Your guide to COVID-19 vaccine insurance

新冠肺炎疫苗保險指南

As the COVID-19 Vaccination Program starts rolling, eligible citizens in Hong Kong may choose to be inoculated with Sinovac's CoronaVac or BioNTech's Pfizer. Moreover, the government will set up an indemnity fund to compensate people adversely affected by the vaccinations. Having said that, you might still be worried that this fund will not offer adequate financial support. This brings us to the question: Will insurance policies currently available in the market cover the potential risks of getting the COVID-19 vaccinations? Today at Kwiksure, our experts will reveal the answer. 

Coronavirus vaccine side effects 

These pictures are screen-capped from the official government factsheets on the two vaccines offered in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program: Sinovac and BioNTech. 

Sinovac: 

BioNTech:

 

The Hong Kong government's COVID-19 vaccine indemnity fund

According to official news, the government will allocate HKD $1 billion to provide financial relief for abnormal reactions after vaccination. You must file a claim within two years after the injection.

On that note, the Legislative Council document shows that if someone dies or is injured after being vaccinated, the compensation amount is as follows: 

Death after vaccination

Age of the deceased

Insured amount

At or under 40 years old 

HKD $2.5 million 

At or above 40 years old 

HKD $2 million 

 

Injury after vaccination

Age of patient 

Insured amount

At or under 40 years old 

HKD $3 million 

At or above 40 years old 

HKD $2.5 million 

 

Through civil litigation, you can still file for claim from the vaccine manufacturer after receiving the government's indemnity fund. However, take note that this fund will be offset from the final compensation awarded by the court.

Compared to other regions, our vaccine indemnity fund here is quite solid. For example, if you die after inoculation in Macao, the insured amount is merely HKD $1 million. Its government will also provide health services to those who suffer from the vaccine's side effects. The Singapore government, on the other hand, will provide SGD $10,000 (HKD $58,000) worth of financial support to those who need to stay at an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as a result of the injection. Cases of serious injuries or death will be compensated SGD $225,000 (approximately HK$1.3 million). In the UK, if the vaccine causes serious harm, the maximum indemnity amount is $120,000 pounds (approximately HKD $1.25 million). 

Although Hong Kong's indemnity coverage is not bad, once you've lost your ability to work because of the side effects, this compensation amount is not going to be enough. The government may not cover total medical expenses. If you need extra coverage, consider buying a separate insurance plan. 

COVID-19 vaccine coverage in the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS)

First of all, according to the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers, certain individual or group insurance policies will consider the following items outside of cover: the cost of preventive treatment and care, including vaccination, and direct or indirect claims as a result of the inoculation. 

The Voluntary Health Insurance (VHIS) has no related exclusion clauses, so it will cover the treatment of adverse reactions due to vaccination. The Voluntary Health Insurance Office has also confirmed that the eligible expenses for the treatment of adverse reactions caused by vaccination against the coronavirus belong to the basic coverage of all VHIS approved products. This includes hospitalization, day surgery and prescribed prescriptions in and outside of Hong Kong, as well as costs involved in diagnostic imaging tests.

COVID-19 vaccine coverage in individual health insurance

Some individual health insurance plans offer coverage for the COVID-19 vaccination, including the adverse reactions and side effects described by the WHO caused by the vaccine within 14 days after the jab. With that said, the policyholder must provide a vaccination certificate and a written proof from their General Physician. Only compensation for the adverse reactions caused by the vaccine can be approved.

You can claim about HKD $700 to HKD $1,000 per day if you develop an adverse reaction within 14 days of injection. If you die 30 days after the jab because of an adverse reaction, you can receive a compensation of HKD $100,000 to HKD $200,000.

However, whether it is the VHIS or individual health insurance, you should take extra care to prove that the vaccine has a direct impact on your body, and not because of other physical factors. This is especially relevant to those who already suffer from chronic conditions. That's why the chances of successfully obtaining compensation may not be very high.

Contact Kwiksure for your insurance solutions 

Kwiksure has over 20 years of experience in the car insurance broker industry. Aside from car insurance (third-party and comprehensive), we also provide home insurance, motorcycle insurance, VHIS, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) insurance, and many more. Contact our team of expert insurance advisors for tailored advice and a free plan comparison!