Southern Cross Insurance has denied the content of Facebook posts stating that the company will not pay out the life and health insurance policies for people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a report by AFP Fact Check, one post was shared over 500 times before it was removed. The post said that Southern Cross will not pay out the insurance policies of vaccinated individuals due to the vaccine being an “experimental medical procedure of high risk that has not been proven to be safe or effective.”
The original poster claimed that the information was passed to them by a “highly reliable source”.
Southern Cross debunked the rumours, with its representative telling AFP that having an approved COVID-19 vaccination will not affect their customers’ policies.
“We would like to reassure our health insurance and life insurance policyholders that their policies will continue in the usual way and in no way be impacted if they receive a MedSafe approved COVID-19 vaccine,” a statement from Southern Cross said.
Major vaccination side effects are usually excluded from health insurance plans, as these are typically covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
The Southern Cross spokesperson said that policyholders who experience side effects from vaccinations can lodge claims with ACC.
Meanwhile, ACC told AFP that it provides coverage for vaccine-related injuries. The injury must be clearly caused by the vaccination and must not be a normal side effect.
As such, minor effects such as inflammation around the injection site are unlikely to be covered. However, more serious conditions such as cellulitis, septic arthritis or anaphylaxis due to vaccination are more likely to be covered.
New Zealanders that suffer severe reactions to COVID-19 vaccines will receive coverage for medical bills, treatment, and income assistance.
So far, only one type of COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by MedSafe – Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.