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Zurich adds extra COVID vaccine protection to life policies

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Zurich Life & Investments and its OnePath Life business have moved to include specific COVID-19 vaccination protection, the insurer announced.

It says the additional cover at no extra cost for death, income protection and total and permanent disability (TPD) is an Australian first.

Death or disability arising from COVID-19 infection is already covered within Zurich and OnePath Life policies.

“Our intention is to provide extra peace of mind for Australians as they weigh up the benefits and risks of having the COVID-19 vaccine, at a time when it is important for as many of us as possible to come forward for vaccination,” Zurich LiveWell Chief Product and Proposition Officer Sally Phillips said.

“While medical evidence indicates the likelihood of vaccine complications is extremely low, we understand that some people are concerned about the risk of a serious adverse reaction.

“This initiative is a small way we can reassure our customers and confirm their eligibility for financial support through their Zurich or OnePath life insurance policy in the rare instance they may suffer a serious side effect.”

Zurich says insureds or their beneficiaries are eligible for up to an additional $50,000 one-off payment on top of their death or TPD benefit should they die or be permanently disabled because of the vaccine.

Income protection policyholders may also be eligible for payment during their standard waiting period if they are hospitalised.

The COVID vaccine protection offer is available from this month until December 31 and eligible customers must have an in-force policy during this period and at the time they are vaccinated. Claims must be lodged by December 31 next year and death or disability must occur within 90 days of receiving the vaccination.

Meanwhile the industry has refuted several fake Facebook posts claiming some life insurers in Australia have decided to stop offering covers to customers who have been inoculated.

IAG says its decision to pull its NRMA Life Insurance product off the market in April this year had nothing to do with COVID vaccines.

“The reason for the decision was in line with our current strategy to focus on our core general insurance business such as home, motor, business and landlord insurance products,” the spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“We will continue to evaluate new propositions and offerings for life and income protection in the future.

“NRMA Life and Income Protection Insurance policies provide cover and benefits related to COVID-19 including complications from vaccinations.”

Nib says receiving a COVID-19 vaccination approved for use in Australia will not alter an existing insurance cover issued to customers.

Nib Life and Income Protection Insurance policies do not include exclusions or limitations related to COVID-19, including vaccine related side effects, the spokesman said.

“If you have an existing life insurance policy and experience any complication after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, you will be entitled to receive a benefit, in line with your policy terms and conditions,” the spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Nib will continue to support our members who hold existing life and income protection insurance policies, including any claims they make under their policy in line with policy terms and conditions.”