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, read on to find out how your policy coverage may be affected.
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 your Government travel advisory (www.smartraveller.gov.au for Australians) 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 before confirming if you’re covered:
- 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; and
- 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. A warning is in place before you buy a policy (whether you have travel expenses or not):No cover
2. A warning is published after you buy a policy and before you have booked travel or incurred expenses: No cover
3. A warning is published after you buy a policy and after you have booked travel or incurred expenses (before you leave home): There is cover for cancellation or rearrangement costs for affected travel services which were purchased before the warning was issued, under the terms of your policy.
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 is cover for cancellation or rearrangement costs for affected travel services which were purchased before the warning was issued, under the terms of your policy.
5. If you choose to travel to a region despite published warnings:No cover
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 your Government’s advice and risk status. There’s no cover if you change your mind to travel to this country/region.
What’s not covered
The policy isn’t designed to cover everything, so take the time to read the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions in the policy wording. If you are unsure or have a question, please contact us for help.
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.
- If you travel to a country or region and don’t take the appropriate action to avoid or minimise any potential claim under your policy (this applies to trip interruption expenses if your Government has issued a travel warning due to severe weather or natural disaster; riot, strike, civil commotion, martial law, political unrest; or a threat or likelihood or an actual contagious disease, epidemic or pandemic).
- 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 anything exclusions in the General Exclusions or any section specific exclusions.