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FAQs: Insurance

Frequently asked questions related to HSBC China’s Insurance products and services.

What is Insurance and how is it important to me?

Insurance is a risk treatment option which involves risk sharing from an economic perspective and a contractual agreement, legally speaking, that one party will be compensated for loss under the terms of the insurance contract. Socially speaking, insurance is an important composition of the socio-economic security system, a delicate stabiliser of social production and social life. From the perspective of risk management, insurance is also one of the options.

Insurance comes after risk. Everything you do in life involves some sort of risk. Every day you take potential risks to your life or health by crossing roads, walking past construction sites or breathing polluted air. The possibilities for risk are endless so it's wise to have insurance as a tool to transfer the risks and to provide protection for your family. 

What are the different types of Life Insurance?

Life Insurance (in a general sense) includes Life Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Medical Insurance, Annuity and Endowment Insurance. In addition to the protection coverage available to you and your family upon the occurrence of unexpected accidents, Life Insurance can also offer plans for the future of you and your family.

Life Insurance products can provide dependable and solid protection for you and your family.

Critical Illness Insurance products can offer coverage for medical expenses and protection should you suffer from critical illness.

Medical Insurance products can provide reimbursement for medical expenses incurred during the medical treatment and some allowance (if applicable).

Annuity and Endowment Insurance products can act as a relatively stable and guaranteed income under the terms of the insurance contract.

After a policy is issued, can I change the level of protection or add any supplementary benefits?

Yes, you can apply to change the level of protection or add supplementary benefits in the policy term, subject to you satisfying the relevant requirements of the insurance company. When you apply to lower the level of protection, the lowered amount will be deemed as surrender. For the relevant requirements to be satisfied, please consult your relationship manager.

Will my insurance cover terminate immediately if I miss a premium payment?

If you buy an insurance product with more than a one-year coverage period, it will not lapse or terminate immediately if the premium payment is missed. For missed premiums, there is a 60-day grace period, within which your policy will still be effective. You can also opt for an automatic policy loan or reduced paid-up option as agreed in the policy to avoid any lapse of your policy in case of failure to make the premium payment.

If you buy an insurance product with a one-year coverage period, it will terminate immediately if you fail to pay the premium by the end of any grace period.  

Is there a minimum premium payment period? Can I ask for an early surrender?

Payment term varies from product to product and you can agree on the payment term with the insurance company on application based on the options provided.

You can submit a surrender application to the insurance company after your subscription for an insurance product. The insurance company will refund all of your paid premiums if you surrender the policy during the cooling-off period (the cooling-off period varies from product to product, please refer to detailed terms agreed in the insurance contract). If you cancel the policy after the cooling-off period, you can take back the cash value or unearned premium as agreed in the policy, but you may suffer loss.

Is my insurance product guaranteed by HSBC China?

As the sales agent for insurance companies, HSBC China will not provide any kind of guarantee for any insurance product sold by it on agency basis given the legal relationship of the insurance product is between you and the relevant insurance company. 

What are the major risks in Insurance Products?

The major risks in Insurance Products include but not limited to as following:

The insurance company is not liable for damages under the exception clause.

Insurance validity of the contract may be suspended/terminated due to your failure to make timely premium payment. 

If you purchase the participating insurance, the policy's dividend will be determined according to the insurance company's business performance. The insurance company will only distribute part of its profit to you when its business performance is better than the respective pricing assumptions. The insurance company does not have to distribute a dividend to you if its business performance is worse than the pricing assumptions. The future interest prediction of an insurance contract that is included in the product specification or in the insurance benefits illustration letter is an estimation based on the company's actuarial assumption and cannot be deemed as an expectation for future returns. The dividend distribution is uncertain and thus not guaranteed.

If you purchase unit-linked insurance, we advise you to develop a detailed understanding of the fees that are deducted for the unit-linked insurance including but not limited to the premium charges, the price spread between the bid and offer, insurance charges, policy charges, asset charges, charges charged of capital switches between investment account and surrender charges. You can refer to our sales or the insurance company for the detailed calculation basis for the policy's account value. A unit-linked insurance product's return on investment is uncertain. You bear all of the product's investment risks. The future interest of the insurance product included in the product specification or in the insurance benefits illustration letter is an estimation based on the company's actuarial assumption, which cannot be deemed as an expectation for future returns. You may suffer losses or make profits from your investment of unit-linked insurance. If you choose a flexible payment method, we advise that you request sales to explain the possible risks and adverse effects that may occur in case you stop making your payments.

If you purchase a universal insurance product, there is generally an agreed minimum guaranteed interest rate, which is only applicable for funds in your investment accounts. We advise that you develop a detailed understanding of the charges that are deducted for universal insurance products including but not limited to premium charges, insurance charges, policy charges, surrender charges and other charges. We advise that you request the sales to explain the detailed calculation basis for the policy's account value. A universal insurance product's return on investment is uncertain. You will bear a part of the universal insurance product's investment risks. The insurance company's published crediting interest rate does not represent any expectation of the interest rate for the current year; it represents only the result on investment for a specific month. The crediting interest rate is not set for the entire premium sum; it only applies to the funds in the investment accounts. The future interest of insurance product included in the product specification or in the insurance benefits illustration letter is an estimation based on the company's actuarial assumption. Return on investment that is higher than the minimum guaranteed interest rate is uncertain and it cannot be considered as an expectation of future returns. If you choose flexible payments method, we advise that you request sales to explain the possible risks and adverse effects that may occur in case you stop making your payments.

Will HSBC China disclose all the risks associated with Insurance?

Your relationship manager will disclose the detailed risks related to insurance product during the sales process.

Are there any other fees and charges (other than premium) for Insurance?

If you buy an insurance policy and apply for a policy loan (or use an automatic policy loan), please note that you will need to pay interest on repayment of the loan. 

If you buy a Unit-Linked Product, you will be subject to initial charge, risk premium, asset management charge, policy administration charge and charge for personal account withdrawal; when you apply to conduct an account switch, you may also need to pay the switching charge.

If you buy a Universal Life Product, you will be subject to initial charge, protection cost, policy administration charge, surrender charge and other charges.

If you wish to resume your lapsed policy, overdue premium and corresponding interest will be charged. 

How to check these charges?

You can refer to the criteria of different charges in the policy contract. 

I forgot to pay my premium and my policy has lapsed, but I still need protection. What should I do?

You can apply for the reinstatement of the policy within two years after the lapse. After you have paid the missed premiums and their interest and the application has been agreed by the insurance company, you can continue to have protection from the policy. If the policy reinstatement is not reached within two years after the lapse, the policy will be terminated.  

How can I make my premium payments?

Premiums need to be paid by bank transfer. You only need to place sufficient initial premium in your authorized bank account when you purchase the product and to place sufficient renewal premium in your authorised bank account before each scheduled date of premium payment.

How much can I get back if I surrender the policy?

If you apply to surrender the policy within the cooling-off period, insurance company will refund all the premiums you have paid.

If you apply to surrender the policy you have bought after the cooling-off period, the insurance company will refund the policy cash value or unearned premium on the policy termination date according to relevant provisions of the insurance contract, but you may suffer loss. 

How can I get the surrender value?

After your surrender application is approved, the insurance company will transfer the surrender value to your authorized bank account. 

Is there a charge for switching between different investment accounts?

For Unit-linked Insurance Products, different charging standards for switching between investment accounts are applied to different products. Please refer to your insurance contract or consult your relationship manager for details.  

How can I keep track of the investment performance and unit prices of insurance products I selected?

You can access the investment performance and unit price of Unit-linked Insurance Products on public websites of insurance companies. You can also inquire your personal account value via insurance company’s customer service hotline.  

Can I change the frequency of payment after the policy becomes effective (say from monthly to annually)?

With the agreement of the insurance company, you can apply to change the payment frequency in the term of policy. For details of the requirements to be satisfied, please refer to the insurance contracts of various products or consult your relationship manager.

What documents will HSBC China provide me if I buy an insurance product?

If you plan to purchase an insurance product, your relationship manager at the bank will provide you with a Policy Application Form and Insurance Document for Insurance Agency Sale. For life insurance products, the Product Proposal, Important Information Concerning Personal Insurance Products and Financial Planning Report will also be provided.

Based on different requirements for different products, your relationship manager may provide other documents such as questionnaires for health condition, Financial Questionnaire, Supplementary Files and other necessary materials.  

If I would like to know more about insurance products or have questions after policy issuance, whom can I refer to?

You may contact your relationship manager or call our hotline at 400-880-5688 (for Jade customers), 400-820-8828 (for Premier customers) or 400-820-8878 (for Advance customers) at your convenience.

If you have already bought certain insurance product(s), you can also refer to the related insurance company. Below please find the contact number.

HSBC Life Insurance 400-820-8658  (8:30-20:30, Monday to Friday)

Allianz Life Insurance: 800-988-6688 (phone) / 400-888-3636  (mobile)

Metlife: 400-818-8168

Ping An Life Insurance: 95511

AXA China: 95550

Please dial the country code of mainland China +86 if you are calling from overseas, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, or Taiwan

Note: The above FAQ is for your reference only. Please kindly note that HSBC China serves as the sales agent for insurance products while all the insurance products on shelf are designed and developed by relevant insurance companies and all the product sales documents are provided by relevant insurance companies. The information set out herein does not constitute an offer for sale or a solicitation for your purchase of any insurance product, nor shall it constitute or be deemed as our provision of any advice or recommendation regarding your subscription for any insurance product. In case of any discrepancy between this FAQ and the terms and conditions set out in insurance contract of a particular insurance product, the latter shall prevail.

For more information, please refer to the Frequently asked questions page.


These FAQs are intended to provide an overview of the information on issues related to financial products or services, or regulatory requirements faced when undertaking financial activity in mainland China. Due to the diversity and  complexity of financial products/services and local regulatory environment, these FAQs can only provide an outline of the issues. The information is provided for your reference only, and shall not be construed as legal, financial or any other professional advice. HSBC makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy updatedness and/or completeness of the information.

Latest update in Nov. 2016