The radiation fallout from Japan’s nuclear plants looks set to spread as the workers have been ordered to leave the premise due to the high radiation levels.
It is sad that we will not know the effect on the health of those who have been exposed until many years later. While the government has ordered those who are outside but near the evacuation zone to stay indoors, realistically, how long can these people stay indoors? They will still need to go out to get food, etc.
One question that many people will ask is that whether insurance will cover effects from radiation.
Generally, death coverage from life insurance (whether term or whole life) is not a problem. Death from all causes is covered (other than suicide in first year).
If there are certain exclusion clauses, it has to be spelt out in the policy.
Some group insurance schemes might impose limits on the payout from a certain incident.
However, for general insurance plans (like travel or personal accident), the conditions would depend on the policy wording and might vary from company to company.
Usually, there would be exclusions on war, nuclear risks and sometimes on terrorism.
The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has issued a media statement saying that all travel insurance policies carry a total exclusion on nuclear risks and the cover excludes any loss, damage, illness directly or indirectly caused from the existence or escape of nuclear, ionizing radiation, contamination by radioactivity from nuclear fuel.