The latest news reports indicate 6,000 patients have tested positive for a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV). In response, Chinese authorities have shut down Wuhan’s entire transport network and closed a number of nearby cities. Other measures have now been imposed around the country, with many train lines now suspended. Isolated cases have also occurred in neighboring countries and around the world.
This outbreak is now widely reported in the media, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the epidemic an international public health emergency. Any policies that may offer coverage associated with contagious disease will no longer cover claims arising from any event related to coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for travel to and/or from China on policies purchased after 1:00pm CST on January 22, 2020.
Travelers who have purchased a policy before the cut-off date and who have been quarantined or become sick from the virus may qualify for trip interruption and emergency medical coverage.
However, for both the Standard and Explorer World Nomads plans, fear of travel and/or fear of illness are not covered reasons under the plan provisions. There is also no coverage in the plan should the city/location/travel supplier determine there is a quarantine and services are canceled as a result. For example:
Case #1 I'm already in Wuhan, China and am stranded because of the lockdown. Am I covered?
Flight cancellations due to a government-imposed quarantine are not covered. In other words, if you're not sick and need to get out of China, you may not have any coverage under your plan. However, if you're personally quarantined and not allowed to fly because of the illness, then you're eligible for emergency medical and trip interruption coverage.
Case #2 I'm traveling around China and my next stop was supposed to be Wuhan, which is now under quarantine. Am I covered?
Because you weren't quarantined or suffering from symptoms of the coronavirus that prevented travel, you may not be covered.
Please read your policy wording for the full policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions.
If your travel plans are affected:
- Contact your airline, cruise or tour operator to check if tourist services are affected.
- If you need to change your travel arrangements, contact your airline, cruise company or travel agent for assistance in the first instance. Refer to your policy wording for more detail or contact our Customer Service Center to discuss your plans before making any changes.
- Injured or ill? Contact the Emergency Assistance team as soon as possible. Their details are listed on your Certificate of Insurance.
- In the event of a claim covered by your policy, you must do everything you can to minimize and reduce the cost of the claim and provide all supporting documentation of the event and expenses incurred. If you intend to submit a claim, please complete the claim form and if you need help doing this, contact us.
If you’re caught up in this event, please read here for some general safety information.
Update from an alert posted on January 24, 2020.