Following the country’s third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) and its member companies have announced that it will extend additional aids for affected policyholders until 31 December 2020.
According to the president of LIAM, Loh Guat Lan, the additional measures are some of the immediate initiatives implemented to ease the burden faced by policyholders and their family members. The aids come in the form of financial assistance, including cash benefits, hospitalisation allowance, and lump-sum death/compassionate benefits. Depending on the life insurer, policyholders may be able to access benefits such as:
- Financial assistance and support programmes for customers affected by Covid-19
- 6 months of premium relief of up to RM3,000 due to retrenchment (provided policy has been in force for at least a year prior to retrenchment)
- Special death benefit payment ranging from RM5,000 to RM15,000 for frontline medical workers
- Cash relief ranging from RM1,000 to RM5,000 for customers diagnosed with Covid-19
- Cash benefits/hospitalisation allowance ranging from RM60 to RM250 per day and up to 30 days of hospitalisation
- Special lump-sum death/compassionate benefits ranging from RM5,000 to RM20,000 upon the death of the insured
“We would like to advise affected policy holders to contact their insurance companies to find out on the additional benefits that they are eligible to claim and to check on the terms and conditions of their health insurance policy,” said Loh.
LIAM and the Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) have also previously announced two relief measures for policyholders under the Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package in March. This includes a deferment period for life insurance policyholders and family takaful contributors who are affected by the pandemic, where they can postpone their regular premium payments for 90 days without affecting the policy coverage.
The assistance is offered to Covid-19 patients, individuals who are quarantined or have suffered a loss of income, as well as SMEs that experienced losses due to the pandemic. To date, over one million policyholders have benefited from the premium deferment relief, involving a total of over RM1.6 billion premium payment.
Meanwhile, the second relief measure involves the extension of flexibilities to reinstate or preserve life insurance and family takaful protection. In other words, life insurers and family takaful operators will extend the period during which policyholders can reinstate their lapsed policies. Insurance companies may also provide other forms of support to help their clients keep their policies in force, such as restructuring policy features by lowering the sum assured or temporarily shortening the policy duration.
Both of the ongoing aids have been made available since 1 April, and will continue to prevail until 31 December 2020.