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Businesses might not get insurance payouts for COVID-19 losses

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Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | As most businesses scratch for options on how they will cover for losses incurred as a result of coronavirus disruption, it has emerged that insurance providers may not be a run to option.

This according to several players in the industry is because COVID-19 is regarded as a natural calamity which might not be catered for in the policies that most people bought.

Kigo Wamuyu, an insurance broker at Bartlett broker, said it will be hard for an insurer to pay for losses due to COVID-19, saying this was a natural disaster. She however said that some businesses that took a cover of business disruption can ask their insurers to see whether things like coronavirus make the cut.

Rogers Kasozi, another broker said natural disaster means “everyone on their own and God for us all.”

As the government shutdown the economy to stop the spread of coronavirus, it meant businesses will incur losses as many of them had to close shop.

On Wednesday, the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) said insurance players have unanimously agreed to pay valid claims for medical expenses for the treatment of insured patients infected with COVID-19.”

In a statement, IRA said that “existing medical insurance policies will provide cover for COVID-19 which may include testing, treatment and care at the government designated facilities. “

“Medical insurance policyholders and other customers are therefore encouraged to seek further details and clarifications from their medical insurance providers,” it said.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, Ministry of Health Public Relations Officer said that the government was covering the testing and treatment. Another insurer, Prudential insurance had said earlier that it would pay cash pay-out to its customers should they unfortunately be diagnosed with COVID-19.

It is said the “pay-out is intended to help their family manage expenses while they are in recovery. In addition, if a customer is admitted to a hospital with COVID-19, Prudential will provide a daily allowance at no extra cost to the client.”

All these are steering clear of the businesses losses expenses. Wamuyu said an insurer that officers to pay these expenses will suffer a huge dent.

The business side of insurance will still get a beating as well, she said. This is because as businesses get affected and they will take insurance as not a priority. This means a slow uptake of insurance after the COVID-19 period with many people taking insurance as not a priority.

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