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, 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.safetravel.govt.nz for New Zealanders) 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 Safetravel or other official authority.
  • Any exclusions which may apply

Am I covered if the published warning is 'Extreme Risk'?

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 'High Risk'or 'Some Risk'?

    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.

    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 11:00am - 8:00pm (NZST/NZDT)
    • Saturday to Sunday closed (NZST/NZDT)

    Contact us

    Phone

    Within New Zealand:
    0800 666 237

    From anywhere in the world:
    +61 2 8256 1542

    Within Australia:
    1300 787 375