Since the outbreak occurred, some Chinese insurance companies have started to provide COVID-related insurance products. However, the topic of an insurance company refusing to pay residents in Shanghai has become a hot search on Weibo.

Shanghai STV News reported on March 8, a woman surnamed Shen spent 59 yuan (about 9 dollars) on such product from Zhongan Ai Wuyou Insurance.

According to the contract, customers will receive an allowance of 200 yuan (about 30 dollars) a day, capped at 6,000 yuan (about 900 dollars) if they meet one of the three following criteria:
Customers that close-contact with the infected people
Customers staying in the medium-to-high-risk areas
Customers that are being isolated at home or in quarantine camps

Ms. Shen filed three quarantine allowance claims. The first and second times were between March 19 to March 21 because, during this period, there were Covid-positive cases in her residential building.

Zhong An Insurance first declined to pay the amount, citing that Shanghai had no medium-to-high-risk area.

Ms. Shen then argued. After negotiations between the two parties, the insurance company decided to pay her 600 yuan (90 dollars) according to the three-day standard.

From March 23 to April 28, Ms. Shen’s community was under long-term lockdown again. This was when Ms. Shen made the third allowance claim. She asked the insurance company to pay another 5,400 yuan (about 800 dollars).

The company also rejected her claim for the same reason as before. Ms. Shen was dissatisfied with this. She told the reporter that her neighborhood had five infected cases found from March 20 to April 26.

During this time, Shanghai authorities didn’t use the term medium or high-risk areas. In fact, they classified Shanghai into 3 types, closed area, controlled area, and “prevention area.”

The STV News’ reporter called the insurance company, asking why the first two claims were successful, but the third one was not. The company replied that it paid Ms. Shen based on the agreements by both sides. However, the results of those claims didn’t apply to the third appeal.

He questioned if a company could turn down the resident’s claims just because the area was called ‘medium-to-high-risk area’ and then changed to ‘closed area.’ He also asked about the difference between the first two quarantine terms and the latter. He also cited a term in the contract saying customers would also receive the allowance if they were isolated after being exposed to a contaminated environment caused by a specific infectious disease.

The company later responded to the reporter that they would handle Ms. Shen’s case on a case-by-case basis.

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