People think that their health insurance policies cover virtually any unforeseeable circumstance that affects health. And while pandemics fall under the unforeseeable circumstances category, many also miss the fine print in most of their policies explaining that their insurance does not provide coverage when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a global pandemic.
So what happens to your insurance during a pandemic? And how do you make sure you are covered?
If you have health insurance, read the fine print says Victor Topa. Many insurers will not provide coverage if you traveled to a place where there is a sharp rise in illness or disease. Travel to places with a good risk of seeing the same trend can also result in a rejection of your claim.
What if you display symptoms of a contagious disease but have not been in contact with any person who has it? Inform your insurance provider ASAP. Any delays in making your symptoms known to your provider can result in a denial of benefits. Your insurer will also make sure that you did not deliberately put yourself in a situation where your chances of getting sick are high. If the insurer discovers that you deliberately placed yourself in harm’s way, your claim can be denied.
Fraud is another reason for your provider to cancel your policy. If you fell ill, recovered from your illness and are now seeking a refund, your provider can cancel your policy due to fraudulent practices. This instance could also make it harder for you to apply for health insurance in the future.
Many travelers are learning the hard way that most travel insurance policies don’t cover pandemics. Cancellations in plane flights and hotel bookings see a very low chance for refunds from insurers even if you have travel insurance because epidemics and pandemics are not often included in standard insurance packages.
However, many insurers are working with airlines and other providers to work out a solution, such as accomodating claims for canceled trips and accommodations for a limited time, especially for those traveling to hard-hit areas. However, this is not true for all insurers, with some leaving beleaguered policy-holders in the lurch. It is best to read the fine print of your policy to see if you are covered or if alternatives are offered.
Life insurance plans include pandemics and other global catastrophes in their basic coverage so there is no need to worry. If you pass away from an illness that is causing an epidemic or pandemic, your beneficiaries will receive compensation. However, Victor Topa states, the situation may not be as simple if you plan on buying life insurance in the middle of a pandemic, because insurers may have more stringent measures in place.
Bottom line, read the fine print and get in touch with your insurer right away. Get all the details straight so you know how to protect yourself during global emergencies like epidemics and pandemics.