Coronavirus updates for the insurance industry

| 05 Mar 2020

With the rapidly developing situation regarding the coronavirus COVID-19, it can feel overwhelming given the flood of news that seems to change by the minute. This is where you can get the latest developments and news updates relevant to the insurance industry.

On this page, we will be updating and consolidating Coronavirus related articles which impact the insurance industry from AAN and Coronavirus Watch: Insurance & Risk – an initiative of our sister publications Asia Insurance Review and Middle East Insurance Review, and more. 

So bookmark this page and sign up for Asia Advisers Network’s weekly newsletter to get your updates to be kept in the know, whether you are a CEO, insurance executive, agency leader or a financial adviser.

Singapore's central bank and financial industry announce measures to support individuals and SMEs

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), together with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the Life Insurance Association (LIA), the General Insurance Association (GIA), and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS), announced a package of measures to help ease the financial strain on individuals and SMEs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (1 Apr)


Hong Kong: Insurance Authority extends validity of temporary facilitative measures, non-face-to-face methods

The Insurance Authority (IA) has announced the second phase of temporary facilitative measures, in view of the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has widened the types of life insurance products that can be distributed through non-face-to-face methods to minimise the risk of infection during the selling process. (31 Mar)


A V-shape or a U-shape? Policymakers can decide

In this commentary, Seema Shah, Chief Strategist, Principal Global Investors, takes a closer look at government and fiscal stimulus in response to COVID-19. (31 Mar)


COVID-19: Implications for business - McKinsey

This article is intended to provide business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the perspectives in this article may fall rapidly out of date. This article reflects McKinsey's perspective as of March 25, 2020.


Ping An's COVID-19 Smart Audio Screening System Identified More Than 1,600 Suspected Cases To Date

Ping An Insurance (Group)'s Ping An Smart Healthcare, the smart health care team of subsidiary Ping An International Smart City Technology Company has launched a smart audio screening system for COVID-19 to strengthen epidemic control and prevention with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. (28 Mar)


Singapore: Regulator tells financial institutions to adopt safe distancing measures, cancel or defer all physical events

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued an advisory to all financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore, telling them to implement safe distancing measures in all aspects of their business operations, especially customer touch points. This is part of the national effort to reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19. (25 Mar)


Egypt: Misr Life Insurance takes preventive measures amid coronavirus outbreak

Misr Life Insurance, a subsidiary of Misr Insurance Holding Company (MIHC), has urged its customers to conduct their insurance activities through electronic payment and digital applications, adhering to the preventive measures recommended by Egypt's Ministry of Health to reduce personal communications where possible amid the COVID-19 outbreak. (26 Mar)


Pakistan: Insurer launches country's first COVID-19 cover

Pakistan has seen a spike in the number of positive cases, prompting private life insurer EFU Life to launch the first COVID-19 cover in the market. The ‘COVID-19 Care’ cover provides complimentary cover to all clients of the company. In the event that an insured client passes away due to COVID-19, a lump sum amount of $636 will be paid to the beneficiary in addition to the contractual death benefits from the existing policy. (25 Mar)


Australia: Actuary outlines effects of COVID-19 on general insurers

Overall, the general insurance industry will not be one of the sectors most heavily impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, says Ms Estelle Pearson, a principal at Finity Consulting, the largest independent actuarial and analytics consulting firm in Australia and New Zealand. (19 Mar)


Is the MDRT Annual Meeting cancelled?

Is the 2020 MDRT Annual Meeting still going on? Has the Million Dollar Round Table Annual Meeting to be held in Anaheim been cancelled? Here's what you need to know on the latest development announced by MDRT with the developing COVID-19 coronavirus situation. (18 Mar)


COVID19: Middle East may see rise in D&O claims

Company boards will need to be prudent in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that they have a well-planned strategy for minimising business disruption, its impact on revenue and disrupted share prices. D&O liability insurers in the Middle East may see an increase in claims where the legislation in countries across the region, including Bahrain and the UAE, allows claims against company boards to be made for general 'mismanagement', said the Middle East insurance team of global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. (17 Mar)


Singapore: AIA announces new coronavirus-related initiative

AIA Singapore said that it will cover the costs of 50,000 video medical consultations provided by tele-medicine provider WhiteCoat. The coverage is said to be part of several proactive initiatives rolled out by the insurer to protect policyholders from COVID-19. (17 Mar)


Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak an insurance catastrophe

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared the COVID-19 outbreak an insurance catastrophe as the industry prepares itself for a flood of claims. According to ICA spokesperson Campbell Fuller, the declaration was a response to the largely unknown impact of coronavirus, and would prompt general insurers to share large amounts of information. (12 Mar)


COVID-19 (coronavirus): An actuary’s perspective

How the spread and mortality rate of COVID-19 might affect insurers and healthcare. The variability of the mortality effect by age makes the impact of COVID-19 highly variable by type of insurer. As the world grapples with the growing COVID-19 (coronavirus) threat, a useful reference point is the Spanish Flu of 1918. Given what we now know about COVID-19, are we looking at something of similar severity to the Spanish Flu, or materially less severe, or perhaps worse? (Willis Towers Watson, 9 Mar)


COVID-19: Implications for business

The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It is also having a growing impact on the global economy. This article is intended to provide business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the perspectives in this article may fall rapidly out of date. This article reflects our perspective as of March 9, 2020. We will update it regularly as the outbreak evolves. (Mckinsey, 9 Mar)


COVID-19 declared a pandemic, 4,291 have died

"We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic," World Health Organization's Director-General made the remark at a media briefing on the COVID-19 coronavirus on 11 March 2020. (12 Mar)


Actuarial modelling of COVID-19 proving to be tricky

The variability of the mortality effect by age makes the impact of COVID-19 highly variable by type of insurer, according to actuaries from Willis Towers Watson.


Health and workers comp expected to be worst hit lines from coronavirus

Based on a median global growth scenario of 2.9%, it is expected that the biggest impact of the coronavirus will be on insurers providing health and workers' compensation coverage while insurers providing supply chain and auto coverage will be impacted the least. (11 Mar)


COVID-19: Coronavirus will hurt economic growth in many countries well into Q2 - Moody's

Moody's Investors Service has revised its Global Macro Outlook and its baseline growth forecasts for all G20 economies. The coronavirus outbreak has spread rapidly outside China to a number of major economies. It now seems certain that even if the virus is steadily contained, the outbreak will dampen global economic activity well into Q2 of this year. (9 Mar)


Survey reveals more than half of companies have no business continuity plans amid COVID-19 crisis

More than half of companies (51%) around the world do not have a business continuity plan (BCP) or protocols in place to combat a global emergency, such as the current COVID-19 outbreak, a study by global consultancy firm Mercer has shown. (6 Mar)

India: Regulator issues guidance on coronavirus

With India recording a sudden surge of coronavirus cases recently, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has urged insurers to settle hospitalisation claims related to COVID-19 in a swift and efficient manner. (6 Mar)



Novel Coronavirus: Insurance coverage and measures by insurance industry

This is where you’ll find the consolidated list of measures and insurance coverage against the COVID-19 announced by insurers and the industry. (3 Mar)

COVID-19: Demonstrating your value in times of need

Challenging times are also opportunities for you to demonstrate your value and commitment to your customers to build a trust-based relationship. Here’s how you can do it in this special 3-day plan. (2 Mar)


COVID-19 cases around the world could be much higher than currently reported

According to catastrophe-risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR), the number of COVID-19 cases around the world could be much higher than currently reported, with individuals only likely to seek medical care once they develop moderate symptoms such as fever, fatigue and dry cough. (4 Mar)


Alibaba and Ping An compete over AI that can diagnose coronavirus in seconds

Chinese tech giant Alibaba has developed an AI that can diagnose COVID-19, reportedly in under 20 seconds. According to Chinese tech outlet Sina Tech News, the AI system has an accuracy rate of 96% using computerised tomography scans. (4 Mar)


Saudi Arabia suspends umrah pilgrimage, upcoming hajj season looks uncertain

Saudi Arabia has suspended the umrah pilgrimage due to mounting concerns over a spike in infections across the Middle East. Visitors travelling from countries with "a risky outbreak" of COVID-19 cases would be temporarily banned from entry, according to media reports. In Asia, the countries most affected by the travel ban include Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. (3 Mar)


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

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. (3 Mar)


Covid-19 places $122bn of Chinese trade exposure at risk

The worst coronavirus-related fears of global insurers and risk managers might be realised soon with the outbreak likely to cause massive business interruption and unbalance existing global supply chains. With the virus first spreading across China from January 2020, its effects on trade are gradually being seen among Chinese companies according to findings from risk-modelling firm Russell Group. (3 Mar)


From Coronavirus Epidemic to Market Panic

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic affecting the market? Sun Life Asset Management shares in this market commentary. Here are three key points that you can keep in mind if your clients are asking about the situation. (27 Feb)


Financial market volatility from COVID-19 to greatly impact global insurers

Global insurers and reinsurers are exposed to the coronavirus outbreak directly through a potential surge in claims and indirectly through the impact on economic growth and the resultant financial market volatility, said Moody's Investors Service in a recently-published report. (3 Mar)

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