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On 11 Mar 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) characterised and declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. This is the first pandemic caused by a corona virus.
In an attempt to control the outbreak, the Government of Malaysia has implemented a Movement Control Order (MCO) for a period of two weeks from 18 Mar to 31 Mar 2020. The general public is also advised to maintain good hygiene habits and practise reasonable “social distancing” in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
As concerned members of the public have posed questions on general insurance protection in relation to this corona virus, PIAM wishes to advise the following:
a) Is COVID-19 covered by the Hospital and Surgical Insurance (HSI)?
A HSI policy covers cost of hospitalization and healthcare services including room and board, doctor and surgery fees, medical supplies and services, etc. due to covered illnesses or accidents.
A standard HSI policy generally excludes all types of communicable diseases requiring quarantine such as the current COVID-19 outbreak. However many insurers, out of goodwill, have agreed to waive the exclusion and provide cover for COVID-19. This is in addition to extra coverage offered by individual insurer.
Consumers are advised to check with respective insurers for the exact terms and conditions of coverage as this may vary between one insurer and another.
b) Travel Insurance
A travel insurance policy generally covers travel related accidents, medical expenses, inconveniences etc suffered during the period of travel as stipulated in the policy. However most policies will exclude travel to countries where travel ban or advisory had been issued by the local or foreign government of the destination country. As the terms and coverage of one policy may differ with another, consumers are advised to seek confirmation from respective insurers before travelling. PIAM would like to stress that all Malaysians are prohibited from traveling out of the country during the MCO period.
Issued by PIAM on 20 Mar 2020.