Insurance policies should cover the possibility of pandemic

Insurance policies should cover against future pandemics or at least offer protection as an add on in order to give people more security should the country face another deadly virus, an MP has warned.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said many policies do not cover such events and often people are caught out by small print when they thought they were covered.

He has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking him to look at whether cover should be compulsory, in a similar way to how flood insurance policies have been adapted.

Mr Davies said: “Following the devastating floods of 2015, insurance companies were instructed to ensure that all future policies included or covered flooding situations. Therefore, it would make sense that following this current pandemic, that all future policies include coverage for virus-related pandemics.

“I have spoken to people left in very difficult financial situations who thought they were covered for such freak events only to be told they were not. We all hope nothing like this will ever happen again, but we need to be realistic and adapt insurance policies for the times we are living in.”

The Treasury told Mr Davies his suggestion will be considered.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: “The Government welcomes ideas for how insurance can build resilience and access insurance in future, noting the new risks and challenges from the outbreak of COVID-19. We will be assessing all proposals in due course.”

A High Court judgement is expected later this month regarding businesses making interruption claims due to the pandemic. The ground-breaking case brought by the Financial Conduct Authority will clear up whether businesses have valid insurance claims related to Coronavirus.