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Insurer includes additional financial cover to curb vaccine hesitancy

As the world slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of people have been fully vaccinated from the highly contagious virus; millions have received their requisite shots in Australia. But for a variety of reasons — some religion related, others worried about the potential side effects — many remain reluctant to receive the vaccine, as a majority of the nation’s citizens still haven’t gotten the jab.  

In an attempt to encourage more people to reconsider, one of Australia’s largest life insurers is adding coverage that will provide policyholders with additional financial cover should they encounter the severe health complications some have reported after getting the vaccine.  

In partnership with OnePath Life, Zurich Life & Investments says it’s including bespoke COVID-19 vaccination protection at no additional cost for select life insurance policies. 

$50,000 on top of TPD payment

In the event policyholders suffer permanent disability or death upon vaccination, they would be eligible for an additional $50,000 on top of their total permanent disability payment. Those funds could go toward their own estate or be given to a beneficiary, such as a parent, sibling, child or other family member. 

Zurich also stated that these funds are available to policyholders regardless of how they obtain their life insurance, whether through their employer, their superannuation or a financial adviser.

Darren Wickham, who serves as head of group insurance at Zurich, noted that since so many individuals in Australia have life insurance through superannuation, they’re hopeful those who are  vaccine hesitant will take advantage of this incentive. 

“It is a benefit that tops up the amount of insurance coverage that people have within their superannuation, where Zurich / OnePath is the insurance provider,” Wickham explained. 

 He further stated that this decision is in keeping with the company’s ongoing support for the vaccine and is meant to reassure those who might be wavering on the shot that all the vaccines — from Johnson & Johnson’s one shot, to the two doses from Pfizer and Moderna — are considered safe.

Vaccine hesitancy remains an issue in Australia

According to Our World in Data, approximately 14%  of the country is partly vaccinated against the coronavirus and 57% are fully vaccinated. In the world overall nearly 48% have received at least one dose. \

It’s estimated that roughly 20% of Australians have some degree of reluctance to take the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Melbourn Institute’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Tracker. But that was in late August. Since then, the proportion of the population still experiencing misgivings has declined to 13.3%, down from approximately 15% in September.  

In terms of eligibility for one-off $50,000 additional payment, Zurich says customers must be insured through Zurich or OnePath, death or disability must occur within 90 days of receiving the vaccine, and claims must be lodged no later than 31 December 2022. 

If you’ve experienced an unforeseen disability —whether as a product of the vaccine or otherwise — Gerard Malouf & Partners can help you with your claim. Your case may be worthy of a lawsuit. Contact us today for questions concerning superannuation and your rights. 

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