Novel Coronavirus:Insurance coverage and measures by insurance industry

| 03 Feb 2020

Does my insurance cover the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)? What is the insurance industry doing and what are the specific measures announced by insurance companies in response to the coronavirus epidemic? Find out in this article.

The World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China on 31 December 2019. The virus did not match any other known virus. One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus - a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS.

This new virus was known as "2019-nCoV." On 12 Feb 2020, WHO announced the name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19. And on social media channels, with the hashtag #COVID19. For the latest official announcements on the global response to the virus, please refer to the World Health Organization

In the light of this development, Asia Advisers Network would like to bring attention to these insurers that have stepped up to the plate to better serve its policyholders and community with measures announced in response to the coronavirus infection. Please check with insurers for details and specific terms and conditions. (Updated on 3 March. See the end of the article on the list of updates.)

What is your company doing on this front to support your policyholders, community and staff? Drop us a note at Connect@AsiaAdvisersNetwork.com 

 

  • Manulife Hong Kong – announced on 24 Jan

Manulife Hong Kong introduces special coverage benefits and claims measures to better cover all insured persons of existing and new individual insurance plans and group medical policies with hospitalization benefits.

Effective from now till April 30, 2020, Manulife Hong Kong will provide the following additional protections (*Subject to terms and conditions):

1. Hospital cash will be provided for each diagnosed hospitalization case at HK$600 (US$77) per day, up to 45 days;

2. Should mandatory quarantine be imposed by the Hong Kong or Macau government, a one-off HK$3,000 payment will be granted;

3. A one-off family support benefit of HK$2,000 will be given if the insured is diagnosed.


Outpatient and hospitalization claims diagnosed with the coronavirus will be simplified and processed with priority:

1. Customers may submit medical claims for diagnosed case through Manulife’s eClaims platform, www.claimsimple.hk, regardless of receipt amount;

2. Related claims will be processed as soon as within one working day;

3. Claim eligibility extends to government-appointed hospitals out of Manulife’s designated hospitals in Mainland China;

4. The waiting period will be waived;

5. The claims submission deadline will also be waived.

For any enquiries, customers of individual insurance can call Manulife Hong Kong's hotline at 2510 3941 and group medical customers can call the hotline at 2108 1388.

 

  • Sun Life Hong Kong – announced on 24 Jan

Individual insurance clients who have medical benefit(s) will be entitled to the following support, if they are diagnosed with “Novel Coronavirus Infection”, between January 24, 2020 and April 30, 2020 (both days inclusive):
 

Policy Coverage

1. Waiting period waiver

2. Relaxation of 3A hospital restriction in mainland China. It means clients can make hospitalization claims for their expenses at designated hospitals detailed in policy contracts and also other non-3A hospitals authorised by government in mainland China.

3. Allow reinstatement on lapsed policy if premium payment is delayed due to treatment.
 

Claims

4. 1-day pledge: claims will be settled and paid within 1 working day.

5. Express Claims: claims will be given first priority and handled by designated officers to speed up turnaround time. The Company has set up special hotlines for its clients (Tel: 2103 8928) and its advisors (Tel: 2103 8988).

6. Simplified application process: clients are required to submit diagnosis proof when making a claim without the need for filling in any claims form.

7. Fast claims payments through Faster Payment System (“FPS”): claims payments will be made directly to clients’ Hong Kong bank account which accepts local transfers.

The Company’s group insurance policy has no exclusion for health services related to the treatment of communicable diseases requiring isolation and quarantine under the law.

 

  • Bupa Hong Kong - announced on 24 Jan

Bupa has launched a series of supportive measures during the special protection period (from now to 31 May 2020).

1) Coverage for all hospitalisation and corresponding treatment costs related to the novel coronavirus:

During this special protection period, if any existing Bupa members are hospitalised due to the novel coronavirus, Bupa promises to cover all eligible expenses under the terms of their policy. If you need to stay in a higher-level ward for isolation reasons, any adjustment factor for the change in ward level will be waived.

2) Free additional hospital cash protection for the novel coronavirus:

Any existing Bupa member who is hospitalised with the novel coronavirus to receive medically necessary treatments during this special protection period can enjoy free additional hospital cash protection of HK$800 per day for up to 45 days. This free benefit will be provided regardless of whether the member currently has any hospital cash coverage. This benefit is subject to terms and conditions.

3) Simplified claims procedures:

If any Bupa member is diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, their treatment won’t be limited by the general exclusions of their insurance policy related to experimental or unproven medical technology or procedures. Treatments prescribed for the novel coronavirus will be covered during this special protection period to speed up and simplify claims procedures.

4) 24-hour Healthline and Customer Care helpdesk:

Bupa members can call our 24-hour Healthline at any time to ask qualified nurses, health management professionals and doctors for health information related to the novel coronavirus. This team of experts can provide assistance and health advice. At the same time, Bupa's 24-hour Customer Care helpdesk is always available to answer customer enquiries about insurance policies and claims.

Items 1-3 are applicable to all Bupa members with an individual, group or Hang Seng Bupa medical insurance policy. Item 4 is applicable to Hang Seng Bupa members and Bupa individual members.

 

  • AIA Singapore - announced on 30 Jan

In view of the ongoing 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation, AIA Singapore would like to reiterate that the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff, representatives and the wider community is of paramount importance.

Should you feel unwell, please seek medical attention promptly and avoid visiting crowded and public places. This includes AIA’s Customer Service Centres.

We recommend in this context that unwell customers please contact us via other channels to enable us to assist with your policy matters. You can make your enquiry by:

  • Logging into the My AIA SG app / or downloading the My AIA SG app
  • Calling the AIA Customer Care hotline at 1800 248 8000;
  • Emailing us at sg.eCare@aia.com


We seek your understanding that the wellbeing of all of our stakeholders is of utmost priority, hence the need to liaise virtually rather than in person. We also thank you for your kind patience during this period, should there be a delay in our response(s) to your queries.

To ensure the wellbeing of our stakeholders (those who are in good health) visiting our AIA Customer Service Centres, we have taken a number of preventive measures:

  • Provision of hand sanitizers;
  • Face masks for customers who request them;
  • Temperature checks for our frontline staff.

It is important to note that AIA Singapore reserves the right to turn away customers who are unwell with flu symptoms and may pose a risk to other customers or our staff.

 

  • China Taiping - updated on 31 Jan

As China and the rest of the world combat the Novel Coronavirus, China Taiping Insurance Group is providing free insurance coverage to all frontline medical staff in Wuhan and assistance with medical aid and supplies to two hospitals in Wuhan.

In addition, the Group made a donation of RMB10 million (US$1.44 million) cash to Hubei Province to combat the epidemic. 


 

  • Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) - 31 Jan

The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) has issued a joint statement that all life insurance companies and takaful operators will provide hospitalisation coverage/treatment due to Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to their policyholders/certificate holders.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just declared the outbreak of the coronavirus as a global health emergency.

Mr Mark O’Dell, Chief Executive Officer of LIAM, said: “Even though a majority of the medical policies/certificates carry an exclusion on communicable diseases requiring quarantine by law, the Malaysian life insurers and takaful operators are responding to an immediate need of the nation by waiving the exclusion on quarantine by law in light of the increasing number of people who have been affected.” 

Refer to website www.liam.org.my for the list of LIAM member companies. 

 

  • HSBC Life Hong Kong - announced on 31 Jan 

HSBC Life (Hong Kong) announced that it will extend a new complimentary Special Novel Coronavirus Benefit to all of its life insurance customers and their immediate family.

From 1st February 2020, all customers holding any HSBC Life insurance policy, and their family members, will receive a complimentary Novel Coronavirus Benefit, with coverage guaranteed for one year.

Furthermore, for customers taking out a new HSBC Life insurance policy between 1st February 2020 and 30th April 2020, they and their family members will receive the following additional benefits, with coverage guaranteed for one year.


 

  • AIA Hong Kong and Macau - announced on 1 Feb

AIA Hong Kong and Macau announced that it is determined to fully support customers in fighting the Novel Coronavirus.

It is offering a series of free enhanced protection and claim support measures to all existing and new individual insurance customers and group insurance customers.

  • In the unfortunate event that the customer is diagnosed to be suffering from the Novel Coronavirus and would require quarantine, we will provide a lump-sum “Diagnosis Benefit” payment of HK$/MOP 15,000.
     
  • If new individual insurance customers are kept in quarantine due to the Novel Coronavirus, they will be paid HK$/MOP 700 per day of Quarantine Benefit, up to 30 days.
     
  • In the unfortunate event that the insured person passes away due to the Novel Coronavirus, we will pay a “Death Benefit” of HK$/MOP 150,000.

It also announced a series of claim support measures for all its customers, including waiver of waiting period, relaxation on hospitalisation restriction, relaxation on designated hospital in Mainland China for Mainland Chinese Visitor policy, waiver of time limit for filing proof of claim and extended coverage on drug or treatment item.

Learn more here

 

  • Ping An - announced on 28 Jan

Its insurance business has pledged premium-free protection for each of the 8 million frontline medical and public health professionals across China for an insured sum of half a million Yuan per person.

It is also working with other charitable organisations to ensure the same protection to reporters on the ground in Hubei Province for a total insured amount of over 1 billion Yuan.

Its fast-track service for coronavirus-related insurance claims had completed three payouts in Hubei province by 26 January 2020.

In Wuhan, Ping An has been working with local health authorities, activating a 24/7 help hotline and an online platform and mobile diagnostic centers providing ancillary CT scan reading services.

Meanwhile, Ping An Bank, Ping An Securities and Ping An Fund, among others, have donated over 40 million Yuan to help fund healthcare, containment and other relief measures.

 

  • Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore - announced on 31 Jan 

Launched #goCare to provide a lump sum financial assistance benefit of S$5,000 to its policyholders to fight against the Novel Coronavirus. Policyholders/Life Assureds with in-force individual life policies are eligible to apply for this financial assistance benefit to tide over challenging times; if they should contract the novel coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV). ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

In addition, for every sale closed through its Tied Agency Channel from 1 February 2020 to 30 April 2020, it will pledge a S$10 donation. The funds will be donated to the International Red Cross and used in the purchase of medical necessities and food supplies for beneficiaries in Wuhan.

Eligibility:

• Open to ALL Policyholders/ Life Assureds of in-force TMLS individual life policies.

• Limited to the first 50 submissions for financial assistance by 30 April 2020.

• Proof of medical certification from Singapore hospitals specifying the diagnosis of novel coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV).

 

  • Allianz - announced on 3 Feb

Allianz (China) Insurance Holding and Allianz SE will jointly set up an emergency response fund to support China’s fight against the coronavirus epidemic. 

The initial pledge towards this fund is RMB 4 million (EUR 520,000), coming in part from Allianz SE’s Disaster Recovery Fund and in part from Allianz’s operating entities in China and the region.

At this stage, the fund’s main goal is to support those working on the front line in the areas most hit by the epidemic in China’s Hubei Province. The aid will consist of medical supplies, donations and insurance protection. 

Allianz China Life Insurance and Allianz Jingdong General Insurance have also launched some temporary emergency measures for the convenience of customers. These measures include implementing fast track claims process, removing restrictions on designated hospitals and drugs, waiving deductibles and eliminating waiting periods.

 

  • China Life Insurance (Group) - highlighted on 4 Feb

China Life, in addition to providing insurance protection to Wuhan medical personnel, further assisted civil servants at all levels in Wuhan and officers and soldiers of the Armed Police Force.

It assumes insurance liability and effectively protects against the risks faced by hundreds of thousands of civil servants and armed police officers and soldiers in the fight against the epidemic. For example, in Wuhan, local civil servants and armed police officers and soldiers who participated in the fight against the epidemic will be compensated RMB 1 million per person if any unforeseen circumstance happens such as accidents.

China Life announced the donation of insurance coverage to 180,000 local medical staff and field support medical staff in Wuhan to fight the pneumonia epidemic, each with a protection limit of RMB 500,000 and a total risk protection level of RMB 90 billion. Through the China Life Foundation, China Life donated another RMB 15 million worth of anti-epidemic materials or funds to the Wuhan Health Department, including medical masks, protective clothing, goggles and other medical protective supplies that meet national standards.

China Life has completed two new cases of coronavirus pneumonia claims and donated RMB 1 million worth of anti-epidemic materials or funds to Danjiangkou City in Hubei and Luxi County.

The Group's China Life AMP Asset Management Co.,Ltd donated RMB 2 million to Hubei. Guangfa Bank, a member of the group, donated RMB 35 million to Hubei, and the total donation by China Life has exceeded RMB 54 million (excluding insurance donations).

To date, China Life executed several service and emergency ready measures such as setting up a 7 × 24-hour online claims channel, cancelling the paper version of claim application information, removing restrictions on designated hospitals and drugs, waiving deductibles, and eliminating waiting periods. China Life also set up a 24-hour online free hotline consultation service to provide real-time updates such as mapping of the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic and the latest information on virus.

 

  • General Insurance Association (Singapore) - announced on 4 Feb

Most insurers consider the 2019-nCoV a known event and have issued consumer advisories on travel insurance claims related to or arising from the event.

How This Affects Travel Insurance Policies
Consumers with existing travel insurance policies or claims related to or arising from the event, such as travel cancellation, flight postponement, and trip curtailment, should approach their insurer if they are in doubt about whether a claim is covered in their respective travel insurance policies.

Many travel insurers have issued consumer notices on claims eligibility and consumers are encouraged to keep themselves updated on insurers’ latest consumer advisories.

Claims eligibility can be affected by the following factors:
Cut-off date for coverage – Claims may not be covered if the policy was purchased after a specific date and/or time.
Affected region(s) visited – As the situation develops, cover to other parts of Mainland China may be subject to change.
Reasons for travel disruptions – Insureds should also clarify with their insurer for claims unrelated to or not arising from the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

As the situation evolves, the general insurance sector will continue to review our measures in accordance with guidelines by the authorities and provide updates on consumer advisories.

 

  • The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) - announced on 3 Feb

The actual coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of individual policy.

Medical Insurance

  • Some insurance companies have announced that hospitalization / treatments prescribed for the Novel Coronavirus will be covered. If the insured person is diagnosed as suffering from Novel Coronavirus or is ordered mandatory quarantine, the insurance company will provide additional hospital cash protection. For customers taking out a new policy within a specified period of time, the waiting period for Novel Coronavirus will be waived.
  • At the same time, some insurance companies have prioritized and simplified the outpatients and hospitalization claims diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • The above extended coverage varies among insurance companies. Policyholders are advised to check with their respective insurance companies/ intermediaries.

Employees’ Compensation Insurance

  • Employees’ Compensation (EC) Insurance is a statutory insurance. If an employee sustains an injury or dies as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, his / her employer is in general liable to pay compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO) and the common law.
  • For example, if an employee suffers from a slip injury during work from home as arranged by the employer, he / she needs to prove that the injury is related to his / her work. Otherwise, he / she may not be covered by the EC insurance. For common law damages, the employee must obtain proof that the accident was caused by the employer's negligence.
  • The Novel Coronavirus is not an occupational disease specified in the ECO. However, if an employee is infected with the Novel Coronavirus as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment as stipulated in the ECO, the employee can still claim for loss under this ordinance. Yet the final result is subject to the court’s judgment.
  • For any enquiries about the insurance policy, please contact the insurance company / intermediary directly.

Travel Insurance

  • If the itinerary is cancelled due to restrictions on entry (such as refusal of entry or failure to obtain a visa), in general, it is not a named peril covered by the travel insurance. Passengers should apply to vehicle operators, such as airlines, for refunds of airfare (depending on the arrangements of the relevant organizations).
  • If the insured person unfortunately contracts the Novel Coronavirus while he’s overseas, he can claim for the medical / hospitalization expenses. If the itinerary needs to be changed because of his health condition / medical treatment, the additional accommodation and transportation costs may also be covered.
  • If the insured person unfortunately suffers from the Novel Coronavirus before the tour starts and cannot start the journey, he may apply for compensation on the tour cancellation.
  • As the products of different insurance companies vary, policyholders should pay attention to the terms and conditions of their own policy and should check with their insurance company / intermediary directly for enquiries. 

 

  • Insurance Association of China - reported on 30 Jan

Calls for insurers to open a "green channel" for handling insurance claims related to medical treatment of those afflicted with the novel coronavirus, to ensure timely and efficient claims services.

The IAC says that out-of-pocket customers who are infected by the new coronavirus can be paid their claims first and complete the required documentation later. It adds that insurers should simplify the claims process, increase online claim capacity, reduce handling of offline claims, and avoid unnecessary physical contact.

The association also says that insurers should pro-actively seek out policyholders through various channels, especially in areas with severe epidemic conditions such as Hubei Province, and strive to settle claims. Insurers are also to maintain 24-hour channels to receive claims applications, and ensure that hotline personnel provide advice.

The IAC urges insurers to offer exclusive insurance products and services to medical and disease control personnel and their families, to provide them coverage in the event they contract the coronavirus.

 

  • Thailand Office of Insurance Commission - reported on 31 Jan

The Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) and insurers have agreed in principle to provide insurance products with coronavirus coverage for both foreign visitors and locals.

According to a report in The Bangkok Post, insurance companies will develop travel insurance that provides medical and death coverage to foreign travellers to build up their confidence when they visit Thailand and support the country's tourism industry, said OIC secretary general Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn.

To alleviate any unexpected impact from the coronavirus on local residents, the OIC approved insurers developing insurance products with coronavirus coverage. Several insurers are offering additional coverage to their existing health insurance policyholders, said Mr Suthiphon.

The OIC has instructed insurers to prioritise coronavirus insurance product development.

 

  • China Life Insurance Singapore provides customers and employees financial support against Novel Coronavirus - announced on 10 Feb

China Life Insurance Singapore will be giving financial support of up to $88,600 to customers and employees in Singapore against the incumbent worrying threat of Novel Coronavirus ("2019-nCoV") to 31 August 2020.

Information on China Life Insurance Singapore Financial Support:

 For both new and existing policyholder: 

 Financial Support 

1) Upon Diagnosis and Quarantine
If the life insured is diagnosed with 2019-nCoV by a registered Medical Practitioner and placed under quarantine.

A lump sum payment of $800

2) Upon Hospitalisation
If the life insured is diagnosed with 2019-nCoV by a registered Medical Practitioner and is warded in a hospital.

$130 per day, up to 60 days of inpatient hospitalisation

3) Upon Death
In the unfortunate event that the life insured passes away due to 2019-nCoV.

A lump sum payment of $80,000


Financial support is capped at $88,600 per life insured regardless of the number of insurance policies with the same life insured.

 

 For employees: 

 Financial Support 

1) Upon Diagnosis
If an employee is diagnosed with 2019-nCoV by a registered Medical Practitioner.

A lump sum payment of $8,000 

2) Upon Death
In the unfortunate event that an employee passes away due to 2019-nCoV.

A lump sum payment of $80,000 

 

This financial support campaign will end: (i) 30 days after the Singapore government announces that the coronavirus outbreak ceases to be a health threat; (ii) by 31 August 2020; or (iii) when the total amount of financial support payments disbursed under both schemes reaches $620,000, whichever is earliest.

Read the full article and details here

 

  • Singapore: GIA and LIA clarify member companies' medical coverage relating to 2019 Novel Coronavirus - 11 Feb 

The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA Singapore) and Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA Singapore) today clarified member companies' coverage for medical expenses relating to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Integrated Shield Plans (IPs) and IP riders will provide coverage for hospitalisation expenses related to 2019-nCoV. Many non-IP individual and Group health insurance policies will also provide coverage for medical expenses related to 2019-nCoV.


(Source: LIA Singapore)

Read the full article and details here

 

  • HSBC Life Singapore extends additional Novel Coronavirus Complimentary Special Benefits to customers and their immediate family - Announced on 11 Feb

 

HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (HSBC Life Singapore) announced that it will be extending additional Novel Coronavirus Complimentary Special Benefits to its life insurance customers and their immediate family in Singapore.

This benefit is offered, at no additional cost, to its new and existing customers. 

Existing HSBC Life customers, as well as their immediate family members, will be entitled to the complimentary special benefits starting from 7 February 2020, with cover guaranteed for a year. Similarly, new customers who purchase life insurance policies from 07 February to 30 April 2020 will also enjoy the same benefits for a year, starting from the date of issuance.

 Benefit   Benefit Description 

 Benefit Coverage 

Hospital
Cash Benefit 
If the Eligible Customer or Family Member is admitted to a hospital in Singapore by a Registered Medical Practitioner, a daily hospital cash benefit will be paid upon the diagnosis of Novel Coronavirus. 

Benefit amount
SGD200 per day
(up to 45 days)

Diagnosis Benefit If the Eligible Customer or Family Member is diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus in Singapore by a Registered Medical Practitioner, we will provide a lump sum payment.

Benefit amount
SGD1,000 

Death Benefit  In the unfortunate event of the Eligible Customer or Family Member passing away due to Novel Coronavirus in Singapore, we will provide a lump sum payment. 

Benefit amount
SGD10,000 

 

Similar Novel Coronavirus-related benefits were rolled out to HSBC Life Hong Kong and HSBC Life China life insurance customers. In addition, HSBC Life China also donated RMB1 million in support of efforts relating to the issue.

 

  • Singapore:Great Eastern pledges S$1 million to help customers affected by COVID-19 - updated 17 Feb

Great Eastern has announced a S$1 million holistic support package to help its customers should they be affected by COVID-19. It is also contributing S$200,000 to provide financial assistance to those in Singapore affected by COVID-19 through the Courage Fund, facilitated by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and Community Chest.

Info at a glance:

  • The support package is effective 14 February 2020 until end-2020.
     
  • It covers Great Eastern customers and/or their immediate family members – defined as spouse & children aged 18 and under.
     
  • If hospitalised, a cash benefit of S$200 per day of hospitalisation up to a maximum of 60 days will be paid out.
     
  • In the unfortunate event that death occurs, a S$20,000 lump sum will be paid out.

For its travel insurance customers, the company is also offering a full premium refund for those who have purchased policies from 6 February to 30 June 2020 should they decide to cancel their plans.

Find out more here

 

  • AIA Singapore offers free COVID-19 coverage, death benefit of S$25,000 - announced 17 Feb

AIA Singapore said that all existing 1.4 million eligible customers, its employees and tied representatives will automatically benefit from this free additional coverage as part of the insurer's efforts to protect individuals against the ongoing threat posed by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

New customers whose policies are issued between 17 February – 31 July 2020 will also automatically benefit from the COVID-19 coverage.

The coverage is as follows:

Benefits type 

Coverage amount 

 Hospitalisation Income Benefit
 - If hospitalisation is required due to COVID-19 

 S$1,000 (Lump-sum payment) 

 Death Benefit
 - If death results from the COVID-19

 S$25,000

The additional COVID-19 coverage will benefit its stakeholders until 31 December 2020; or 30 days after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level has officially stepped down to green - whichever is earlier.

In the event of any claims relating to COVID-19, AIA will provide dedicated and expedited support. Please contact its AIA Customer Care team or email at SG.ClaimsQN@aia.com.

For more info, find out here

 

  • Malaysia: AXA AFFIN introduces complimentary 2019-nCoV Hospital Assistance Program, up to MYR10,000 lump sum will be paid out - updated on 17 Feb

Info at a glance:

“Urgent Self-Assistance”

Policyholders will be eligible for a one-time cash payment upfront via notification, up to 14 days of hospitalisation income benefit

“Family Assistance”

An additional one-time cash assistance of RM3,000 to the immediate family under “Family Assistance” - should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 by or before 30 June, 2020.

Should the policyholder be isolated for COVID-19 infection while travelling to the stated provinces of China (Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu) during the cover period, a maximum of RM10,000 lump sum will be paid out under this section.

“Hospitalization Waiver Assistance”

Offers various policy waivers that will facilitate necessary care for the policyholders upon diagnosis. These assistance include ICU Daily Limits (up to full annual limits of the policy), Consultation and Treatment Costs while in hospital isolation and Intensive Care Unit (full medical expenses as charged), Unlimited Doctor Consultation Day Visits and Unlimited Ambulance Transfer Assistance.

More info here.  

 

  • Manulife Singapore commits S$1 million to provide additional COVID-19 coverage - updated 17 Feb

Manulife Singapore has committed S$1 million to enhance the protection coverage of its customers.

Effective now until 1 June 2020, the enhancements are provided at no additional charge to customers.

The benefits include:

 

(1) New: Diagnosis Benefit(s)

Customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 in Singapore will receive a one-time immediate cash benefit of S$1,500.

If the customer with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is hospitalized for 5 days or more, an additional cash benefit of S$2,000 (i.e. a total of S$3,500) would be payable.
 

(2) Additional Death Benefit

In the unfortunate event that death occurs as a result of the diagnosis of COVID-19, an additional lump sum of S$30,000 will be paid out on top of the death benefit from the customer’s existing policy.

Manulife Singapore also donated S$100,000 to The Courage Fund in support of those at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus.

 

  • Blue (Hong Kong) - updated 17 Feb

Coverage will automatically apply to all existing policies and new policies under “WeCare Term Life Protection Plan 1”, “WeCare Critical Illness Protection Plan 1”, and “WeCare Personal Accident Protection Plan 1”, at no additional cost and with no waiting period required.

From today until 30 April 2020, if you own an in force policy under any of the above listed WeCare protection plans, you will be entitled to the complimentary coverage for Novel Coronavirus: If the life assured is diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus with the support of Medical Evidence within the coverage period, HK$10,000 will be paid.

For claims inquiries on the Novel Coronavirus, please contact our customer service hotline at 3929 3929 or email at claims@blue.com.hk.

 

  • Prudential Singapore commits S$1.5 million to help SMEs and individuals  - 19 Feb

PRUCare Package

Prudential has rolled out a PRUCare Package to provide cash benefits for those quarantined or hospitalised due to the COVID-19, as well as aid for SMEs whose businesses are affected by the disease.

(1) S$500 One-time Cash Benefit for those Quarantined

Who’s eligible?

Individuals holding an in-force insurance policy with Prudential Singapore, and their family members, ie: their parents, spouse and child(ren) who are residing in Singapore

Individuals covered under your Group Medical or Group Term Life plans, and their family members, ie: their parents, spouse and child(ren) who are residing in Singapore

Cash benefit will be paid out for Quarantine Orders (QO) related to COVID-19 and officially issued under the Infectious Diseases Act, in Singapore, between 23-Jan-2020 to 30-Jun-2020

(2) S$200 Daily Cash Benefit for those Hospitalised (up to 3 months)

Who’s eligible?

Individuals holding an in-force insurance policy with Prudential Singapore, and their family members, ie: their parents, spouse and child(ren) who are residing in Singapore

Individuals covered under your Group Medical or Group Term Life plans, and their family members, ie: their parents, spouse and child(ren) who are residing in Singapore

The daily hospitalisation cash benefit is payable for those hospitalised between 23-Jan-2020 to 30-Jun-2020, as a result of COVID-19

How to make a claim for (1) and (2)

Simply download and complete the PRUCare Benefit form and email it to prucare@prudential.com.sg. Our PRUCare team will get back to you.

If you have questions, please call our PRUCustomer Line at 1800 333 0 333 or 65 6333 0333 if you are calling from outside Singapore for individual customers, and 1800 835 9733 for corporate customers

(3) Relief for SMEs

A care package to ensure employees of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) covered by its Group Insurance, continue to receive medical coverage throughout this period.

Who’s eligible?

SMEs holding an in-force Group insurance policy with Prudential Singapore, whose business has been affected by the COVID-19

Valid for applications submitted between 23-Jan-2020 to 30-Jun-2020. The deferment option may be extended depending on severity of the COVID-19 situation.

How to make a claim for SME Relief

Please send an email to prucare@prudential.com.sg. Our PRUCare team will get back to you.

You can also all our PruCustomer Line at 1800 835 9733 or 65 6835 9733 if you are calling from outside Singapore.

 

  • Singapore: AXA commits S$500,000 care package for customers affected by COVID-19, double protection for customers who are frontline healthcare workers - announced on 26 Feb

AXA Insurance has committed a S$500,000 care package that will benefit its individual Life and General Insurance customers who are affected by COVID-19.

Benefits for AXA Individual Life and General Insurance customers and doubled protection for frontline customers

Existing and new AXA individual Life and General Insurance customers who are hospitalised due to COVID-19 will receive a cash benefit of S$200 per day of hospitalisation up to a maximum of 90 days. In the unfortunate event of death due to COVID-19, a S$20,000 lump sum will be paid out.

AXA is also offering double the protection to its individual Life and General Insurance customers who are frontline healthcare workers in recognition and appreciation of their role in the fight against COVID-19 and their selflessness in continuing to put patients' needs first in the face of the virus.

In the event of hospitalisation due to COVID-19, they will receive a cash benefit of S$400 per day of hospitalisation up to a maximum of 90 days and a S$40,000 lump sum in the unfortunate event of death due to COVID-19.

These benefits are applicable to COVID-19 cases that are diagnosed from 1 February until 30 September 2020 or when the DORSCON level moves to Green, whichever is earlier.

For its travel insurance customers, AXA has been offering a full premium refund for those who decide to cancel their travel plans and request to cancel their AXA travel policy.

Responding to the Singapore Red Cross’ appeal for more blood donors due to a shortage linked to the COVID-19 outbreak which has impacted the number of donors visiting blood banks, AXA is rallying its network of employees, tied representatives and customers to donate blood from 3 March to 8 March 2020. AXA will donate S$30 to The Courage Fund for every employee, tied representative or customer, who donates blood during this period, up to a maximum of S$50,000.

In addition, AXA is also donating 100 care packs which will be delivered to their recipients by the company’s employees and tied representatives. These packs will be given to cancer patients, survivors and their families who are beneficiaries of its corporate responsibility partner Singapore Cancer Society, and vulnerable seniors identified by the SG Cares Volunteer Centres at Woodlands and Toa Payoh, operated by Care Corner Singapore. Each care pack includes a thermometer, face masks, hand sanitiser, hand wash and vitamin C tablets.

 

  • Singapore: Chubb x Grab - Complimentary Driver Care benefit for all Grab driver - and delivery-partners under the Group Prolonged Medical Leave insurance policy - announced on 26 Feb

Chubb announced its collaboration with its long-term partner Grab, through its insurance arm GrabInsure, to provide a complimentary Driver Care benefit for all Grab driver- and delivery-partners under the Group Prolonged Medical Leave insurance policy.

This benefit gives a lump sum pay-out of S$1,000 for Grab driver-partners who have volunteered to provide the GrabCare service or S$500 for all other driver and delivery-partner in the event they are diagnosed with COVID-19. The benefit is automatically available to all Grab driver- and delivery-partners in Singapore, from today till 19 March 2020.

This joint initiative is to aid self-employed private-hire drivers and food delivery service providers affected by COVID-19, and comes in addition to the list of income protection measures which Grab had earlier announced.

 

  • Singapore: Income announced additional protection against COVID-19 coronavirus at no additional premium to over 550,000 individuals - announced on 17 Feb

Income announced on 17 Feb that close to 27,000 individuals insured by Income’s Personal Accident (PA) plans with infectious disease cover, and over 500,000 employees of organisations insured by its Group Employee Benefits policies, will automatically enjoy additional COVID-19 cover at no additional premium.

To further support lower-income households in Singapore, Income is also extending COVID-19 benefits to the Income Family Micro-Insurance Scheme (IFMIS).

Currently, IFMIS offers insurance protection, at no premium, to almost 29,000 eligible individuals, who are parents or guardians of a child or ward studying in a local primary school and a recipient of the Ministry of Education’s Financial Assistance Scheme. The Scheme also covers families whose child is enrolled in NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool and have a gross household income that does not exceed $4,500 a month, or a monthly per capita income that is not more than $1,125.

IFMIS offers COVID-19 benefits for six months

The IFMIS currently offers a pay-out of $5,000 if the insured person were to pass away or suffer a total and permanent disability. The Scheme now includes COVID-19 benefits until 31 August 2020, which provide the insured person a cash pay-out of $200 per day of hospitalization in Singapore due to COVID-19, for up to 30 days. The claim is payable upon the first day of diagnosis.

Income’s Group Employee Benefits policies now cover COVID-19 for greater peace of mind

Under the extended coverage, employees of organisations insured by Income’s Group Employee Benefits policies will be offered a cash pay-out of $100 per day of hospitalisation in Singapore due to COVID-19, for up to 30 days, and a pay-out of $20,000 in the unfortunate event of death due to the new coronavirus.

The COVID-19 benefits come at no additional premium to employers from now until 31 May 2020, and are renewable for three months at a low premium.

All Income employees, staff of its wholly-owned financial advisory firm, Infinitum Financial Advisory, and financial advisers, also stand to benefit from the extended coverage. Additionally, NTUC Enterprise and its social enterprises, which besides Income, also include FairPrice, Foodfare, Kopitiam, NTUC First Campus, NTUC LearningHub, NTUC Health, NTUC Link, Mercatus and MoneyOwl, will also be extended COVID-19 benefits under Income’s Group Employee Benefits policies.

Income PA plans cover COVID-19 for six months

The new COVID-19 benefits will also be extended to two Income PA plans - PA Assurance with Infectious Disease cover and Personal Accident Infectious Disease policy – for six months, starting today until 31 August 2020.

The extended coverage will provide insured persons with a cash pay-out of $100 per day of hospitalisation in Singapore due to COVID-19, for up to 30 days. There will also be a one-time pay-out of $10,000 if the insured person were to pass away due to COVID-19. This pay-out will be in addition to other benefits that the insured person may have according to his or her PA plan.

Since 20 Jan, Income has been offering full refunds for customers who wish to cancel their travel insurance as they change or cancel their travel plans due to the COVID-19 situation.

 

  • Singapore: Cigna extends its medical outpatient coverage to include telehealth services - announced on 27 Feb

Cigna Corporation’s Singapore business is extending its medical outpatient coverage to include telehealth services for all members of Cigna Global Health Benefits corporate plan during the coronavirus outbreak with immediate effect until 1st June 2020.

Cigna medical plans already cover medically necessary claims related to infectious diseases and medical conditions per the policy terms and conditions. The additional telehealth services cover doctor’s consultation fees (via telephone or video) as well as the prescription drugs as per the benefit limits as long as it is medically necessary and is used for the diagnosis or treatment of a covered condition outlined in the outpatient benefits plan.

 

  • Hong Kong Federation of Insurers launches Insurance Dashboard on COVID-19 - 28 Feb

The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) has launched the "Insurance Dashboard on COVID-19" on 28 February 2020. The thematic website provides insurance information pertaining to COVID-19.

The website highlights the coverage of travel, medical, employees’ compensation and critical illness insurances under COVID-19, alongside a FAQ section. Find out more here. 

 

 

  • Others

*Subject to terms and conditions of each plan, please check details and updates from respective insurers*

Broadly speaking, life insurance claims would be honoured should the life assured pass away as a result of the virus. While it is not considered a critical illness, claims would be payable if it leads to critical illness or terminal illness and meets the respective definition in the policies.  

Insurers that have issued statements to confirm coverage of the virus, also known as Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), in their medical plans to ease public fears, include:

Prudential Malaysia, Great Eastern Malaysia, AIA Malaysia, Tokio Marine Malaysia, Etiqa Insurance & Takaful, Zurich Malaysia, Prudential Singapore 

 

  • Insurance Authority (Hong Kong) - announced on 29 Jan

Closure of Insurance Authority Office until 2 February

In order to reduce the risk of the spread of novel coronavirus in the community, the Insurance Authority (IA) office will be temporarily closed from 29 January to 2 February 2020. Public services including the hotline, complaint handling and general enquiry services provided by the IA will be suspended in the same period.

The IA will keep reviewing the situation and announce any updates on the IA website www.ia.org.hk

 

What is your company doing on this front to support your policyholders, community and staff? Drop us a note at Connect@AsiaAdvisersNetwork.com 


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For the latest official announcements on the global response to the virus, please refer to the World Health Organization

 

Article updates

- 29 Jan to include Insurance Authority (Hong Kong).
- 30 Jan to include AIA Singapore
- 31 Jan to include China Taiping, Bupa Hong Kong and insurers that have issued statements to confirm coverage
- 3 Feb to include HSBC Life Hong Kong, AIA Hong Kong and Macau, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore and Ping An

- 3 Feb republished to reflect the description of the virus to Novel Coronavirus, and Allianz's response
- 4 Feb to include China Life (Group), HKFI and GIA Singapore
- 5 Feb to include Insurance Association of China and Thailand Office of Insurance Commission

- 10 Feb to include China Life Insurance Singapore
- 11 Feb to include LIA Singapore and GIA Singapore
- 12 Feb to include HSBC Life Singapore
- 17 Feb to include Great Eastern Life Singapore, AIA Singapore, Manulife Singapore, AXA AFFIN Life, Blue
- 21 Feb to include Prudential Singapore
- 28 Feb to include AXA, Income, Chubb, Prudential, Cigna - all in Singapore
- 3 March to include HKFI's Insurance Dashboard on COVID-19