Pandemic Shield FAQs

Certainty in a time of anxiety

The Pandemic Shield insurance policy provides cover for the current coronavirus pandemic – and for future pandemics. Any sudden outbreak of disease declared to be a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and recognised as such by the national government, will be covered under your Pandemic Shield policy.  

To qualify for a fixed sum pay-out under your Pandemic Shield policy, you will need to have been hospitalised for at least 48 hours, and to have tested positive for COVID-19.  

On the Diamond Plan, you will receive a once-off payment of R50 000, plus R500 per day for the duration of your hospital stay (up to a maximum of 14 days, whichever is the shorter). On the Gold Plan, you will receive R25 000 as a once-off payment.

If you are hospitalised due to COVID-19, you will be unable to work – possibly for several weeks. Even with the best medical care, it may take you some time to fully recover. Even if you are not earning, you will still have bills to pay – and additional expenses related to your treatment.

Pandemic Shield insurance provides a fixed sum pay-out that can make a real difference. You can put it towards:

  • The cost of your hospital healthcare
  • Other expenses such as transport for family members who visit you
  • Childcare services for your children while you can’t take care of them  
  • Meeting payment obligations when you’re unable to earn due to hospitalisation

No, Pandemic Shield insurance is not a medical scheme. Rather, it pays out a fixed amount if you are hospitalised as a result of COVID-19.

Any person younger than 60 years at the time they apply may take out this insurance. Only one policy is allowed per insured person. 

A 21-day general waiting period applies to all Pandemic Shield policies under this policy. No claims can be made during the waiting period. Events that occur during the waiting period cannot be claimed for, even if the claim is submitted after the expiration of the waiting period.  

No, this is not necessary. You can still be accepted for Pandemic Shield cover if you have a pre-existing condition.

You can make a subsequent claim under your Pandemic Shield policy but only once a 21-day period has elapsed since your previous discharge from hospital following treatment for COVID-19.

No, you must have been admitted to a registered hospital for the ongoing treatment of a pandemic illness (This includes COVID-19) to qualify for a claim under the Pandemic Shield policy.

Please note: These FAQs are merely for information purposes and do not purport to be or act as advice.

No, at present the policy only covers one individual. This is currently being reviewed.

A parent can take out cover on behalf of a minor and sign the application on their behalf. The parent will be the premium payer.

Yes, this would be possible. Please discuss this option with your broker.

Please remember that this policy covers any sudden and global outbreak of a disease classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a pandemic after 1 January 2020, and subsequently recognised by the country it is contracted in and acknowledged as a pandemic. This pandemic insurance is therefore not only applicable to Covid-19, but also covers any future WHO declared pandemics. If a member cancels, giving the mandatory 30-days’ notice, a 6-month waiting period will be imposed before they can join again.

  • A fully completed and signed claim form for each event.
  • Proof from the hospital (on their letterhead) or a hospital statement, stating the date of admission and date of discharge.
  • A pathologist report confirming the positive diagnosis for the declared pandemic.
  • The Underwriter reserves the right to call for additional information of a clinical nature.

Sirago Underwriting Managers have weekly claims payment runs, which take place every Friday.  In order for the claim to be paid, it must reach us no later than 12h00 on a Wednesday to be paid that week.  If it is after that, the claim will be paid the next week.   Please note that the payment may reflect at a later date, depending on your bank.

Yes, with all the required supporting documentation and evidence.

Unfortunately not. Once assessed and approved, applicable benefits will be paid directly into the policyholder’s account.

You will be covered in any registered hospital where you have been admitted for a minimum admission period of 48 hours for medical treatment directly related to the pandemic.

South Africa only.  If you are admitted to a registered hospital in South Africa for treatment after a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 After the 21-day waiting period, and are hospitalized in SA, for longer than 48 hours, the location of contraction is irrelevant.

The Overall Annual Limit (OAL) for claims is aggregated to a maximum of R164 000 per annum per policy.

Any person younger than sixty (60) years can take out this insurance policy. Only one policy is allowed for one Insured Person. This policy has a cover cease age of sixty (60) years.

Unfortunately not, as this will result in significantly higher premiums.  In addition to this, if you contract the disease whilst in hospital as a result of a different admission, this policy will not pay out.

This policy only caters for an admission to hospital, for ongoing treatment, as a result of a positive diagnosis for a registered pandemic.

In the event of death of the policyholder, benefits will be paid to the member’s estate unless a beneficiary is nominated, in which case payment will be made to the beneficiary.

The daily cash allowance is only claimable for registered days in hospital.  If you are discharged because of capacity and re-admitted within a few days for the initial diagnosis, then the days will accumulate again from the readmission date.  Only upon a new positive pathology test after the additional 21 day waiting period has elapsed between admissions, will a secondary claim be able to be submitted. 

Before you make any decisions around purchasing or cancelling an insurance policy, always consult with your or an accredited advisor.  This is the only way to ensure that you are not compromising or prejudicing any party.  However, as per the policy rules, there is a standard 30-days cancellation notice period required. However, the Insurance Act and the Policy allows for a cooling off period of 14-days, which only leaves an additional 7 day waiting period.

As an example, we believe that it would be unwise to cancel the policy due to the following reasons:

  1. Even if you contract Covid-19 during the waiting period, say on day 14, statistics indicate that a person may only require hospitalisation at a later stage — therefore making the waiting period complete. If you cancelled the policy when you tested positive, you would have no cover.  It is important to remember that the waiting period is not related to when you are infected or diagnosed, BUT when you are hospitalisation;
  2. You may be re-infected and only require hospitalisation the second time.  If you cancel the policy prematurely you will not have cover. (People that previously tested positive for Covid-19 are not prevented from taking out the policy); and
  3. This policy also provides cover for future pandemics.

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