Zurich Life & Investments (Zurich) and OnePath Life, which was acquired by Zurich Financial Services Australia, will include bespoke COVID-19 vaccination protection into eligible life insurance policies without extra cost.
Therefore, Zurich and OnePath Life insured customers experiencing severe side effects from an approved COVID-19 vaccination will be eligible for a payment on top of the payment they may receive under the terms of their policy.
Zurich and OnePath Life policies already cover death or disability due to COVID-19. However, the new initiative allows the insurers' policyholders or their beneficiaries to be eligible for up to an additional $50,000 one-off payment on top of their death or total & permanent disability (TPD) benefit should they die or be permanently disabled because of the vaccine.
Income protection policyholders may also be eligible for payment during their standard waiting period should they be hospitalised.
“We felt it was important to offer this additional COVID-19 vaccination coverage within our group insurance portfolio, as well as via our retail and direct lines, given that so many Australians access life insurance through their superannuation,” said Darren Wickham, the head of group insurance at Zurich. “It is a benefit that tops up the amount of insurance coverage that people have within their superannuation, where Zurich [or] OnePath is the insurance provider. This initiative is another expression of our support for COVID-19 vaccination and a way we can play a part in reassuring the community.”
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In an Australian first, the additional cover will be provided without extra cost across Zurich and OnePath's range of death, income protection, and TPD – including policies accessed via a financial adviser (Zurich Wealth Protection, Zurich Active, and OneCare), sold directly via a distribution partner, or sold or through an employer-based group insurance or their partner superannuation funds.
Dr Sally Phillips, the chief product and proposition officer at Zurich LiveWell, said the insurer aims to provide Australians with confidence as they weigh up the benefits and risks of having the COVID-19 vaccine when it is crucial for many to get vaccinated.
“While medical evidence indicates the likelihood of vaccine complications is extremely low, we understand that some people are concerned about the risk of a serious adverse reaction,” Dr Phillips said. “This initiative is a small way we can reassure our customers and confirm their eligibility for financial support through their Zurich or OnePath life insurance policy in the rare instance they may suffer a serious side effect.”