The Covid-19 Hospital Cash insurance policy is a cash benefit plan jointly offered by DBS and Chubb to address the COVID19 coronavirus pandemic threat that has infiltrated over 150 countries.
It is offered for free to existing DBS/POSB customers who expressly sign up for it via their channels including the online portal.
Eligible customers are Singapore residents who are aged 18 and above. This implies that anyone with a local residential address would be eligible as long as they have an account of any sort with the bank, and meets the age criteria.
Applicants would also be required to declare whether they have been to China in the last 14 days, and whether they are currently experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The plan also allows the applicant to include spouse and dependents. And they don’t have to be existing DBS/POSB customers to enjoy this protection.
The main features of the COVID 19 Hospital Cash insurance policy that only applies to COVID-19 is that it:
- Provides free coverage for 30 days from the date of application
- Provides $100 per day cash payout for hospitalization, for up to a maximum of 14 days
- Provides $1,000 lump sum payout for admission to ICU due to covid-19 complications
The above terms means that the claim limit under this plan is $2,400. And the insured would have to be hospitalized within 2 weeks into the policy to be able to claim up to the limit.
Originally available to sign up from 24 February 2020 till 15 March 2020, it was further extended to 31 March 2020 due to the huge positive response that it received from the public.
Since it is free of charge and a huge percentage of the population has a facility of some sort with DBS or POSB such as a personal savings account, it’s no surprise that this special program enjoyed a very good sign-up rate.
When the free policy was first introduced, the risk of catching the disease was still considerably low.
While this free offer gesture should be applauded for the two organisations’ contribution to the community, it should be noted that the offer started in late February when there were only 90 confirmed cases of covid-19 in SG.
On 15 March 2020 when the complimentary policy sign up period was first scheduled to expire, there were 213 confirmed cases. And at the end of 31 March 2020, the cases had spiked to 877.
The upward trajectory of the virus spread was getting steeper by the day. So it is no surprise at all that the free covid-19 insurance policy was not extended again as the risks of payouts from claims was getting higher with each day.
After all, the general public cannot expect profit-driven entities to operate like charities. The simple 30-day coverage should appreciated even though many might find the benefits provided were on the low side.
More about the policy can be found here.
Why was Covid-19 Hospital Cash insurance policy introduced?
The free offer was a great way for DBS to contribute to corporate social responsibility.
It is the biggest local bank and this action bodes well for DBS and it’s status as a leading financial institution in Singapore.
The offer also enables Chubb to promote itself to the masses by tapping onto the customer base that DBS undoubtedly has on it’s records.
The free policy is also a way for Chubb to promote their other hospitalization plan called Recovery Hospital Cash policy. This can be observed as those who have their free plans run it’s course of 30 days are encouraged to sign up for the Recovery Hospital Cash policy to enjoy very similar benefits.
As signing up for the free policies also enables Chubb to gain access to the personal information of the insured, it also grants them access to potential prospects who they can market other products and offering to in future.
Since the coverage period for the free hospitalization cash plan is not indefinite and for a generous 30 days, one might question why the offer was only available during a limited period of time.
This is a fair question since each individual would only be able to sign up for it once, and be covered for a maximum of 30 days. There is no chance for abuse since the terms are clearly stated.
But as the number of confirmed cases increases and new clusters of infections being identified more regularly, the potential for a high number of confirmed cases increases as well.
This leads to a higher probability of claims being filed. So it makes perfect sense to allow the offer to expire.
It would be an overwhelmingly positive example of caring for the public if the covid19 insurance policy is still being offered at the peak of the outbreak.
Having said that, I still very much appreciate the free plan and have signed up for it. Those who have yet to should do it too unless you think that you are immune to the virus for one reason or another.