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Hong Kong Life Insurance and the Covid-19 Coronavirus

Published on: 14 April 2020 by Michael Lamb

With the continuing development of the Coronavirus crisis there is growing concern among individuals and companies holding life insurance coverage that a death due to Covid19 may not be a claimable event under the policy.

This is a valid concern.

Due to the increased interest towards life insurance products over the last two months, for both corporate and personal buyers, it is important to understand that not all life insurance products are the same. Your choice of insurance provider and policy at this time could have a serious impact on the ability of your loved ones to receive the needed financial support should a worst-case scenario come to realization.

Not all life insurance is equal; exclusions may apply

Many life insurance products, worldwide, exclude coverage of deaths which have occurred due to a pandemic event – the exact policy wording on these plans will vary, but the general exclusion against global health crises will stay consistent.

This exclusion can also apply to Critical Illness and Disability Income riders which exist on a Life Insurance policy.

In Hong Kong the typical exclusions in relation to a covered death under a life insurance policy are when a claim is directly or indirectly attributable to:

 1) active participation in war or violent civil unrest,

2) any breach of criminal law by the policyholder or life assured,

3) suicide or the attempt of suicide within 2 years of the policy inception.

Although these are the “standard” life insurance exclusions, it does not mean that these are the only exclusions found in relation to life insurance – and that the exclusions on your policy will ultimately depend on the insurer you opt to obtain coverage from.

Not being able to receive coverage for a death in relation to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, especially in this time of crisis with so much uncertainty in the world, would be a catastrophe. Because of this we would recommend that all individuals, and especially at-risk individuals, review their life insurance policy documents and ensure that their policy does not include a pandemic exclusion.

While the life insurance plans offered by CCW Global are able to cover deaths caused by pandemics (with the usual caveat in place for pre-existing medical condition exclusions), this is not true for every plan on the market.

Keyman and Group life insurance are also concerns

Individuals are not the only group that is possibly affected by the impact of a pandemic exclusion on life insurance cover. Businesses holding a group life or keyman life insurance policy should be aware of any pandemic restrictions on their policy, especially as they make arrangements for employees to continue working.

Choosing to, for example, have critical workers come into the office with a Keyman Life Insurance policy that excludes pandemic deaths could have serious implications for a company. Keyman is designed to ensure that your business is able to continue operations after the death of a vital employee. Adding the potential pandemic exclusion (and subsequent absence of a claim) to the loss of a critical member of staff would be virtually catastrophic in the current circumstances.

Further to this, employees will likely be concerned about their exposure to the virus situation; and if a company offers life insurance protection as part of its employees’ benefits package, then workers will be relying on that policy as a safety net should they need it at this time of crisis. If an exclusion for claims related to pandemics or health crises exists in that policy then workers will be left exposed should they come into contact with a Covid19 case cluster.

CCW Global is here to help

 While the life insurance plans offered by CCW Global are able to cover deaths caused by pandemics (with the usual caveat in place for pre-existing medical condition exclusions), this is not true for every plan on the market.

It is because of this; we would like to let you know that CCW Global is happy to review your life insurance coverage and ensure you are protected under the policy from a death arising from the Covid-19 Coronavirus or complications due to that disease. Our expert brokers are happy to talk to you about your coverage and advise you on whether you are covered against a death resulting from the pandemic.

Our advice is given free of charge. We are able to talk to you about the insurance that best meets your specific requirements during this time of crisis with no upfront costs and no hidden fees. Our expert Hong Kong Insurance Brokers are able to walk you through your policy documents, advise you on the terms and conditions which could materially impact your plan, and advise you on your best course of action; even if it is staying with your existing policy or going somewhere else.

The global pandemic situation is continuing to evolve and has had an impact on a diverse range of insurance products – from the initial effect on contingency and cancellation insurance products, through to business insurance, life insurance, and health insurance concerns. We will be here to give you the updates you need to be aware of as the events continue to evolve. Insurance is a complicated subject at the best of times, we’re simplifying your insurance to ensure that you have the protection you need.

Should you have any questions about any of your insurance coverages during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, or if you would like to discuss how to better protect your family or business during this trying time, please Contact a CCW Global Broker today.



Author: Michael Lamb

Michael Lamb is an insurance industry professional with many years of experience within the Hong Kong Insurance market. Focusing on APAC coverage issues, Michael is able to provide extensive analysis and insight to a range of pressing topics. Previously, Michael provided insurance broker Globalsurance.com with their most highly valued articles and was a key influence in the development of all the content on Pacificprime.com, Michael has a passion for insurance matched by few others in the region.

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