fbpx

images

Coronavirus, China

Issued: 5 February 2020
Previous update: 23 January 2020

Further to previous advice, the known event of the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus (‘Coronavirus’) has continued to develop with a number of lives tragically impacted.

On 20 January 2020, when this was deemed a known event affecting Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel to China. The Hubei Province travel advice warning was raised to Level 4 – Do Not Travel on 24 January.

On 30 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). As at 31 January, we recognise this as a known global event (worldwide).

On 1 February, DFAT advised that due to the increased risk from the Coronavirus, the travel advice for China was moved to Level 4 – Do Not Travel for Australian travellers. The Australian Government also directed non-essential Australian-based staff and their dependants to return to Australia from posts in mainland China, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

With the rapid development of this respiratory disease, all travellers are cautioned to monitor media and government services, including smartraveller.gov.au and the World Health Organisation, for updates on countries and regions of concern.

Coronavirus, China

Issued: 5 February 2020
Previous update: 23 January 2020

Further to previous advice, the known event of the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus (‘Coronavirus’) has continued to develop with a number of lives tragically impacted.

On 20 January 2020, when this was deemed a known event affecting Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel to China. The Hubei Province travel advice warning was raised to Level 4 – Do Not Travel on 24 January.

On 30 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). As at 31 January, we recognise this as a known global event (worldwide).

On 1 February, DFAT advised that due to the increased risk from the Coronavirus, the travel advice for China was moved to Level 4 – Do Not Travel for Australian travellers. The Australian Government also directed non-essential Australian-based staff and their dependants to return to Australia from posts in mainland China, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

With the rapid development of this respiratory disease, all travellers are cautioned to monitor media and government services, including smartraveller.gov.au and the World Health Organisation, for updates on countries and regions of concern.

images

 

If you are currently travelling:

If you are currently in China, leave as soon as possible by commercial means. Please note, many airlines have temporarily reduced or stopped flights.

 

If you are ill or require urgent assistance from the Catch Travel Insurance emergency assistance team, please call:

 

 

Check if your travel plans may be affected:

 

  1. Contact your travel agent, tour operator or transport provider to check if your travel arrangements are affected.
  2. If you need to change your travel arrangements, contact your travel agent, tour operator or transport provider for assistance in the first instance.

 

Before making any changes please refer to your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply, or contact our Travel Claims team on 1800 281 227, if you wish to discuss your plans before making any changes.

 

If you have not yet departed:

We recommend you contact your travel agent, tour operator or travel provider to discuss if there is any impact to your booked arrangements and the options for altering your trip if required. Some providers are allowing penalty-free options so please contact them for further details.

 

Before making any changes please refer to your PDS for the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply, or contact our Customer Service Team on 1800 281 227 if you wish to discuss your plans before making any changes.

 

Depending on the purchase date of your policy, if your pre-booked travel arrangements are cancelled, delayed or rescheduled as a result of the Coronavirus, you may be able to make a claim for cancellation or rescheduling of your trip (whichever is the lesser). Please refer to your PDS for details.

 

Policy Coverage:

Our Travel insurance policies do not cover any claims:

 

  • Arising from or relating to an incident and/or event which you were aware of, or could be expected to be aware of, at the time you took out this insurance and which could reasonably be expected to lead to a claim; and
  • Resulting from you travelling in, to or through a country or area included on the list of ‘Do Not Travel’ countries provided by the Australian Government through the smartraveller.gov.au website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or those countries subject to an embargo from the UN Security Council or from any other international organisation, to which Australia belongs, including the World Health Organisation.

 

You may still be covered for ‘Cancellation and Amendment Fees’ (‘Section A’ in your PDS) if you decide to cancel or cut your trip short because a location in your planned itinerary is added or upgraded to the ‘Do Not Travel’ locations after the policy issue/purchase date and before your departure date on the Insurance Certificate. Please note that other exclusions apply which may affect your ability to claim.

 

Timeline of applicable Coronavirus-related warnings and advice, deemed to be known events, by date and country/region (as at 2 February):

 

  • 20 January – Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China – Coronavirus identified as an outbreak by Chinese authorities
  • 24 January – Hubei Province, including Wuhan City – Do Not Travel by DFAT
  • 30 January – Worldwide – Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO
  • 1 February – China – Do Not Travel by DFAT

 

What does this mean for your Travel insurance cover?

If you purchased a policy after the dates listed above, we would expect that you would have been aware of the Coronavirus, including any possible associated travel and health related risks.

 

Claims that arise due to the Coronavirus (e.g. flight delays, cancellations, medical and hospital expenses) will be assessed in accordance with the applicable policy wording, including terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of cover which may apply, depending upon the individual circumstances.

 

Please refer to your PDS for details or contact our Customer Service Team on 1800 281 227 if you wish to discuss your plans before purchasing a new policy or, for existing customers, making any changes to your travel arrangements.

 

Hubei Province in China

 

  • If you purchased a policy on/before 24 January and had already departed Australia and were travelling in or through the Hubei Province on/before 24 January, you may be covered for medical expenses and/or for cutting your trip short and return to Australia.
  • If you purchased a policy on/before 24 January and were due to travel to the Hubei Province in China on/after 25 January, you may be covered for cancellation but may not be covered for medical expenses.
  • If you purchased a policy on/after 25 January and were due to travel to the Hubei Province in China you may not be covered.

 

China, excluding Hubei Province

 

  • If you purchased a policy on/before 1 February and had already departed Australia and were travelling in or through China on/before 1 February, you may be covered for medical expenses and/or for cutting your trip short and return to Australia.
  • If you purchased a policy on/before 1 February and were due to travel to China on/after 2 February, you may be covered for cancellation but may not be covered for medical expenses.
  • If you purchased a policy on/after 2 February and were due to travel to China you may not be covered.

 

Coronavirus, China

 

Issued: 23 January 2020

 

As of mid-December 2019, a new ‘coronavirus’ (2019-nCoV) has been identified, originating from Wuhan, China. Cases have been identified in various countries and human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. If you have travelled to an affected area and have developed any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor urgently.

 

For the latest information and advice for safe travel overseas please visit smartraveller.gov.au

 

Our travel insurance policies do not cover claims for losses caused by an event you were already aware of when you bought the policy.

 

If you bought a policy after 20 January 2020, we expect you would have been aware of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and the possibility of issues arising which could affect travel. For these policies, claims that arise due to the 2019-nCoV coronavirus (for example, flight delays or cancellations) will be assessed in accordance with your policy wording, including exclusions or limits on cover which may apply, depending upon the circumstances.