For those of us planning holiday vacations or travel to China cities, or other nearby Asia countries such as Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan etc, we may be thinking, does travel insurance covers Wuhan coronavirus?
Does travel insurance cover Wuhan flu coronavirus?
Yes, travel insurance covers if you have bought earlier. No, if you bought your travel coverage after 27 Jan.
Currently, all travel insurance would NOT cover cancellation, emergency medical treatment due to coronavirus because MFA has announced a directive for Singaporeans to cancel all non-essential travel to China cities on 27 Jan 2020.
If your travel insurance to Chinese cities BEFORE 27 Jan 2020; or your travel insurance to the epicenter city of Wuhan BEFORE 23 Jan 2020, your travel insurance company will still honor your policies. These dates are important as they mark the dates where the official warnings are sounded from either the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore or from China’s government itself.
For specific details from each specific travel insurer, please scroll to the bottom for their press release.
Why is my travel insurance not covering the coronavirus Wuhan flu?
Travel insurance is meant to protect against the unexpected and would have covered you if your trip was planned before official warnings about the virus was made. Once announcements are made on the severity of the situation, the coronavirus is no longer an unexpected situation and travel insurer will add the event in their terms and conditions.
This is the same for natural disasters, protests, or other types of disruptive events. When the unexpected event is made known and announced officially, travel insurers will cease coverage for these events.
What about my term life policies? Does medical, health, hospital and surgical, medishield cover Wuhan flu outbreak of the coronavirus?
Yes, all policies by life insurance companies cover the Wuhan coronavirus unless explicitly written. Group policies would cover corona virus too if an outbreak occurs.
This is because all life and health policies are designed for the long term and insured personals purchase plans for all emergencies and events in their lives.
Medical policies such as private shield plans that cover hospital and surgical definitely cover your hospitalisation and medical needs should definitely cover a person if he is sickened with the Wuhan flu corona virus.
However, if an outbreak occurs in the long term and situation changes, insurers may adjust their policies to reflect the situation in the long run.
What are the travel insurers’ coverage on the Wuhan coronavirus?
These are some of the bigger travel insurer’s information on their travel insurance policies and coverage, we have copied it out here for your convenience.
In view of MFA’s advisory to defer non-essential travel to mainland China, please note that claims arising from these activities and related disruptions are deemed as a “known” event” and will therefore not be covered, if:
- You have purchased a travel insurance to Wuhan on or after 11 January 2020
- You have purchased a travel insurance to mainland China, excluding Wuhan, on or after 27 January 2020
For further details, please refer to policy wordings of your specific travel product.
Please note claims arising in connection with this event will not be covered if you bought your travel policy on/after 23 January 2020, or if you travel in, to or through China on/after 23 January 2020. Claims unrelated to this event remain covered, subject to policy T&Cs.
“For travellers going to Wuhan, please note that the Wuhan virus is currently considered a known event and there will be no coverage for any claims arising from the Wuhan virus for your travels to Wuhan. Travellers who have purchased their Travel Insurance to Wuhan before 8pm on 20 Jan 2020, can file a claim for Cancelling/Shortening/Postponing your trip or Trip Disruption according to our travel policy terms and conditions.”
Source: NTUC Income
Novel Coronavirus outbreak: Dear valued customers, please be aware that our travel insurance does not cover any claims arising from the Novel Coronavirus outbreak for trips to or passing through these destinations if the policy or trip is purchased on these dates or later: 22 Jan 2020 for Wuhan, 23 Jan 2020 for Hubei Province, 27 Jan 2020 for Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan). As the situation develops, cover to other areas are subject to change. Please refer to the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the latest update.
From these announcements, it’s clear that any travel insurance purchased after specific dates will not cover you for claims made as a result of or reasons related to the Coronavirus outbreak. If you are unsure, we suggest that you check with your travel insurance provider for more details.
Importance of buying Annual Travel insurance package or buy your single trip insurance early.
No one could have predicted the timing of any virus outbreak or any natural disaster. There were SARS, MERS and now 2019-nCoV. In fact, there are other flu outbreak in Brazil and other seasonal flu outbreak in America.
No one could have predicted volcanoes, earthquakes, flash floods or forest fires too.
Similarly, man-made events such as political protests, labour strikes, airport or train station failures are hard to predict and plan in advance.
The only way we can plan in advance is to either
- purchase annual travel insurance policies if you fly often
- immediately purchase single trip insurance after you confirm your air tickets (or train, or ship tickets)
Buying travel insurance early helps to reimburse you for emergency trip disruption, postponement or cancellation when the event happens. If the event happened, and you rush to buy travel insurance, it is too late as the travel insurers would have deemed it as “expected” and stopped coverage for those big disruptive events.
Buying travel insurance early has no additional costs
Most interesting, buying that single trip policy immediately after booking your flight has no price difference compared to buying it just before flying off.
No price difference but you get extra coverage from the day you bought your travel plans to the day you returned safely to home.
I want to compare the best travel insurance deals.
Let us enjoy our travel in peace and joy!
Lastly, if you are straight up cancelling your travel plans due to quarantine, check out these ideas on how to spend your approved vacation leave. It would be much recommended to avoid traveling to prevent coronavirus.