Because of the ‘unprecedented and unforeseen’ events, Axa said it would pay out on claims even though customers not technically covered
Insurers are very rarely congratulated on their generosity when it comes to paying out on claims, but on Monday, Axa and Aviva made a unique exception.
Both said that they will pay out on claims for those affected by US President Donald Trump’s controversial refugee and immigration ban, even though those affected are not “technically covered” for this type of circumstance.
It is unclear how much the two companies might actually pay out – neither provided an estimate of the number of their customers they thought might be affected.
In a statement issued on Monday, Axa said: “In light of the sudden and unexpected decision by the Trump administration to block entry to the US for nationals from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen, AXA Insurance UK confirms that individuals who have been denied entry as a result of the executive order, will be able to claim on their policy.
“Although not technically covered, we view the current situation as unprecedented and unforeseen and as such we are extending the cover under our policies.”
Aviva said it would extend the cover on its standard travel insurance for those unable to get assistance from their travel provider and who are in the US and need to arrange an alternative route home.
Thousands of people joined marches across Britain in protest at Mr Trump’s ban on people from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya and Sudan from entering the US for 90 days. The executive order also bans entry of those fleeing from war-torn Syria indefinitely.
Insurance is not the first industry to react publicly to the shock ban. A host of Silicon Valley tech bosses, including chief executives of Netflix, Google and Microsoft have condemned the order, expressing moral concern and saying it will hamper their ability to recruit highly-skilled employees.
On Monday, Google launched a $4m (£3.2m) crisis fund to help employees and other people affected.
Apple founder Steve Jobs was the biological son of a Syrian immigrant. In a memo to employees on Sunday, current chief executive Tim Cook said: “Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do. We have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.”