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Is COVID-19 covered by insurance?
Is it covered by insurance?
1: Does travel insurance cover the novel coronavirus pneumonia?
The Government has included "Severe New Infectious Pathogen Respiratory Disease" (ie Novel Coronavirus) as a statutory notifiable infectious disease on January 8 to strengthen surveillance. Consumers need to be aware of whether infectious diseases are covered by the policy terms. The insured person should be aware that there is a chance that the designated body ("Government" or "WHO") has not published the designated area and the insured person has not obtained the desired protection.
In May 2018, the Consumer Council published a survey report on travel insurance. It reviewed the policy terms of the 16 insurance companies obtained at the time and came to the following observation:
• 11 companies' policies define "Infectious Disease"
• 7 required infectious diseases that have been transmitted from person to person and that have been widely spread among the local population by the World Health Organization.
• 3 required infectious disease-related information to be announced by the “government” and require quarantine.
• 1 prescribed infectious disease must be published by the "Hong Kong Government" under the Prevention and Control of Diseases Ordinance, Chapter 599 of the Laws of Hong Kong.
• 5 companies' policies do not define "infectious disease"
2: Is it protected if the trip is canceled due to travel alert?
(From the Hong Kong Insurance Association )
3. Is it covered by the insurance if one infected at the destination?
If the insured person is unfortunately infected with the novel coronavirus at the destination during the tour, it is required to go to a local registered hospital for medical treatment to be covered by overseas medical expenses. If the itinerary is changed accordingly, additional accommodation and transportation costs will be covered. If the insured person is unfortunately infected with the novel coronavirus before the trip and is unable to depart, travel protection will be covered. As the products of different insurance companies are different, the policyholder should pay attention to the terms of the policy. They may also check with the intermediary or insurance company.
4: Is it covered by insurance if one has to cancel the trip or quarantine at home?
The 14 company policies surveyed will provide travel cancellation protection for the insureds who need to undergo mandatory quarantine, but there are also individual policies that do not provide protection for "quarantine at home"; the policies of 11 companies specify that when an unexpected outbreak of an infectious disease suddenly occurs at the destination of the planned trip within 7 days before the scheduled departure date, the insured can be protected if the trip is canceled. Do take note that the clause generally only covers emergencies at the destination of the trip, which it has to reach "emergency" and "unforeseeable" situations, such a case does not apply in Hong Kong. If the insured person has purchased the travel insurance, the destination of the itinerary has been declared an epidemic area by the "Government" or "World Health Organization", the insured person will probably not be protected.