With the continued spread for the novel (new) coronavirus COVID-19 causing concern around the world, Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) is committed to providing relevant information for our clients regarding best-practices for prevention and mitigation of this serious disease.
Below are resources designed specifically for Seventh-day Adventist churches and schools, as well as important information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have also included answers to several of our most frequently asked questions regarding insurance coverages surrounding COVID-19, including travel, property, and liability.
UPDATE: On May 22, 2020, the CDC provided specific guidance for reopening churches.
On March 12, ARM postponed the annual Safety Sabbath drill, previously scheduled for March 28. Find full details on our Safety Sabbath page.
Travel Insurance FAQs
Q. I have already booked a trip and need to cancel because of COVID-19. Will my travel insurance policy reimburse me for any incurred costs?
A. No. Trip interruption and cancellation benefits are not triggered by the threat of infection, regardless of your destination. However, many airlines and travel providers have started offering refunds or penalty-free cancellations due to COVID-19. Travelers who need to change their travel plans should check with their travel providers to see if they are eligible for a refund.
Q. If I am already traveling overseas in a country with an outbreak of COVID-19 will my travel insurance pay for my trip home?
A. No. There is no coverage in any of ARM’s policies for costs incurred to travel home because of an outbreak/pandemic.
Q. Will my travel insurance policy cover my medical expenses if I have to be treated for COVID-19 while I am overseas?
A. Yes, your medical expense benefit is the same, regardless of your illness. It is a reimbursement policy, meaning you will pay for treatment upfront and request reimbursement later.
Q. Will insurance pay for me to be evacuated when traveling outside my home country?
A. No, if you choose to leave because you feel unsafe due to the COVID-19. Yes, if you get sick from COVID-19, depending on the recommendation of the insurance plan’s doctors working with local doctors and governments, you may be eligible to be evacuated, but this may not be to your home country.
Q. Who should I notify if I am sick or in an accident while traveling?
A. In all medical-related emergencies we advise that you seek medical attention first and then contact our assistance provider, International SOS.
Property and Casualty Insurance FAQs
Q. If there is a mandatory quarantine or we have to suspend operations due to the spread of COVID-19, are we able to claim lost income under the Business Income and Extra Expense coverage?
A. No. Business Income and Extra Expense coverage is only available when there is physical loss or damage to a covered property, as a result of a covered cause of loss. Without a physical loss or damage to a covered property (e.g. a fire or windstorm damages a school, which needs to be closed) there would be no coverage for business income.
Liability Insurance FAQs
Q. What is the potential liability to my organization, if a government authority mandates shutting down operations to minimize the spread of the virus, and a university or school, church or other does not cancel classes and continuous operations?
A. If it is mandated your organization must comply, any and all fines and penalties arising from not following the mandate would not be insurable and would be the responsibility of the organization.
Q. What is the potential liability to my organization by keeping my schools, and churches open.
A. The answer to this question cannot be fully answered as anticipating what someone could allege your organization should have done to prevent… A good test is “what would a prudent person/organization do.” It would be recommended to plan in advance for prevention and safety, watch what public schools in the area are doing, follow advice from the Center Disease Control, World Health Organization, and resources from Adventist Risk Management. In most cases your organization’s general liability coverages would respond to defend your organizations against accusations of negligence.