Are you covered for cancellation and medical costs resulting from COVID-19?

If you are considering travel – or have already bought your tickets – you may be wondering what coronavirus means for travel insurance.

This is the text of a graphic in this story: Does your travel insurance cover coronavirus? 

Canstar has set out (below) various scenarios travellers may face when it comes to insurance and coronavirus. It’s important to keep in mind that as these are hypothetical scenarios, your individual circumstances may vary. It’s possible that there could be some exceptions to these general principles or that dates may vary among insurers.

Scenario A. You are about to book your travel, or buy travel insurance for a trip already booked

NOT COVERED

You can’t expect to be covered for COVID-19, irrespective of which policy you buy, and where you plan to travel.

The “known events” clause in many policies means it’s not possible, and the most likely date that it took effect is 31 January, when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 an international health emergency (although it was a “known event” much earlier for travel to China). However, if you have Cancel for Any Reason add-on insurance (which is only available through a limited number of providers), you could be covered.

Scenario B. You have already booked a trip to mainland China and have already taken out insurance

POSSIBLY COVERED FOR CANCELLATION

You could possibly be covered for cancellation.

However, you are likely to have no cover if:

  • You do go to China. (DFAT has issued a “DO NOT TRAVEL” warning, which voids insurance.)  NO COVER
  • You don’t go to China but the insurance was taken out on or after 20 January for Hubei province, or 31 January for the rest of China (“known event” clause). However, the date individual insurers are applying to the “known events” clause may differ – check with your insurer.  NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes cover for epidemics. NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes Cancellation cover for epidemics. NO COVER

Scenario C. You have already booked a trip (not to China) and have already taken out insurance

POSSIBLY COVERED

You could possibly be covered for cancellation costs and overseas medical costs. Check your PDS or contact your insurer to make sure.

However, you are likely to have no cover if:

  • The insurance was taken out on or after 31 January. However, the date individual insurers are applying to their “known events” clauses differ – check with your insurer. NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes cover for epidemics. NO COVER
  • You travel to another country or region with a “DO NOT TRAVEL” warning. NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes Cancellation cover for epidemics or pandemics. NO COVER

Scenario D. You were already in China with insurance when DFAT issued the “DO NOT TRAVEL” warning

POSSIBLY COVERED

You could possibly be covered for cancellation costs and overseas medical costs. Check your PDS or contact your insurer to make sure.

However, you are likely to have no cover if:

  • Your insurance was taken out on or after 20 January for Hubei province, or 31 January for the rest of China (“known event” clause). However, the date individual insurers are applying to the “known events” clause differ – check with your insurer. NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes cover for epidemics or pandemics. NO COVER
  • You have not made or could not make contact with your travel insurer, and have not followed, or could not follow their advice. NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes Cancellation cover for epidemics or pandemics. NO COVER

Scenario E. You are already overseas (not in China) and have insurance

POSSIBLY COVERED

You could possibly be covered for cancellation costs and overseas medical costs. Check your PDS or contact your insurer to make sure.

However, you are likely to have no cover if:

  • The insurance was taken out on or after 31 January (“known event” clause). NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes epidemic/pandemic cover. NO COVER
  • You travel to a country or region where a “DO NOT TRAVEL” warning was issued before you arrived there. NO COVER
  • Your policy excludes Cancellation cover for epidemics. NO COVER

Full version of this story: Does your travel insurance cover coronavirus? 

For more coronavirus stories from Canstar: COVID-19 in Australia

Journalists: Media enquiries

 

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