Am I covered by travel insurance if there's a travel warning in place where I'm going?

For information relating to policies purchased prior to 03 February 2022, please check the PDS provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again. For policies purchased on or from 03 February 2022 please see below.

Am I covered by travel insurance if there's a travel warning in place where I'm going?

Has your destination been documented as unsafe for any reason? If you do travel in a country or region where a travel warning is in place or if an event is occurring that may threaten your safety, it may affect your policy coverage.

Why does travelling contrary to government advice affect my cover?

Travel insurance is designed to cover you for events which are sudden, unforeseen, unavoidable, outside your control and that occur after you buy your policy.

While we all love a great travel tale where a bit of risk is involved, the policy isn’t designed to cover events you already know about that could impact your health or travels (sorry!), such as travelling in areas where your Government or other official authority expects something to happen or where something is already happening.

Government warnings can be issued or changed without notice at any time, so always check the status with the Australian Government travel advisory (www.smartraveller.gov.au) before you buy a policy and before you pay anything towards your trip, like deposits or the full amount.

How it works

If you’d prefer to cancel or rearrange your travel plans because of an event occurring at your destination, we’ll look at three important factors when assessing any claim you need to make: 

  • When you bought your policy and booked your travel arrangements compared to when the warning is published or when an event is known to the public.
  • The severity of travel warning in place as published by Smartraveller or other official authority.
  • Any exclusions which may apply.

Am I covered if the published warning is 'Do Not Travel'

Here’s a guide to give you an idea:

1. If a warning is in place before you buy a policy (whether you have travel expenses or not): Most likely you will not be covered for any events arising from this event. There may be cover available for other events not related to the travel warning.

2. A warning is published after you buy a policy and before you have booked travel or incurred expenses: Most likely you will not be covered for any events arising from this event. There may be cover available for other events not related to the travel warning.

3. A warning is published after you buy a policy and after you have booked travel or incurred expenses (before you leave home): There may be cover for cancellation or rearrangement costs for affected travel services which were purchased before the warning was issued, under the terms of your policy, however there are also exclusions that may apply to this, including if the warning is due to an epidemic or pandemic, or acts of war.

4. A warning is published after you buy a policy, and if you are already travelling in an affected area and have incurred expenses: There may be cover for cancellation or rearrangement costs for affected travel services which were purchased before the warning was issued, under the terms of your policy, however there are also exclusions that may apply to this, including if the warning is due to an epidemic or pandemic, or acts of war.

5. If you choose to travel to a region despite published warnings: Most likely you will not be covered for any events arising from this event. There may be cover available.

    So what if the published warning is 'Reconsider Your Need to Travel' or 'All But Essential Travel'?

    Then you can travel under the terms of your policy, but be sure to monitor any changes to Government advice and risk status. 

    What’s not covered

    The policy isn’t designed to cover everything and there are some exclusions.

    For example, there is no cover for any expenses incurred:

    • Where there is evidence, at the time you bought the policy or booked arrangements, of circumstances you knew or should have reasonably known would result in arrangements being cancelled or interrupted.
    • Loss arising from travelling to, planning to travel to, or choosing to remain in a country or region that is the subject of a ‘Do not travel’ warning issued by the Australian Government.
    • Youor a member of your travelling party not following official laws or warnings from a governmental authority or organisation. 
    • A loss arising from an epidemic, pandemic, or World Health Organization declaration of a public health emergency of international concern. 
    • For any act of war (whether war is declared or not).
    • For nuclear reaction or contamination from nuclear weapons or radioactivity; biological and/or chemical materials, substances, compounds or the like used directly or indirectly for the purpose to harm or to destroy human life and/or create public fear.
    • For any exclusions in the General Exclusions or any section specific exclusions.

    Travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything, so make sure you’re careful with your planning and you read the PDS to make sure you understand what’s included and what’s not, as well as the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. If you have any questions contact us.


    Related Articles

    View more

    Can't find the answer you are looking for?

    Contact us

    Our contact details

    We’re here to help if you have a question about travel insurance. We’re available:

    • Monday to Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm (AEST/ADST)
    • Saturday to Sunday closed (AEST/ADST)

    Contact us

    Phone

    Within Australia:
    1300 787 375

    From anywhere in the world:
    +61 2 8256 1542