The coverage afforded under Travel Insurance has long been considered complex and often difficult to interpret. This is evidenced by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s (AFCA) reporting which consistently has Travel Insurance generating a disproportionately high number of disputes between Insureds and the insurance companies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in so many unexpected ways. Family visits have been postponed. Friends and families have been separated. Any long-awaited travel plans have been put on hold.
COVID-19 has also introduced another layer of complexity to travel insurance as insurers grapple with providing a product offering some COVID coverage without unduly compromising the strength of their balance sheets.
Consider the following scenarios:
- You are diagnosed with COVID-19 on your trip overseas – are overseas medical expenses covered?
- Or your travelling companion is diagnosed with COVID-19 before your trip, and you can’t travel so need to cancel your trip – are cancellation costs covered?
- You are a health care worker, and your leave is revoked – are cancellation costs covered?
- Your relative or business partner in Australia is diagnosed with life threatening COVID-19 – are cancellation costs and additional expenses covered?
- You can’t stay with your family member or friend because they have COVID-19 – are additional expenses covered?
- Your accommodation is shut down for cleaning – are additional expenses covered?
- Your prepaid holiday activity is cancelled due to COVID-19 – are amendment or cancellation costs covered?
- Flight or land travel is impacted by COVID-19 – are costs of travel delays covered?
One of the main concerns is that the responses to these scenarios from travel insurers are likely to differ from insurer to insurer.
Before finalising any travel arrangements, it would be wise to consult with your CQIB broker to ensure your coverage meets your particular needs.