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Coronavirus Critical Illness and Life Insurance

Coronavirus Critical Illness and Life Insurance

Feb 17, 2020

As of 17 February, there have been more than 70,000 confirmed cases in mainland China, and 1,696 deaths from the virus. Quarantine measures are being tightened around the world in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

So far there have been just nine cases of the virus in the UK, and no fatalities. Of the 1,750 tests carried out in the country so far, more than 99% were negative with the NHS saying that the risk to individuals ‘remains low’.

But what are the symptoms of Covid-19? And does your Critical Illness Cover or life insurance cover the virus?


Explained: the symptoms of Coronavirus

Part of the problem with diagnosing Covid-19 is that the symptoms can appear to be similar to other seasonal coughs and colds. Initial symptoms include;

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Muscle ache
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties

Chest X-rays show patients suffer symptoms typically associated with viral pneumonia.

The NHS said: “The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.

“Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have Coronavirus.”

If you have travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last two weeks, and you are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath you should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.


Will my Critical Illness Policy cover Coronavirus?

World Health Organisation data on 12 February 2020 showed that at least 18% of patients have fallen ill with critical symptoms.

If you have Critical Illness Cover in the UK, it is unlikely that you will be able to make a claim if you are diagnosed with Coronavirus.

The main reason for this is that your policy will cover you against diagnosis of one of a range of specified conditions, and viral infections such as Coronavirus are typically not included on these lists.


Will life insurance cover death from Coronavirus?

Since it emerged in China in late 2019, the Coronavirus has killed at least 1,775 people. Many of these people are older people or those with a weak immune system, and there have been relatively few cases in children.

World Health Organisation director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “More than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover, 14% have severe disease including pneumonia and shortness of breath, 5% have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure, and 2% of cases are fatal.

“The risk of death increases the older you are.”

In the unlikely event that a person in the UK contracts and dies from Coronavirus, their life insurance would typically cover such a claim.


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