KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 17): The insurance industry is currently in talks with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to explore ways insurers and takaful operators can help ease some expenses of patients amid the current pandemic.
In a joint statement, Life Insurance Association of Malaysia, General Insurance Association of Malaysia and Malaysian Takaful Association said the industry is looking at easing "some of the expenses of patients whose conditions are required to be treated in private hospitals under the present circumstances".
"The insurance and takaful industry is fully supportive of the government's call on private and public partnership to manage the increasing cases of Covid-19 patients," the statement read.
Generally, pandemic-related risks are not covered under any insurance or takaful plan worldwide, they said, due to the difficulty in pricing for coverage relating to such an event that may occur once in a lifetime, with an incalculable impact and cost.
Nevertheless, a majority of life insurers and takaful operators have provided supplementary benefits such as daily hospital income to be paid to the affected policyholders or certificate holders.
"Efforts were swiftly galvanised by the industry to put in place various relief measures to help policyholders/certificate holders cope with the financial impact of the pandemic. Among others, these included the deferment of policy premiums/takaful contributions that have benefited over one million policyholders/certificate holders with premium/contributions valued over RM1.6 billion," the associations said.
A RM8 million Covid-19 testing fund was also set up in March 2020 to enable medical and health insurance policyholders to undergo testing, they noted. On top of these industry-wide efforts, individual insurance and takaful operators have rolled out various schemes to aid policyholders/certificate holders.