thus, the items covered by this policy are as follows:
- Luggage, clothes and personal valuables;
- Light electrical goods and binoculars (note that scratched lenses are not covered);
- Cameras and related items or accessories (note that scratched lenses are not covered);
- Laptops and related items or accessories (note that scratched screens are not covered);
- Travel papers, travellers cheques, bank notes, currency, postal orders, money orders, cash, credit cards or petrol coupons as long as these are items you took with you on your trip for personal needs.
Note that business laptops and cameras are also covered by this policy.
Furthermore, the insurance company will also cover the cost of urgently replacing essentials such as clothing and toiletries, if your bags are lost, delayed or ends up in a different location and is inaccessible for more than 12 hours.
Of course, as is to be expected, there are certain conditions that apply. If you file a claim, you have to prove that you were the owner of the items that are the object of the claim and you also need to prove how much these objects were worth, such as by submitting receipts or valuations if the item was a piece of jewellery. Note that if you are unable to prove how much the objects were worth, the highest level of compensation you can receive is 10 per cent of the maximum amount shown in the benefits table below.
If you accidentally lose your travel papers, credit cards or travellers cheques, or they are stolen, you will be reimbursed for the cost of replacing the items as well as any situations in which you might be legally liable if they were used without authorisation. However, this only applies if you were in full compliance with all the criteria you agree to when these items were issued and you made sure to report the theft or loss to the correct authorities, such as the bank or the police, as soon as you realised they were missing.
In the situation in which you are filing a claim because you urgently had to replace personal essentials, you will need to submit written confirmation from the airline that was handling your luggage stating the length of the delay. Furthermore, you will need to submit receipts to the insurance company to prove the cost of the items you were forced to purchase.
In terms of compensation, you cannot receive more than $25,000 per person up to a maximum of $40,000 if you are travelling with your family. Note that if you left your belongings without supervision in a car or other vehicle, the maximum you can receive is $150 per item and no more than $1,000 for the event.
- For baggage, clothing and personal valuable items, you can receive a maximum of $6,000 per item;
- Light electrical goods and binoculars will get you no more than $6,000 per item;
- For a stolen or lost camera and any related items or accessories, you are entitled to $6,000 per camera;
- Travel documents, traveller's cheques, credit cards, cash and so on will get you $600 per person but no more than $1,100 if you are travelling with family;
- For the urgent replacement of personal essentials, you are entitled to a maximum of $1,000 but no more than $1,750 for your entire family, if you are travelling together.
Resuming your trip after a relative has passed away
If you are forced to interrupt your trip and come back to Australia as the result of a relative passing away but then you need to resume your trip, the insurance company covers you for any reasonable transport costs you have to pay to return to Australia.
Note that Zurich will only cover these costs under the following conditions:
- You resume your trip within a month of your return to Australia;
- Your trip had not come to a close before you came back home and you have at least two weeks or 25% of your trip left, whichever time frame is longer;
- Your family member passed away after you booked your trip;
- Your claim is not the object of an exclusion under any other aspect of this policy. Note that if said exclusion is owed to a pre-existing medical condition your relative suffered from, you will still be reimbursed as long as a doctor had not declared the person in question to be terminally ill before you left on your trip.
Thus, the insurance company will cover the cost of an economy airfare to Australia and back to the location where you were supposed to be at the time of your return from abroad. Note that the maximum you can get is $7,500 per person but no more than $14,000 if you are travelling with your entire family.Back to top
If you have to interrupt your trip due to reasons beyond your control, which leads to you missing a special event that cannot be rescheduled, like a wedding or a concert, the insurance company will cover any extra expenses you incur by using a different type of transport to get to the location of the special event on time.
In terms of actual figures, you can expect to be reimbursed for transport expenses up to $3,000.Back to top
Cancelling your travel plans and other unexpected costs
This section of the policy offers you compensation for any expenses you might incur if you have to cancel your trip as well as for other unexpected costs. There is a stipulation that this section of the policy only applies if your claim doesn't fall under any other section of the current policy.
Additionally, to receive compensation, the expenses in question must be incurred as a result of:
- A natural disaster taking place or having recently taken place or there being reasonable evidence that one might take place either where you are headed or where you or the person travelling with you live in Australia;
- Your residence in Australia or that of the person accompanying you being completely destroyed;
- Ending up in quarantine, unexpectedly. This applies to you and your travelling companion;
- You or your travelling companion having to appear unexpectedly in court in Australia as a result of a subpoena;
- A pre-existing medical problem as long as the insurance company has given their approval in writing in advance stating that they will cover your medical problem and you have covered the cost of the administrative fee;
- After buying your overseas return airfare, you realise that you have a medical issue. Note that the insurance company will not cover you for any expenses related to that medical condition;
- You, the person accompanying you or a family member suddenly pass away, suffer a severe injury or fall seriously sick. In this case, the insurance company requires proof from a qualified, registered medical professional;
- You lose your travel documents or they are stolen while you are travelling abroad;
- The leave you arranged for yourself and received authorisation is cancelled with no notice if you work for the police, fire, ambulance, emergency or defence services. Note that the same applies to your travelling companion;
- The method of transportation you are using is unexpectedly cancelled or delayed by the transport company because of:
- Mechanical faults;
- Riots, strikes, civil unrest but not issues like terrorist acts, war, rebellion or revolution;
- Severe weather problems;
- Natural disasters;
- You miss one leg of your transportation because the previous leg was cancelled or delayed;
- You are suddenly retrenched or this occurs to the person accompanying you. Note that this does not cover redundancy or voluntary retrenchment.
- Note that there are exclusions that apply. Thus, you will not receive compensation for any situation that is the result of or caused by:
- You or the person accompanying you being unable to get a visa or a passport;
- A reservation made with a company that does not have a licence to operate in their respective field, such as an airline, tour operator or travel agent;
- The tour operator, transporter, travel agent or wholesaler being unable to fulfil their obligations due to negligence or other issues;
- The tour operator, travel agent, transporter or wholesaler being unable to fulfil their obligations because they didn't get the number of people required to complete any arrangements, like transport or a conference or so on and so forth;
- Any of the above mentioned providers being unable to provide you with the services you contracted because they have collapsed financially or have become insolvent.
Note that if you have any intention of lodging a claim under this section of the policy, you must do everything in your power to reduce the level of losses you incurred. Thus, as quickly as you can after cancelling your travel plans, you need to:
- Get hold of any refunds that are available;
- Cancel any other arrangements you might have made, such as lodging or transport, that you can no longer use because you cancelled your trip.
- If you decide to resume your trip at the earliest possible chance after cancelling it, the insurance company will either:
- Cover the costs of any of your cancelled travel plans that you already paid for but couldn't use and are not entitled to a refund for;
- Cover the cost of using a higher class of transportation or higher rates due to seasonality, if that is the only mode of transportation available.The insurer will cover these expenses after deducting any refundable portion of your cancelled travel plans. Note that you will only receive compensation to upgrade your ticket on the same type of transport you had initially booked but then had to cancel.
- These expenses arose during your trip and you are the person who is supposed to pay them, from a legal standpoint;
- The insurance company things they are at a reasonable level and they were truly necessary;
- You can provide the insurer with a letter from the airline explaining why the flight was cancelled.
- You hired the rental vehicle from a licenced company;
- The rental contract includes rental vehicle insurance;
- You were in compliance with all of the stipulations of the rental company and the insurer of the rental vehicle found in the rental contract.
- The rental vehicle being lost or damaged because it was not being operated according to the terms of the contract;
- Regular wear and tear, gradual deterioration, damage caused by vermin or insects, or an inherent flaw or damage.
- The cost of having your ashes or remains returned to Australia;
- The cost of being buried or cremated overseas.
- The death or bodily injury of another person than yourself;
- Damage or loss of property someone else, other than yourself, controls or owns.
- Of the death, illness or bodily injury of a family member, the person accompanying you on your trip or a person you employ;
- Of you being the owner or occupant of a piece of land or building, unless it is a residential building and you are only a temporary occupant, such as a tenant or a lessee.
- You are advised by a medical professional not to go on;
- You go on solely to get medical advice or treatment;
- You take after a qualified and authorised medical professional tells you are suffering from a terminal illness.
- Any goods that you paid to have transported to any location if they are not part of your luggage, like using the post;
- Jewellery, watches, laptops, cameras, mobile phones, electrical goods or cash placed in your luggage, unless you are carrying your bags with you and they will be under your personal supervision or that of the person accompanying you the entire time;
- Brittle or fragile goods unless the items are damaged by burglars, thieves, in a fire or in an accident in which the conveyance you are travelling in is involved;
- Sporting items while in use;
- Items that you purchase with the intent of reselling them via your company;
- Commercial samples;
- Goods that you take with you to sell abroad;
- Securities, documents, stamps, documents, books of account etc.;
- Works of art;
- Property left on its own in a car or other vehicle will not be covered for more than $150 per item up to a total of $1,000 per event.
Furthermore, the insurance company is also willing to cover the cost of cancelled lodging that you paid for but are not entitled to a refund for.
In the situation in which you decide not to continue with your trip at the earliest possible chance after you cancelled it, the insurance company will cover the cost of any portion of your cancelled trip, such as travel and accommodation, that you paid for, can no longer use and are non-refundable.
The insurance company will also cover other unexpected costs, such as travel and accommodation, if they are the result of the airline cancelling the flight if:
In terms of your travel agent's cancellation fee, if you made your reservations through a licenced travel agent, the insurance company will cover this fee. Note that the limit is either $500 or 15 per cent of the total value of the arrangements made by the travel agent, whichever amount is smaller.
If any of the service providers you are working with suffer a financial collapse or become insolvent and they are a licenced company, you are entitled to a maximum of $3,750 per person but no more than $7,500 if you were travelling with your family.
Other than these events, there are no limitations to how much you can be reimbursed for in the event of you having to cancel your travel plans.Back to top
Coverage for rental vehicle excess
The insurance company is willing to compensate you if you have to pay an excess or deductible on a claim you lodge under a rental vehicle insurance policy, as long as the event occurred while the policy was active and you are the one who is legally responsible for the payment. Note that you will only be reimbursed if all of the following conditions are met:
However, you won't be covered in the event that the expenses were the result of:
Note that you are entitled to a maximum of $3,000.Back to top
If the method of transportation you are using is delayed for a minimum of six hours because of issues that you could not control, then the insurance company will cover your expenses. Note that you need to submit receipts to the insurance company as well as written proof from the airline or transport company regarding the duration of the delay to be entitled to compensation.
Thus, you are entitled to compensation for reasonable costs for food and lodgings after every six-hour delay up to $350 per person or $700 if you are travelling with your family. The maximum you are entitled to is $600 per person or $1,100 if you are travelling with your family.Back to top
The insurance company will reimburse you for any funeral costs that arise while you are on your trip. Note that the company won't cover your funeral costs if you die because of a medical issue you already had unless you were given approval in writing beforehand by Zurich that your condition was covered and you covered the price of the administration fee.
The following are considered eligible funeral costs:
Note that the insurance company will pay for these funeral costs if you pass away while on your trip and a death certificate is issued by a qualified, authorised medical professional which is submitted to the insurance company as proof of what caused your death.
The maximum you can get for a funeral or cremation abroad or to have your remains returned to Australia is $15,000 per person but no more than $30,000 if you are travelling with your family.
This policy also covers you if you pass away while on your trip due to injuries you suffered in an accident. To receive compensation, you must pass away within 12 months of the accident occurring, which must have been the result of a violent, external and visible force. A death certificate must also be issued by a qualified medical professional, showing the cause of death, and it must be submitted to the insurance company.
If the transport vehicle you are in is involved in an accident and your remains cannot be recovered, you will be considered dead after 12 months as a result of the accident and the beneficiaries will be compensated accordingly.
In terms of compensation, the maximum level the insurer will pay out is $30,000 per cardholder, $30,000 per spouse and $5,000 per dependent child but no more than $65,000 in total.
You are covered by the insurance company for any legal liability, which refers to your responsibility to cover the costs of compensation for negligently causing:
Note that only the insurance company has the right to defend or settle the claim, put down or accept a payment or offer, or admit that you are responsible in any shape or form.
Furthermore, Zurich will cover the costs of your legal liability if the event that caused the situation occurs during your trip and is something that you hadn't intended or expected to lead to you being legally liable in any way.
The insurance company will also cover a reasonable amount of legal costs if Zurich incurred them in your name or you incurred them after the insurer gave their approval in writing.
However, Zurich will not cover the costs of your legal liability if it is the result:
Note that under this section of the policy, you are covered up to $2,500,000.Back to top
2. Transit accident insurance
The Transit Accident Insurance policy becomes applicable if you use your HSBC Credit Account to pay for the full cost of your trip before you begin your journey. This policy ensures that the cardholder is covered for any injuries they might sustain, as stipulated in the chart below, if said injuries are the direct result of an accident that occurred while they were on their trip and occurred within one year of the accident.
This policy also covers accidents that took place when you were boarding or getting off a transport while on your trip as well as those occurring while you were a passenger in a transport going directly to or coming directly from a coach depot, a railway station, a dock or an airport right before or right after your trip.
Types of Injuries covered
The chart below shows the types of injuries that are covered and how much you can receive for each issuer.
Losing both hands or feet
Losing one hand and one foot
Complete blindness in both eyes
Losing one hand or one foot and complete blindness in one eye
Losing a hand or a foot
Complete blindness in one eye
If you suffer multiple injuries in the same accident, you will only receive compensation for the more severe injury. So, if you lose a hand and a foot as well as go completely blind in one eye, you will only receive $100,000 for the loss of the hand and foot.
If you disappeared as the result of an accident covered by this policy and your body has not been found, you will be assumed dead as a result of the accident when you disappear and compensation will be paid out accordingly.
What are the coverage limits?
The maximum amount the insurance company will pay out under this policy for one event, such as a plane crash, is $675,000, irrespective of how many people were involved in the accident.
In other words, if a number of cardholders were injured in the same accident, each person would receive compensation on a proportional basis using the compensation levels in the above chart, up to $675,000.
So, if six employees passed away in the same plane crash, the compensation that is payable is as follows.
The total amount that would be payable, namely $750,000, is divided by the total amount the insurer is willing to pay out, namely $675,000, to determine the percentage payable to each person, which is 90 per cent in this case. Thus, the compensation for each employee would be $112,500.Back to top
As with any insurance policy, there are certain general exclusions that apply. While we will only be looking at a few of them in this document, note that it is vital for you to be well aware of what you are not covered for so you can avoid any nasty surprises when you go to lodge a claim.
These exclusions apply along with any other exclusions mentioned specifically under each section of the policies mentioned in this document.
Thus, you are not covered for any situation that is the result of a pre-existing medical issue that you have, a relative has or your travelling companion has or any other person has that could lead you to lodging a claim unless the insurance company has given their approval in writing beforehand and you have paid the administrative fee.
You will also not be insured to go on a trip that:
In terms of items, the insurance company will not compensate you for the loss, damage or theft of:
These are just a few of the exclusions that apply. There are quite a few more and while some of them are unlikely to affect you, it's still important that you read through them all. This way, you increase your chances of any claim you lodge being approved.
Images: ShutterstockBack to top