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SINGAPORE ZIKA VIRUS.jpg
Pest exterminators fumigate a common area underneath an apartment block in the Bedok North district of Singapore, 01 September 2016.
Photograph: EPA/WALLACE WOON

Amid a viral outbreak of Zika in Singapore, insurance firms have added Zika-related coverage to their personal accident and travel policies, according to a report in Monday's The Straits Times.

Among recent policy updates there is a 3,000-Singapore-dollar (2,200-US-dollar) lump sum payout by insurance company Great Eastern for babies born with Zika-related microcephaly and death cover of up to 30,000 Singapore dollars.

From September 7, Sompo Insurance Singapore started including Zika coverage for home and selected personal accident insurance policies.

"With an increasing number of Zika cases reported locally and worldwide, and feedback from our intermediaries and policyholders, we see a need to cover our existing and new policyholders against this virus," Sompo chief distribution officer Koh Yen Yen told The Straits Times.

NTUC Income is offering infectious diseases cover under its personal accident policy, and AIA Singapore and Prudential Singapore are also offering Zika cover.

So far, three insurance companies - NTUC Income, Sompo and Prudential - have reportedly not received any Zika-related claims.

As of Friday, some 369 people in Singapore have been infected by Zika in eight clusters located around the island.

Speaking to dpa, 31-year-old Siti Hajar Omar who is four months pregnant, has chosen not to buy the insurance add-on and keeps herself protected by carrying insect repellent and avoiding open spaces.

"I don't feel like people are dying like what happened with SARS," said Siti, referring to the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003 that claimed 33 lives and infected hundreds.

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