Groups welcome move to expand plans for Covid-19

Safeguard: While the move by insurance firms has been welcomed, consumers are advised to read the terms and conditions carefully.

PETALING JAYA: The move to expand insurance coverage for Covid-19, including any side effect from vaccination, will make the public have more confidence in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, say consumer groups.

Welcoming the move, consumer activist Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah called it an “added confidence boost” to the programme.

“Those who will be (suffering from such side effects) and benefiting from these plans are considered small compared to the rest of the population.

“It is better if the insurance companies can extend their coverage

to them, ” said the Sustainable Development Network Malaysia (Susden) chairman.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj encouraged the firms to extend the benefits under Covid-19 to beyond any specific deadline.

“The Covid-19 vaccine has just rolled out, so insurance companies should extend its benefits to at least until the end of the vaccination programme, ” he said.

“If it is an additional service to the current policies, there should not be additional charges for premium packages, ” Paul added.

A number of insurance companies have announced that their coverage of benefits under Covid-19 will be until the end of March.

The government, he pointed out, had given assurance that the possibility of an extreme reaction to Covid-19 vaccine was very rare and that it would provide compensation should this occur.

“Even when considering this, insurance companies should extend their benefits for as long as it is necessary, ” Paul said.

He also urged insurance companies to include treatments and hospitalisation related to Covid-19 as a permanent coverage for policyholders and not as additional benefits.

“Consumers are already paying premiums. I think this should be part of the service they provide, ” he said.

Muslim Consumer Association lead activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said consumers should also consult with their agents to get more information on the matter.

“We advise consumers to be careful before they sign up with any insurance plan and hope that they will read the terms and conditions of their coverage, ” he said.

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