The industry body has confirmed that its life insurer members will not apply exclusions or deny claims related to COVID-19 for frontline workers including medical professionals and police, regardless of when they took out their cover.
In a statement, the FSC announced it had obtained "a commitment on behalf of participating life insurance FSC member companies" to ensure that frontline workers were not prevented from obtaining life cover because of their exposure to coronavirus, including those who had applied for cover after the virus was declared a pandemic.
Participating life insurers had made the commitment that potential exposure to COVID-19 would not be used to decline an application for cover, charge a higher premium or apply an exclusion to certain benefits offered within the policy.
FSC chief executive Sally Loane said the council had ensured a broad definition of 'frontline healthcare worker' in its discussions with insurers to ensure the commitment extended beyond those working in hospitals.
"This means not only doctors, nurses and hospital staff but also those who may potentially be exposed to COVID-19 such as police, pharmacists, paramedics and age care workers," Ms Loane said.
"While not everyone will be able to get new cover for other unrelated reasons, this commitment means potential exposure to COVID-19 alone won’t affect the cover these workers can get with participating life insurers."
Ms Loane added that she hoped the measure would reassure frontline workers around their insurance coverage.
Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Jane Hume has also welcomed the announcement, following industry concerns in recent weeks around insurers applying pandemic exclusions to healthcare workers vulnerable to COVID-19.
“Our frontline workers are doing an amazing job in this crisis, and it’s vital that we’re ensuring their work won’t adversely affect their life insurance cover,” Ms Hume said.
“I thank the FSC and insurers for their responsiveness on this issue.”
The announcement comes following an earlier FSC statement that its insurer members would ensure adequate coverage for policyholders who had purchased life cover before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on 11 March.
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