Before booking any travel or proceeding with any travel that has previously been booked, read your travel insurance policy wording to determine if Coronavirus/COVID-19 related events are claimable under the policy.
To date, there has not been a unified approach between all travel insurers with respect to a response to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore advisable that, before booking any travel or proceeding with any travel that has previously been booked, you read your travel insurance policy wording to determine if Coronavirus/COVID-19 related events are claimable under the policy.
In that regard, we have noticed that a number of insurers are now refusing to honour claims in circumstances where the loss is either directly or indirectly caused by Coronavirus/COVID-19. This is because, as a result of the World Health Organisation declaring the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, any loss caused by the virus can no longer be classed as ‘unforeseen’ or ‘unforeseeable’. Generally, a travel insurance claim will only be triggered in circumstances where the events are ‘unforeseen’ or ‘unforeseeable’ and in circumstances where Coronavirus/COVID-19 is now a known issue worldwide, many policies will no longer respond to that event.
In circumstances where the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued Level 4 Alert, or ‘Do Not Travel’ advice in respect of a particular country, each policy may respond differently as to whether you will be able to be refunded for travel expenses that you have cancelled. Again, it varies from policy to policy, though it may depend on when the travel was booked as to whether you receive a refund or not. Certain insurers are now refusing claims for travel that was booked after the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs issued ‘Do Not Travel’ advice. We recommend that you review your travel insurance policy if you have recently had to cancel travel due to the advice of the Australian Government.
Those travel insurance policies that no longer respond to Coronavirus/COVID-19 related claims, will still respond to all other claims, so long as the damage sustained was not as a direct or indirect result of Coronavirus/COVID-19.
Again, we recommend that you review your travel insurance policy to determine if your policy will respond before proceeding with any travel.