Coronavirus not covered by insurance in Kenya -Insurance Regulatory says after first case in the country

Coronavirus. [Photo courtesy]

Kenyans who could be diagnosed with coronavirus will have to foot for the medical expenses despite having medical covers.

According to Insurance Regulatory Authority CEO Godfrey Kiptum, coronavirus is a pandemic which the insurance cannot cover at the moment.

“The insurers will not be able to offer medical insurance cover for the condition at this moment in time,” he said according to Citizen Digital.

This follows the declaration of coronavirus as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on Thursday, and an announcement by health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Friday affirming that Kenya had recorded the first case of coronavirus.

Kiptum noted that medical covers exclude epidemics, pandemics or unknown diseases in their policies, a thought seconded by Jubilee Medical Insurance General Manager Dr Patrick Gatango.

“There are exclusions that apply to insurance policies globally….pandemics being some of them…war…the reason for that is to safeguard financial institution because they can be catastrophic for financial institutions,” stated Dr Gatango.

Dr Gatango said that depending on the direction the outbreak takes, they are focusing more on sensitization and educating people on what to do to avoid getting infected.

“Rather than panicking, we are taking measures to ensure that our people are aware what the virus is about and the precautionary measures,” he maintained.

He also noted that in case any of their client is diagnosed with the deadly virus, they will make certain considerations.

“It doesn’t mean that insurers will be heartless to let our clients fend for themselves, we have mechanisms to make the right decisions should there be cases that require us to act.”

Coronavirus which broke in China’s Wuhan City has so far kills 46,000 people.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said that “The key to containing this virus is to break the chain of transmission.”

Kenya’s Health CS Mutahi Kagwe who is chairing the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus (NERCC) holds that country is ready for any eventuality.