Since originating in Wuhan China at the end of 2019, the rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused significant disruptions worldwide.
In addition to the human tragedy, measures to control the pandemic are severly impacting businesses and employees.
This page has been set up to provide answers to the most frequently asked COVID-19 related insurance questions and links to trusted, up to date information and resources.
Frequently Asked Insurance Questions
We can confirm Business Interruption coverage under Property Insurance, where Gross Profit cover is selected, does not respond to COVID-19 claims. COVID-19 was listed under the Biosecurity Act 2015 on 24 January 2020, triggering and industry wide exclusion.
On a general note, human infection with COVID-19 will not, of itself, constitute as 'physical damage', which is the triggering requirement for cover under traditional business interruption policies.
A typical Corporate Travel Insurance policy will provide cover for cancellation costs where the travel destination has reached DFAT Advice of Level 4 - Do Not Travel and was not at this level at the time of booking.
You can check the current DFAT Advice Levels on https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades website.
Fear of travel is not a covered event under a Travel Insurance policy. This includes travel to areas that have known cases of COVID-19 but have not yet reached DFAT Advice Level 4.
The coverage provided on each policy and the position taken by different insurers can vary. If you have concerns, it's a good idea to contact your insurance broker or insurer directly.
Important Notice: COVID-19 became a known risk on 24 January 2020, and as such, some insurers may look to decline claims arising from COVID-19 if the trip was arranged on or after 24 January 2020. Whilst not all insurers are taking this position at this time, it should be taken into consideration when making future bookings.
Yes, under specific circumstances.
According to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) COVID-19 can be covered under Section 4 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 as a disease injury. A claim would be successful where the virus is contracted during the course of employment and the employment is found to be the main contributing factor to contracting the disease.
Proof that employment is the main contributing factor is likely to be difficult to determine and each claim would need to be considered on its individual merits and evidence.
Employers are advised to take all appropriate preventative measures to eliminate the risk of employees contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, as with any other workplace health and safety risk.
Where employees are potentially exposed to the virus as part of their employment, employers should provide guidance and assistance to the employee to make a claim for workers compensation.
Should you have further enquiries about Workers Compensation or managing WHS risk in respect to COVID-19, contact our Coverforce Workplace Services team directly on 02 9098 5500.
If you have an Income Protection policy under one of these products - PayCover, WageCare or WageGuard - then you are covered for illness. If your policy is under UPlus, only those who have sickness cover are protected.
If you are unable to work due to a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and your illness continues beyond your insured waiting period, you will be entitled to claim benefits under your policy.
Note: If you contracted COVID-19 at work, it is important to lodge a Workers Compensation claim in the first instance.
If you have sickness cover under an alternate policy, it is recommended that you read your policy documents carefully or speak to your broker about whether you are covered.
Trusted Information and Resources
Current Government Advice and Restrictions
Health Alert, Updates and Reports
Information Sheet for Employers regarding COVID-19
Coronavirus and Australian Workplace Laws - Fair Work Ombudsman
Fair Work Ombudsman - Coronavirus and Australian Workplace Laws
Safe Work Australia - COVID-19: Advice for Employers
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions for Employers - Australian Taxation Office
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About your insurance
For further information in relation to your insurances or risk management advice for your business during this time, please contact your local Insurance Broker directly or call the Coverforce Sydney Head Office on 1300 503 503.
For the latest updates or enquiries in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak you can contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. Calls can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.