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Coronavirus: Insurance

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL2639, tabled on 16 March 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that COVID-19 will be listed as a qualifying disease for insurance payouts.

Answered on

28 April 2020

On 5 March 2020, the Government added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases.

Insurers’ policies that cover notifiable diseases will typically only cover a specific subset of notifiable diseases (such as cholera or anthrax) that the insurer will reference in the policy documentation. These policies will exclude any notifiable disease not on the insurer’s list, as well as future/unknown diseases such as COVID-19. The price that the insurer charges for the policy is modelled against the risk posed by this set list of diseases.

Some businesses will have purchased add-ons for their insurance that cover for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’. These policies effectively cover any disease listed as a notifiable disease, enabling the business to claim for losses for all notifiable diseases as well as from diseases that are unknown at the point the policy is written.

The effect of the Government adding COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases is to ensure that businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover are able to make a claim – subject to the terms and conditions in their policy. For example, someone infected with COVID-19 may need to have been on the premises.