The effects of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (Coronavirus) are escalating worldwide and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently declared the Coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. Many governments, including the Australian Government, have now introduced strict travel restrictions and travel advice.
We have had a number of queries regarding travel insurance cover following the outbreak of the virus.
There are several types of travel insurance policies in the Australian market and, like many classes of insurance, they vary considerably.
Does travel insurance cover Coronavirus?
Most travel insurance policies have exclusions for outbreaks of infectious diseases, pandemics, epidemics and/or known events that could lead to a claim.
Many policies will also have restrictions that can be triggered when the government enacts a ‘Do not travel’ warning for certain locations. Each travel insurer’s product is different.
Policies purchased prior to coronavirus (COVID-19) becoming a known event may cover travellers who are overseas for coronavirus-related expenses. This will depend on the travel insurance product purchased. Travel insurance policies purchased after COVID-19 became a known event are unlikely to cover travellers who are overseas or who are yet to travel for coronavirus-related expenses.
Coronavirus became a known event for most travel insurers between January 20-31, 2020. Insurers who have adopted known event status for COVID-19 have advice for policyholders on their websites.
Travellers whose plans have been disrupted should contact their travel agent, airline or accommodation provider to seek refunds or make alternative arrangements.
Clients who are still planning to travel are urged to contact IAGB so we can liaise with your Travel Insurer before travelling, or you may voluntarily assume the risk associated with contracting COVID-19.
The global situation continues to change regularly, DFAT and WHO continue to update their travel warnings for affected countries and specific regions within countries. Given the recent escalation, we encourage you to visit official sources for further information on COVID-19 and Advice Levels including;
• Smart Traveller: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/novel-coronavirus-outbreak
• World Health Organisation (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
All correspondence will continue to be sent via email, published on our website and updated on our social media.
For further advice please contact your broker directly or call either of our offices Murarrie 07 3630 1823 or Ashmore 07 5564 7333