A Message To Our Clients Regarding COVID- 19

The World Health Organisation has declared the Coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency, with recent figures showing over 128,000 cases reported and over 4,700 deaths (4%). In Australia, the total number of cases is over 200 and 5 deaths (2.5%).

Locally, insurers have confirmed there are no exclusions in existing life insurance policies that would prevent the policy paying out for a claim related to Coronavirus (if the policyholder has followed Government travel advice). Most life insurers have made public statements suggesting that customers should not be concerned about their life insurance policies.

To date, AFRM Claims Advocacy has not had a customer need to claim with symptoms of Coronavirus, however given the reach and fast spreading nature of the virus, and the flow on impact on customers, we anticipate that this may change in the future.

Coronavirus impact on customer anxiety

Perhaps something to be mindful of is the impact Coronavirus and societal measures is having on friends and family health and wellbeing.

The mandated isolation, social distancing, panic buying and the threat of the virus itself, can impact people in different ways.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS), suggests "as humans, we are hardwired to be afraid of the unknown and of something that appears random and uncontrollable".

This is being fuelled by expose to a constant stream of negative information which can compound the psychological response. To better manage the impact, the APS suggests to avoid reading social media posts that warn of an apocalypse and for customers not to get drawn into doomsday discussions. Sticking to the facts and relying on scientific and medical sources for information is the best way to maintain perspective and manage feelings positively.

As a community we are entering unchartered territory, however as we have seen during the recent bushfires, adversity can also bring out the best in people and the community.

Let's hope this challenge is approached and handled with the same human spirit.

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