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COVID-19: FAQs for Our Customers and Travellers

Updated: 18 March 2020

These FAQs about coronavirus (COVID-19) will be regularly updated to reflect our latest understanding about the virus and its impact.

We will continue to monitor the Australian Government travel advice issued on the Smartraveller website.

The information shared on this page is relevant to customers who've purchased a Cover-More travel insurance policy directly from us, via our travel agent partners, NRMA, or CBA Travel Insurance. If you have Cover-More travel insurance via your credit or debit card, this event is excluded and there is no cover.

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If I am already overseas and wish to return to Australia (and the Smartraveller advice is recommending I do so as soon as possible), will I be covered for my extra travel costs?

There is no cover under the ‘Additional Expenses’ or ‘Amendment or Cancellation Costs’ sections of the policy because of the impact of coronavirus.

I’m overseas and having trouble getting travel bookings and my policy is about to expire. Will my travel insurance policy automatically extend until I’m able to return home?

Yes, if you genuinely cannot return home before your policy expires, the policy will extend until you are physically able to travel home by the quickest and most direct route. The period of insurance will not be extended for any other reason.

However, if you decide to stay overseas longer period than planned and wish to extend your travel insurance policy, you will need to contact the issuing agent to request an extension and pay any required additional premium.

If, despite the Australian Government advice from 15 March and 18 March 2020, I need to travel overseas, will I still be covered for my medical expenses if I catch coronavirus?

‘Overseas Medical Expenses’ and ‘Additional Expenses If You Become Sick’ are still covered by our policy.

It is a condition of the policy that you must take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimise a claim.

Claims will be assessed in accordance with your policy taking into account the circumstances of your claim, when you purchased your policy, advice publicly available prior to your entry to a region, where you are travelling to and the dates of your trip.

I already have a policy with you. What if I don’t want to go ahead with my trip because I’m worried I might contract coronavirus?

There is no cover for cancellation because you are worried about coronavirus.

Coronavirus may not affect your travel plans and here are four ways you can prepare for an upcoming trip.

  1. Check government websites for up-to-date travel advice about your destination.
  2. Talk to your doctor, especially if you’re travelling with a child, are pregnant, or have a weak immune system.
  3. Consult with your travel agent and transport provider for advice about potential service disruptions.
  4. Stay healthy by eating immune-boosting foods and avoid becoming run down.

For more, please visit our expert tips here.

I may/may not have a trip booked already. I don’t have a policy with you yet. I want to buy one now. Will I be covered for cancellation due to coronavirus?

There is no cover for cancellation because of the impact of coronavirus epidemic.

If my travel provider cancels my arrangements and offers me a full refund but I can’t get refund for my other prepaid travel expenses, can I claim those?

No, there is no cover for cancellation because of the impact of coronavirus epidemic.

If I catch coronavirus (COVID-19) while travelling overseas and need medical treatment overseas will Cover-More Travel Insurance cover me?

‘Overseas Medical Expenses’ and ‘Additional Expenses If You Become Sick’ are covered by our policy.

It is a condition of the policy that you must take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimise a claim.

We expect the public, to be aware of the widespread news coverage regarding coronavirus, and to keep themselves updated with the Australian Government travel advice.

Claims will be assessed in accordance with your policy taking into account the circumstances of your claim, when you purchased your policy, where you are travelling to and the dates of your trip.

People with underlying health issues are more at risk for severe infection of coronavirus. Customers with pre-existing medical conditions need to complete a health assessment with us to ensure that they are fully covered for their pre-existing medical conditions. See the Travel and Health section of the PDS for information.

What if I am quarantined overseas but I don’t actually have coronavirus?

There is no cover if you’re quarantined overseas as a precaution and do not have any illness. Our coverage is for medical expenses only.

However, if you are a Cover-More customer, our 24-hour assistance team can support you with non-financial assistance such as assisting with changes to travel arrangements including flights, accommodation and ground transfers.

We also encourage you to contact your own airline or accommodation or tour operator to check what they can provide under these circumstances.

Does Cover-More have a general exclusion for epidemics and pandemics like other insurers?

A ‘general exclusion’ is where a scenario or event is excluded under ALL sections of the policy.

The vast majority of our policies do NOT have a general exclusion applying to all sections for epidemics and pandemics but some of our sections do not cover claims arising due to an epidemic, pandemic or outbreak of an infectious disease; Sections such as Cancellation, Travel Delay and Missed Connections.

There is cover available for medical expenses under many of our travel insurance policies, if a customer travelling overseas contracts the coronavirus — this is in line with Cover-More’s focus on high-quality emergency medical assistance for Australian travellers overseas.

If my transport is delayed or I miss a connection due to the impact of coronavirus, will you pay my claim for that?

No. There is no cover for travel delay or missed connection because of the impact of coronavirus epidemic.

Why doesn’t the cancellation cover that is already in my travel insurance policy cover me for an epidemic or pandemic?

Travel insurance is essentially a community sharing risk. And as a travel insurance provider we have to manage that risk and price it while keeping travel insurance premiums affordable for the majority of Australians. One thing that makes Cover-More different is that we don’t have a general exclusion for epidemics and pandemics and we offer coverage for medical expenses in the vast majority of our policies.

What if I contract coronavirus and can’t go on my trip?

No, there is no cover for cancellation because of the impact of coronavirus epidemic.

What happens if I am placed in self-isolation and can’t go on my trip? Will I be covered for cancellation?

No, there is no cover for cancellation because of the impact of coronavirus epidemic.

What if I have returned home and am required to self-isolate? Is there any cover?

Once you are back in Australia there is no cover under the policy. This means there is no cover for any medical expenses, out of pocket expenses, loss of income etc.

Why has Cover-More suspended sales of the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) add-on?

We have announced a suspension of Cover-More’s Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) add-on product in Australia and New Zealand in the wake of the rapidly changing and escalating global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Suspension of CFAR sales will be effective by midnight Friday 13 March 2020 in Australia and New Zealand.

We have not taken this decision lightly.

The suspension of sales of the CFAR product will enable us to work through the product’s unique risk profile and immediate sustainability with Zurich, our parent company and underwriter in Australia and New Zealand.

Cover-More is very proud of our CFAR product which we have pioneered in Australia and NZ since April 2018. And we absolutely want it to build into a long-term sustainable feature of our travel insurance offer in the Australian and NZ travel markets.

We are in unchartered waters and unprecedented times for the travel industry with the global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which we know you will understand.

Cover-More will continue to do everything we can to support our travel agents and Australian and New Zealand travellers.

What if I have already purchased a CFAR add-on?

If you have already purchased a CFAR add-on then nothing changes for you. The product benefits and terms and conditions are unchanged.

 

 

This information must be read in conjunction with the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) as certain terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. These terms, conditions, limits and exclusions are detailed in the PDS and we draw your attention to ‘The Benefits’ and ‘General Exclusions’ sections of the PDS. Any advice is general advice only.