The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted life around the world, and it is taking a serious toll on businesses too. Global stock markets are down, travel restrictions were imposed hurting industries across the board, and millions of people are either in quarantine, unable to work or have had to change the way they live.
While these are all worrying, we do not need to panic, but we do need to take precautions and be more careful in our day to day lives. There is a level-headed approach we can take to protect ourselves, our families and our businesses, all of which are available in this guide prepared by World Health Organization. What we want to talk about however, is the role insurance plays in a crisis.
The Uninsured and Corona
People who do not have medical insurance and unable to take paid sick leave from work, may force themselves to go in and infect others making it harder to contain the outbreak. This is particularly a US issue, but it does have global implications. Basic medical insurance, no matter how it is provided to the citizens of a country, should be able to support people in times of a medical crisis. Not only are these people putting themselves and others at risk, but their employers may face serious operational disruptions, further worsening the economic impact of the virus. People should not have to choose between getting medical attention or their finances.
Businesses should have insurance to protect their operations against interruptions and lost revenue (read our blog about it here), and this goes for small and medium-sized enterprises as much as large corporations. If this outbreak has taught us anything, is that everything can change on a dime. Factories are either slowing or cutting production, people are going out and shopping less, and overall economic growth could stagnate (BBC economic impact data).
Your business may have the assets to withstand a temporary lull in the market, but what if your business is in the travel industry and you’ve taken a serious hit? Having a risk management expert review your operations and recommend insurance products that will best protect you is absolutely critical. This shouldn’t be a hindsight 20/20 approach, if it wasn’t coronavirus it could have been another issue that would have impacted your business.
Insurance for businesses can soften the economic impact on a global scale, allow for companies to weather the turbulent markets and position them to take advantage of opportunities once the situation has been contained.
Again, no need to panic, but do take precautions to protect yourself and your business. For businesses, you can also read our business protection guide to see how insurance can protect you.
We have put together this quick guide for individuals below:
How Insurance and Coronavirus Works:
Usually health insurance will cover you for a virus outbreak, which requires hospitalization and so it will cover you for the coronavirus outbreak in the country you are currently residing in, but what happens if you are abroad. Does travel insurance cover you?
Travel insurance policies cover:
- You have already booked and arranged your trip to a country where the outbreak is confirmed before the outbreak took place and you need to cancel.
- Your country of residence advises you not to travel to a particular country, after you’ve already booked everything.
- If you have a health condition, like a weaker immune system, or simply got sick before your trip.
- If you have the “Cancel for Any Reason” travel insurance policy, which lets you off the hook up to 48 hours before your departure.
- If you face a health emergency, such as contracting coronavirus, during your trip.
- If one catches the virus during transit, then the insurance provider might cover you for healthcare costs, but you need to check the policy before
However, it is important to note that fear of contracting a disease in your destination is not one of the cases.
If you are planning on getting travel insurance, it is important to ask the right questions. Whether you are covered or not will depend upon the type of policy and the level of coverage. Many insurance companies started to exclude coronavirus outbreak coverage due to the significant increase in prevalence.
As per World Health Organization Travel Advisories, travelers who are sick should delay or avoid travel to affected areas, especially elderly travelers and people with chronic diseases or preexisting health conditions. All travelers are strongly recommended to keep up personal hygiene, practice proper coughing etiquette and keep a distance of at least one meter from people showing symptoms. More recommendations from the World Health Organization can be read here.
If you’re having concerns or worries about your upcoming trip, give us a call and our team of advisors will be there to help you. Whether you need help reviewing your existing coverage or need us to orient you toward what you should be looking for, especially depending on your destination, we can help.
Five important precautions against the Coronavirus
According to the World Health Organization, these are five important points of precaution we all need to follow carefully:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain distance between you and others, especially large crowds and other sick people
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately
- Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider