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Travel Insurance & Coronavirus

Travel Insurance & Coronavirus
As you are probably aware there is an active outbreak of a new novel coronavirus that originated from Wuhan City in Hubei Province in China. The Australian Government (DFAT) has raised the travel advisory for all Australians to "Level 4 - Do not travel to mainland China". The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says while many travel insurers have exemptions "for outbreaks of infectious diseases and pandemics", each insurer's policy is different and it will depend on when the policy was bought and when the claimant started their trip.

Insurers Updates / Advice
Travel insurers updates and advice regarding Coronavirus;

For AHI travel advice please click here. The policy provides cover for:
  • Additional and/or forfeited expenses for insured persons whose current travel is directly impacted by travel bans imposed after travel has commenced.
  • Cancellation of travel arrangements booked for travel to Mainland China* whilst the travel bans are in place - subject to the date of purchase of travel tickets.
  • Costs for insured persons to depart Mainland China* by reasonable commercial transport means.
  • Overseas medical and additional expenses for insured persons diagnosed with the Novel Coronavirus.

There is no cover for:
  • Costs or claims with any travel arrangements booked to Mainland China* after the DFAT travel advice dated 2nd February 2020.
  • Costs or claims associated with any travel bans put in place by another countyr's governemt, where such bans were issued before any such travel arrangements were booked.
*mainland China does not include special administrative regions of Hong Kong or Macau

For DUAL's travel advice please click here. If you haven't started your journey yet and you booked your travel prior to 2nd February 2020:

  • the policy responds to cancellation costs incurred on a case by case basis and coverage will be dependent on when the travel was booked and the scheduled date of travel.

If you are travelling to elsewhere in the world, including destinations in Asia and Hong Kong DUAL's Corporate Travel Policy will respond:
  • Policy covers overseas medical expenses if you have contracted the virus overseas.
  • If you have travel plans to travel elsewhere in the world other than China, but you would prefer not to travel due to the outbreak, the policy does not respond to voluntary changes to travel at this time.

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  • Policy covers overseas medical expenses if you have contracted the virus overseas.
  • If you have travel plans to travel elsewhere in the world other than China, but you would prefer not to travel due to the outbreak, the policy does not respond to voluntary changes to travel at this time.

Cover is provided where travel arrangements (to China) were made prior to the DFAT ‘Level 4 - Do Not Travel' warnings issued on 1 February for China. TravelCard's Corporate policy continues to provide cover - provided travel arrangements were made prior to DFAT Level 4 warnings.

What is not covered:
  • Corporate travel to China booked after 1 February 2020 when then DFAT Level 4 warning was issued.
  • TravelCard's Leisure Policy excludes any claims directly or indirectly from an Epidemic or Pandemic.

Click here for Covermore's statement surrounding Coronavirus. Please be advised your travel insurance Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) includes certain terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions. In particular, there are certain policy exclusions that apply to specific benefit sections for claims arising due to an Epidemic, Pandemic or outbreak of an infectious disease or any derivative or mutation of such viruses, or the threat or perceived threat of any of these. If you are overseas and have contracted the coronavirus please be advised your travel insurance policy will cover you for overseas medical expenses incurred (unless your particular policy generally excludes this). Pending further developments, claims will be assessed based on what the cause of this event has been deemed to be.

Stay up to date
The novel coronavirus is a rapidly changing situation and insurers are monitoring developments very closely. For further information regarding the Coronavirus and travel please see the below links:

Exercise Caution During Your Travels
  • Read the travel advice for your destination on Smartraveller.
  • Wash you hands with soap and water, carry hand sanitiser with you and use it often.
  • Keep a distance from sick people, especially if they have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Monitor your health closely and see a health care professional immediately if you start feeling unwell.

At this time policies will not respond to voluntary changes to travel, if you would prefer not to travel (anywhere other than China) due to the coronavirus outbreak. We would recommend you contact your travel agent, travel provider or airline regarding the best options in altering your trip.  

General Advice Warning: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement.

All information above has been provided by the author.

Centrewest Insurance Brokers, ABN 44009265105, AFSL 245406

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