You would most likely heard of the Novel Coronavirus by now. I had seen many people asking if they will be covered by their insurance if they had contracted the Coronavirus. This question is too vague to answer because it depends what types of insurance are we looking at. In this article, I will cover broadly :
- Medical/Health insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Travel insurance
- Personal accident insurance
Feel free to drop me an email and I will answer to your query if I had missed out any types of insurance and you are concern about it. The situation on Coronavirus is under control in most countries but do note that your insurance company can refuse claims if the situation becomes catastrophic or the authorities classifies it as an epidemic. Please seek clarification with your insurance company if in doubt.
The Coronavirus infection can spreads to the lower respiratory tract and cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease, or people with weakened immune systems. It is likely the infected person will need to be hospitalised and receive treatment. He may have to go back for review if he is cleared of the virus.
Medical/Health insurance such as your integrated shield plans will cover
- Inpatient hospitalisation – Treatment cost in a Normal ward as well as in ICU or a community hospital
- Pre- and Post-hospitalization – It depends on your policy benefits and not all medical insurance provide this benefit. This benefit, if provided, can range from 90 days to 13 months depending on insurer.
Critical illness insurance
In order for a critical illness payout to be admitted, it must fall into of the 37 critical illness definitions under Life Insurance Association(LIA) guideline. A Critical illness insurance will not provide any payout if one contracted the Coronavirus. However, a payout will be made if the virus leads to other medical conditions in the 37 critical illness list. For example, if the virus caused pneumonia and it led to an End stage lung failure. The insurer will pay the benefits for the critical illness depending on your sum assured. If the virus lead to death, the benefit will be paid as well.
A travel advisory was made by Ministry of Health(MOH) to defer all non-essential travel to Mainland China on 27th Jan 2020. With this travel advisory, Almost all the insurance companies will not cover a person for claims made related to or as a result of the Coronavirus once the The terms varies across insurance companies and it is strongly recommended to check with your insurer regarding the cover on this situation. Here are the different announcement made by some insurance companies.
AIG – The Novel Coronavirus outbreak has been widely reported in the media, and alerts have been issued by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health, Singapore. AIG Singapore is treating this Event as known and foreseen, effective 30 January 2020. As such, any claims arising globally from this Event will not be covered unless your policy was issued prior to 30 January 2020, 0001 hours.
Notwithstanding the above, for travel to Wuhan or Mainland China, AIG Singapore will honour claims arising from this Event, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy, if your policy was issued prior to:
(a) 22 January 2020, 0001 hours for insured(s) travelling to Wuhan
(b) 27 January 2020, 0001 hours for insured(s) travelling to the rest of Mainland China
MSIG – Please be aware that our travel insurance does not cover any claims arising from the Novel Coronavirus outbreak for trips to or passing through these destinations if the policy or trip is purchased on these dates or later: 22 Jan 2020 for Wuhan, 23 Jan 2020 for Hubei Province, 27 Jan 2020 for Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan). As the situation develops, cover to other areas are subject to change. Please refer to Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs for latest update.
NTUC INCOME – For travellers going to Mainland China, please note that the Wuhan virus is currently considered a known event and there will be no coverage for any claims arising from the Wuhan virus for your travel to Mainland China if you activate your travel insurance now.
Travellers can file a claim for Cancelling/Shortening/Postponing your trip or Trip Disruption as the case may be, and according to the policy conditions, if they have purchased their policies before 8pm on 20 Jan 2020 (for travel to Wuhan), or before 7pm on 27 Jan 2020 (for travel to the rest of Mainland China).
Sompo Insurance – Travel policy purchased for trip to mainland China from & after 8pm, 22/01/2020 will not cover claims from Novel Coronavirus
Personal accident insurance
As the name had indicated very clearly, a personal accident plan will cover for events that is unforeseeable and resulted from an accidental cause. Having said that, some personal accident plans provide extension to cover medical expenses incurred from certain infectious diseases. Below shows the example of the extension from different insurers which can be free or in some instances, the insurer may charge additional premium to extend cover to include infectious diseases.
At the moment, Coronavirus is not listed in the infectious diseases so there will be no benefits payable from personal accident plan.
Before I end, I would like to share another piece of good news. All policyholders with in-force individual life policies with Tokio Marine Life Insurance can obtain a lump sum of $5,000 financial assistance to tide over challenging times; should they contract the novel coronavirus infection. #goCare