COVID-19 and personal insurance
Mar 24, 2020
At the time of writing, there are no blanket exclusions for COVID-19 or any other pandemic in life, trauma or income protection policies in the insurance companies we use. Any claim arising from COVID-19 would be assessed the same as any other illness according to the terms of the policy.
The common misconception is whether you can claim on personal policies due to the economic/employment impact of the virus – you can’t (with the exception of a redundancy policy, which very few people have because they’re so expensive).
The Ministry of Health will cover the cost of hospitalisation if a person is admitted to public hospital with COVID-19. In New Zealand, most health insurance policies have an exclusion for acute medical conditions and observations as these situations are covered by the public health system. An acute medical condition means a sign, symptom or condition that needs hospital admission for treatment or monitoring, immediately or within 48 hours. Cover for medical conditions that may develop as a result of the virus vary by policy and provider.
The financial impact on New Zealanders is still unknown but for many people, it will be significant. The various insurance companies are mindful of this, although they have slightly different approaches. Some have built-in premium holiday options, others are assessing this on a case by case basis. If you are concerned, please contact us and we can go from there.
The following links may be helpful.