Insurers cannot decline death claim settlement in case of COVID-19

The clause of 'Force Majeure' (unexpected event) will not apply in case of COVID-19 death claims

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An insurance contract is known as a contract of “Uberrima Fides,” the Latin term for a contract based on “Utmost Good Faith.” This means both the insured and the insurer must disclose all material facts

The Life Insurance Council on Monday (April 6) said all insurers are duty-bound to settle claims if a death occurs due to COVID-19.

“All life insurers, both public and private, are committed to process any death claim pertaining to COVID-19 at the earliest,” the Council said in a statement.

It said the clause of ‘Force Majeure’ will not apply in case of COVID-19 death claims. Force Majeure is described as an event or effect that can be neither anticipated nor controlled.

This step was taken to reassure customers who had reached out to life insurance companies seeking clarity on this clause in their contract as well as to dispel rumours to the contrary, it said.

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All life insurance companies have also communicated to their customers individually in this regard.

“The spiralling global and local impact of COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the fundamental need for life insurance in every household. The life insurance industry is taking every measure to ensure that the disruption caused to policyholders, due to the lockdown is minimal, by providing them uninterrupted support digitally, be it for honoring death claims related to COVID-19 or for servicing their policy,” said Life Insurance Council Secretary General S N Bhattacharya.

“We reiterate that all life insurance companies stand by their customers in these difficult times and the customer should not be swayed by misinformation or misrepresentation, he added.

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