Health Insurance

Rest assured, your policy is still in effect! Learn more about the "Change of Residency Clause"

Bowtie has continued to listen to our customers’ feedback. The plan to amend the “Change of Residency Clause” has been ongoing for several months to renew the contracts of both existing and new customers. It is never our intention to terminate our customers’ policies or to trip them up with the “small print”. Instead, we have always strived to operate with the highest level of transparency so that policyholders can fully grasp the product terms. If an existing policy has a change of residency clause and the insured moves to another country or region that is not subject to sanction restriction, their coverage will be maintained, and the policy will remain in force.
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2022-03-28
Updated on 2022-06-10
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Why does Bowtie have a Change of Residency Clause?Reasons for amending the “Change of Residency Clause”Before the amended “Change of Residency Clause”When will the amended terms take effect?FAQsContact Us

Why does Bowtie have a Change of Residency Clause?

Bowtie is the first virtual insurance company in Hong Kong. The team has strong roots in the city, and our mission is to fill the local insurance protection gap and serve Hong Kong. However, in the early days of Bowtie’s establishment, due to the borderless nature of the internet, and sensitivity to cross-border insurance purchases (insurance selling is highly regulated in each market), Bowtie started with a stricter scope of customers that it could serve.We have continually updated this scope as society and regulations have become more comfortable with online insurance. Here are some of our changes for transparency: 

  • In April 2019, upon establishment, Bowtie only accepted insurance applications from Hong Kong permanent residents. 
  • From June 2019, Hong Kong residents holding Hong Kong identity cards can apply for insurance except for the US person and Japanese. 
  • Beginning April 2020, Bowtie accepts insurance applications from US person*.

Beginning May 2021, Bowtie accepts insurance applications from Japanese*.

*Please check with Bowtie for details before applying

Bowtie has received 5 enquiries about the change of residency since February 28. 2 of the policyholders have moved to Canada and the UK respectively. Bowtie has since accepted their applications for change of residency and has issued confirmation letters to them. The remaining 3 policyholders are currently planning to relocate. 

As seen from the above examples, Bowtie has been updating its operating guidelines by degrees. Unfortunately, Bowtie’s “Change of Residency Clause” has not been updated in a timely manner to keep up with market changes. To uphold our business philosophy and commitment, Bowtie is now expediting the processing of relevant legal documents and procedures so as to amend the terms as soon as possible in response to customer needs and social changes.

In addition, in terms of balancing risks, the insured may be exposed to a different set of risks after leaving Hong Kong. Therefore, each case needs to be reviewed on an individual basis, based on where the insured has moved to and the change in risks. For example, some places are in a state of war, and the risk of death is relatively higher, in which case an extra loading may be required to ensure equality among policyholders.

Reasons for amending the “Change of Residency Clause”

Bowtie regularly reviews market practices, and we have noticed that the number of Hong Kong emigrants and customers’ inquiries about the “change of residency clause” have increased recently. Since insurability is paramount, Bowtie has been laying the groundwork for the amendment of the “Change of Residency Clause” in order to preserve our core values. Bowtie’s communication channels with customers continue to be open. Before announcing the revised terms, many insured have already inquired whether their policy will still be in force if they move to Mainland China, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, or Singapore. Under our current underwriting policy, we will not charge extra loading for life and critical illness policies if the insured moves to the above regions.

Before the amended “Change of Residency Clause”

None of Bowtie’s policies will be cancelled due to a change of residency (except sanctioned countries or regions). We’d also like to remind the policyholder to keep us updated regarding any changes of their personal information, including change of residency of the insured. The policyholder can contact Bowtie while planning the relocation. Bowtie will review each case one by one; if the insured has already relocated, the policy holder can also contact Bowtie for review. If the policyholder forgets or fails to update the information of insured after relocating, Bowtie may adjust the post-relocation premium when the policyholder makes a claim.

Places of RelocationList of Designated Countries or regions Countries outside the List (except sanctioned countries or regions)
Will my policy still be effective?Extra loading required?Will my policy still be effective?Extra loading  required?
Bowtie Term Life

Bowtie Critical Illness

Coverage shall remain in effect, and the policy will not be terminated.No extra loading is required.Coverage shall remain in effect, and the policy will not be terminated.Each case is reviewed individually; extra loading may apply.
Bowtie VHIS

Bowtie Touchwood

Bowtie Cancer Fighter

Each case is reviewed individually; extra loading may apply.

For Bowtie Term Life and Bowtie Term Critical Illness, no extra loading will be required if the insured moves to a country/territory listed below. If the insured moves to a country/territory outside the list, Bowtie will review each case one by one, and the policyholder may be required to pay extra loading. For Bowtie Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), Bowtie Touchwood and Bowtie Cancer Fighter, please notify us upon the insurance renewal if the insured moves to a city or country outside of Hong Kong, after which Bowtie will follow up and provide further assistance.

Please note that the new change of residency clause and the above mentioned interim arrangements apply to all Bowtie’s existing and new customers.

List of Designated Countries/Regions**
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Mainland China (excluding Tibet and Xinjiang)
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban only)
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan, China
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

**The list will be updated from time to time. Relocation to areas not listed above may incur extra loading. Bowtie will set forth the amount of extra loading you may need to pay after moving abroad.

When will the amended terms take effect?

The terms are effective from May 28, 2022 and are applicable to new and existing customers.

FAQs

Can the insured be covered if they plan to move abroad within the first 12 months after application?

Please contact Bowtie for enquiries.

When taking out the insurance, the policyholder declared that the insured would not move abroad within the first 12 months of applying for the policy. But 4 months later, after the policy has taken effect, the insured suddenly emigrates. Will the policy be terminated, and will the declaration made when applying for the policy be questioned?

No. Policyholders only need to contact Bowtie when they plan to relocate, and the policy will remain in force.

If the insured states that he moved to another country 2 years ago, will the policy be voided and the premiums for the past 2 years be refunded? What happens if the insured moves to a place other than the ones listed (e.g. Japan)?

The policyholder can contact Bowtie, and if the country where the insured has moved to is not a sanctioned country or region, the policy will remain in force. Bowtie will also review each case individually, and the policyholder may be required to pay extra loading for the past 2 years due to relocation.

Contact Us

Customer Service Hotline: 3008 8123 

Time:

Mondays to Fridays: 10 am – 5 pm 

Saturdays: 10 am – 2 pm 

Closed on Sundays and public holidays

Email: cs@bowtie.com.hk

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