People warned against 'quarantine insurance' pitfalls – SHINE News – SHINE

March 22, 2022 By admin

People should pay close attention to details of the so-called "quarantine insurance" as complaints mounted over difficulties pertaining to its coverage.
With an increasing number of local and imported COVID-19 cases being reported in many Chinese cities and amid the continuation of strict pandemic prevention and control policies, "quarantine insurance" has become a hot-selling product in the insurance sector recently.
This new kind of insurance often claims that policyholders can get various benefits if they are put under quarantine, with alluring sales pitch such as "Pay 9.9 yuan (US$1.57), get 200 yuan back per day," and "During quarantine, let the insurance company pay your salary."
The product can be very helpful for those getting paid on set workloads such as deliverymen and taxi drivers, who may get no income at all if they are put under quarantine.
In recent months, this insurance product has been trending on the Internet, with many such insurance products labeled as "hot" or "recommended" on several websites and mobile applications.
Media statistics show that so far, insurance companies have developed nearly 60 "quarantine insurance" products in total.
Since the fourth quarter of last year, their sales have risen significantly, with one of the insurance agency platforms even posting average monthly sales of more than 10,000 deals, according to a report by Shanghai-based news outlet Yicai.
It turns out that most quarantine insurance products currently on the market are generally affiliated insurance of certain health insurance or accident insurance.
In addition to the allowance for health quarantine, the complete insurance product usually covers general accident protection, traffic accident protection, infectious disease protection, vaccine protection and so on.
Li Wenzhong, deputy director of the insurance department at the Capital University of Economics and Business, said in an article that there were two main reasons for the popularity of quarantine insurance.
Under China's current epidemic prevention and control policies, if a new COVID-19 case or a close contact is found, a large number of people will be quarantined and their work and life will be affected. Such risk leads to a high demand for insurance.
Meanwhile, the premiums for most quarantine insurance products are as low as dozens of yuan or even below 10 yuan, while the compensation can be in the hundreds or even thousands of yuan per day. The cheap premiums and high leverage galvanize many people's purchase intention, Li explained.
However, whether consumers can easily get the insurance payouts once they are quarantined remains a question.
Harsh requirements
In fact, the requirements for applying for quarantine subsidies are quite harsh.
In the case of one of the best-selling products, for example, the insured person should be a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient during the insurance period, or been notified by the local government or the epidemic prevention department to go in for centralized quarantine or home quarantine because of being in a medium- to high-risk area.
In other words, to get insurance benefits, the insured must meet one of the two conditions, namely, having close contact with the person diagnosed or being under forced quarantine in a medium- to high-risk area.
Yet, the more common cases – those who have links with close contacts of patients and are thus placed under home quarantine or observation – are not covered.
Many other similar products have even more onerous terms for claims, for instance, covering only centralized isolation, or having some added terms such as restrictions on form of transportation. Cases such as regional control and health monitoring are not covered.
Tian Jingting, a Beijing Xicheng District People's Court judge, suggested that consumers should carefully study the payout clauses before buying an insurance product.
Tian advised consumers to pay special attention to insurance liability and exemption clauses, make clear the definition of "quarantine," and make the decision carefully according to their own needs.
At the same time, the insurance company should draw consumers' attention to the liability and exemption of the insurance in a significant manner when selling the product, the judge pointed out.
They should also clearly explain the contents of the insurance indemnity in the website publicity, so as to guide consumers to take out insurance rationally.
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