Insurance, takaful industry working with govt to ease COVID-19 patients’ hospital expenses

Insurance, takaful industry working with govt to ease COVID-19 patients’ hospital expenses

KUALA LUMPUR: The insurance and takaful industry is working with the Health Ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia to explore avenues where it can ease some of the expenses of COVID-19 patients whose conditions are required to be treated in private hospitals under the present circumstances.

In a joint statement today, the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) said generally, pandemic-related risks are not covered under any insurance and takaful plans worldwide.

“The exclusion stems from the difficulty in pricing for coverage relating to an event like a pandemic that may occur once in a lifetime, having an incalculable impact and cost. COVID-19 is a pandemic; hence it is not insured/covered under medical and health insurance/takaful benefits. 

“Nevertheless, in response to the nation’s immediate need in the early stage of the pandemic in 2020, majority of life insurers and takaful operators have provided supplementary benefits such as daily hospital income to be paid to the affected policyholders/certificate holders,” the associations said.

LIAM, PIAM and MTA said the industry is supportive of protecting the policyholders’/certificate holders’ interests and contributing to the success of the private and public partnership in winning the battle against the pandemic.

The industry, they said, has swiftly galvanised efforts to put in place various relief measures to help policyholders/certificate holders cope with the financial impact of the pandemic.

Among others, this included the deferment of policy premiums/takaful contributions that have benefitted over one million policyholders/certificate holders with premium/contributions valued over RM1.6 billion. 

A RM8 million COVID-19 Testing Fund (CTF) was set up in March 2020 to enable medical and health insurance policyholders to undergo testing for COVID-19. 

In addition to industry-wide efforts, individual insurers and takaful operators have also rolled out various schemes to aid policyholders/certificate holders, the associations added.

— BERNAMA