Do Malaysian insurance policies cover the Coronavirus?

14-Feb-2020 Intellasia | FreeMalaysiaToday | 7:28 AM Print This Post

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals. In rare cases, the coronavirus can be transmitted to humans. This is believed to happen from eating infected animals, like bats.

It causes a moderate upper repository tract illness (URTI) that can be especially fatal to the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with a lowered immune system.

The Novel Coronavirus is believed to have started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 through an animal to human infection.

Here are the facts on it

Symptoms: runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, headache, pneumonia.

Mortality rate: 10%

Incubation period: Two weeks. It is believed that patients are infectious even during the incubation period; before symptoms show.

Spread: Contact with oral secretion from infected person   coughing, sneezing, touching something the infected person has touched followed by touching your own mouth, nose or eyes.

Prevention: Wear a surgical mask, avoid sick people, wash hands thoroughly, disinfect areas affected by coughing and sneezing.

Previous Coronaviruses: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS, 2003), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS, 2012)

Total confirmed Wuhan Coronavirus cases as at February 2, 2020

14,451 Mainland China

20 Japan

19 Thailand

18 Singapore

15 South Korea

14 Hong Kong

12 Australia

10 Taiwan

8 Germany

8 Macau

8 US

8 Malaysia

6 France

6 Vietnam

5 United Arab Emirates

4 Canada

2 Italy

2 Russia

2 Philippines

2 India

2 UK

1 Nepal

1 Cambodia

1 Spain

1 Finland

1 Sweden

1 Sri Lanka

Total: 14,628

Total deaths: 305

Total recovered: 348

Does your insurance cover Coronavirus?

The Wuhan Coronavirus is an upper respiratory tract illness which is basically a lung-related illness.

If you are hospitalised, then you can claim medical insurance for hospitalisation, pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation.

A few life insurance companies in Malaysia have also come out to state that the Coronavirus will be covered under medical insurance.

However, if the Coronavirus is designated an epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and recognised as such by the Malaysian government, your medical insurance policy may not cover epidemics.

The exclusions are epidemic or pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization

This is applicable for life insurance policies with medical riders, standalone medical insurance, and travel insurance. Exclusions are epidemic or pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization.

An epidemic means a disease outbreak that spreads quickly affecting many people rapidly. A pandemic is when an epidemic spreads globally.

The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) member companies will cover the hospitalisation and treatment of the Novel Coronavirus even if it is under exclusion.

“Even though a majority of the medical policies carry an exclusion on communicable disease requiring quarantine by law, Malaysian life insurers and takaful operators are responding to an immediate need of the nation by waiving the exclusion of quarantine by law in light of the increasing number of people who have been affected,” said Mark O’ Dell, CEO of LIAM.

List of LIAM members


Allianz Life

AmMet Life

AXA Affin Life

Etiqa Life

Gibraltar BSN Life

Great Eastern Life

Hannover Rueck (reinsurer)

Hong Leong Assurance

Manulife Insurance

Malaysian Life Reassurance (reinsurer)

MCIS Insurance

Prudential Assurance

Sun Life Malaysia

Tokio Marine Life

Zurich Life

Coverage specific info

Critical illnesses coverage will pay out as per your insurance policy’s critical illness coverage if applicable. If death occurs, for example due to lung failure, the death benefit will be paid out.

What you can do to be sure

• Check the terms and conditions in your insurance policy to see if there is an exclusion for epidemic, pandemic, or outbreak of infectious disease.

• Make sure you have adequate insurance that will provide coverage and pay out in case anything untoward happens.

• Avoid travelling to places which are at risk or public places with many travellers. If really necessary to travel, do put on a good quality surgical mask and wash your hands often.

• If you are sick or in the at-risk group, stay home and avoid travelling altogether. Consider getting a flu shot or flu vaccine to reduce risks and alleviate fear.

• If you suspect you may be infected, do visit one of the Ministry of Health (MoH) designated hospitals and avoid socialising to prevent infecting others.

26 hospitals nationwide will serve as referral hospitals in handling patients under investigation (PUI) and those confirmed with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Two commonly asked questions:

Q 1: Does my insurance policy take effect during the initial stages where it is suspected but unconfirmed to be the Wuhan Coronavirus?

A: No, your insurance policy will not take effect until it is confirmed. Once confirmed, your insurance may cover pre-hospitalisation.

Q 2: Does my travel insurance cover flight cancellation due to the Wuhan Coronavirus?

A: Most travel insurance do not cover flight cancellations. Do check your policy terms and conditions. A number of airlines and hotels are cancelling flights and stays and refunding travellers.


Category: Malaysia

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