Malaysia: COVID-19 third wave - Additional relief measures extend to 31 December 2020 for affected policyholders

| 16 Nov 2020

The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) and its member companies have announced the extension of additional relief measures for affected policyholders to 31 December 2020 following the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The additional relief measures come in the form of financial assistance amongst others include cash benefits, hospitalization allowance and lump-sum death/compassionate benefits.

Some examples of the additional benefits offered by the life insurers include:

i. An insurer offers products which entitled policyholders to enjoy 6 months premium relief of up to RM3,000 due to retrenchment (policy to be in force at least 12 months prior to retrenchment).

ii. Six life insurers have pledged RM1 million each as part of their financial assistance and support programme for customers affected by COVID-19.

iii. Four life insurers offer special death benefit payment ranging from RM5,000 - RM15,000 to frontline medical workers.

iv. Cash relief ranging from RM1,000 - RM5,000 for customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19.

v. Cash benefits/allowance for hospitalisation ranging from RM60 - RM250 per day and up to 30 days of hospitalisation.

vi. Special lump-sum death/compassionate benefits ranging from RM5,000 - RM20,000 upon the death of the insured.

The additional relief measures are some of the immediate initiatives implemented by the various LIAM member companies to alleviate hardships faced by the policyholders and their family members, according to LIAM President, Ms Loh Guat Lan.

In support of the government’s measures to assist the rakyat in coping with the pandemic, LIAM and its member companies have come together in solidarity to implement various relief measures to assist policyholders.

“We would like to advise affected policyholders to contact their insurance companies to find out on the additional benefits that they are eligible to claim and to check on the terms and conditions of their health insurance policy,” said Ms Loh.

LIAM and MTA have also granted a 90 days deferment period/no-lapse guarantee for 3 months for policyholders who are impacted by this pandemic. During this period, insurance and takaful companies will continue to provide insurance protection to affected policyholders if they are not able to pay for their premiums. Affected policyholders must apply to their insurance companies to get approval before they can benefit from this relief measure. This option is available from 1 April 2020 until 31 December 2020.

Policyholders who are qualified for this relief include those who are COVID-19 positive patients, those who are home quarantined (mandatory) or suffered a loss of income and also small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examples of events that lead to such loss of income include retrenchment, shorter working hours and salary or commission reductions for individuals; and loss of business income for self-employed and SMEs.

Policyholders affected by COVID-19 need to submit their applications to their insurance company for the deferment of payment of life insurance premiums, according to Ms Loh. As of to date, over one million policyholders have been granted the premium deferment relief, involving a total of over RM1.6 billion premium payment.

Insurance companies will continue to provide other forms of support to help policyholders to keep their policies in force. Some of these may include a restructuring of policy features, such a lowering the sum assured or temporarily shortening the policy duration, so that policyholders can keep their insurance protection.

LIAM member companies include:

1. AIA Bhd.

2. Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad

3. AmMetLife Insurance Berhad

4. AXA AFFIN Life Insurance Berhad

5. Etiqa Life Insurance Berhad

6. Gibraltar BSN Life Berhad

7. Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Berhad

8. Hannover Rueck SE, Malaysian Branch (reinsurer)

9. Hong Leong Assurance Berhad

10. Manulife Insurance Berhad

11. Malaysian Life Reinsurance Group Berhad(reinsurer)

12. MCIS Insurance Berhad

13. Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad

14. Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Berhad

15. Tokio Marine Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd.

16. Zurich Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad

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