coronavirus health and life insurance israel

How Coronavirus (COVID-19) is Impacting Health and Life Insurance in Israel


This microscopic organism has dominated the news since the outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Going national and then international, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11th, 2020 by the World Health Organization. 

The impact on health and lifestyle here in Israel (and in many nations worldwide) has been obvious, including social restrictions, heightened hygiene awareness and self-quarantine.

Coronavirus’s impact on the economy is no less severe. Each passing day of self-imposed or government-imposed restrictions adds up to increasing costs and financial losses. We feel the impact on a personal level, as it impacts our income and jobs, and on the communal level, as it creates an ever-growing dent in the country’s financial deficit. 

The world of insurance has also felt changes – with the expectation of even more changes reported to come. These are changes with both short- and long-term impact, and you deserve to know about them. 

Life Insurance

Typical Israeli life insurance policies will pay out for most causes of death. The notable exception is suicide during the first year after taking out the policy.

Within the next two weeks, however, another across-the-board exception will likely be added to life insurance policies: death from “plagues,” a term that would cover epidemics and pandemics, like – you guessed it – coronavirus.  

Anyone holding one of these new life insurance policies who passes away from coronavirus – or any other future epidemic – would not be eligible to receive payout. 

Health Insurance

One of the major benefits of private health insurance is coverage for drugs and treatments that are not covered by the standard basket of services set by the Ministry of Health. 

As the world waits impatiently for a tested, proven coronavirus vaccine, numerous drug companies are sure to release experimental medications to curb the symptoms and effects of corona. Should those treatments not be covered by the Ministry of Health, they would ostensibly be covered by private health insurance… except within the next two weeks they may be written in as an exclusion to any new private health insurance policies. 

This means that if you have an existing private health insurance policy, it will likely cover any new corona treatments. If you buy a private health insurance policy in another two weeks, however, it will likely not cover any new coronavirus treatments. 

While you should never panic-buy insurance, if you have anyway been considering taking out life or supplementary health insurance, it would be wise to make a move sooner rather than later. In less than two weeks, a simple change in wording might make the difference between whether your policy covers you for diseases like corona – or not. 

Travel Insurance

Chances are that you or someone you know has cancelled a trip due to coronavirus. The International Air Transport Association estimated that the airline industry was slated to lose $113 billion this year as a result of the pandemic – and that was before the US, Israel and other nations upped their restrictions on air travel. 

Getting reimbursed for travel cancellation is getting harder, with some travel insurance products being taken off the shelf and others excluding cancellation due to coronavirus fears or infection. 

Additionally, in the past week or two, we are seeing an ever increasing list of destinations being removed from travel insurance options. If you decide that you still want to fly to the United States and Canada, for example, you may have to go without any type of insurance coverage: baggage, health or otherwise.  

Be Corona-smart

We all hope and pray that soon the coronavirus be curbed in Israel and worldwide. In the meantime, it’s up to us to make wise decisions in light of the situation: what we do, where we go, and how we prepare. 

Wishing you and your loved ones health, calm and stability in these complicated times. 

Whether you’re planning for your future or planning for an urgent trip abroad, you’re invited to have a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our team experts who can help you make an educated decision by understanding these coronavirus-related insurance changes.

Important note: the current- and forward-looking statements within this article may change at any time due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 situation. This article is intended for informational and awareness purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for a consultation with an experienced insurance professional. 

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