Insurance companies will not cover bills for insurance policyholders who will get infected by the COVID-19 Virus.
As it is the norm, insurance companies insert clauses exempting pandemics and epidemics from being covered by policies they offer.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already declared COVID-19 otherwise known as the Novel Coronavirus a pandemic dealing a blow to policyholders who may have to dig out of their own pockets in the event it boils down to that.
As it stands, the ailment has already claimed 5,000 lives globally while some countries like Italy and Denmark are in lockdown while major sporting leagues and tournaments across the world have been suspended.
The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) said the classification of the disease as pandemic indicates that victims will settle their own bills if cases are reported Kenya.
“If there was to be a major attack then all insurance companies will close shop. The claims will wipe the insurers out completely. That is why such exclusions are put in insurance policies,” AKI chief executive Tom Gichuhi said.
“People need to understand that it is not about running away from contractual responsibilities. It is only government which can step in with resources,” Gichuhi added.
That was realized on Friday when Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe reported the first case of COVID-19 in the country.
CS Kagwe announced that the case involved a female Kenyan citizen jetting back into the country from the United States. The lady is said to have travelled to London too.
The woman has been placed under quarantine at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Infectious Disease Isolation unit.
Health insurance remains a thorn in the flesh of insurance firms due to a variety of factors including high hospital bills and fraud. Medical insurers’ underwriting loss hit Ksh1 billion in 2018.
Meanwhile, The Ministry of Health has sent a rapid response team to Ongata Rongai where the lady infected with COVID-19 comes from.
“We have embarked on a contract tracing for all persons who have been in contact with her,” CS Mutahi Kagwe said “We have sent a rapid response team to Ongata Rongai area where she lives for that purpose. There should be no panic,” he said.