Peace of mind in uncertain times
International travel is finally looming as a realistic proposition again. In the coming months, as we reach our vaccination targets, the Australian Government may lift its Do Not Travel alerts to some countries.
It has been a long wait, but before you dust off your passport and pack your bags, you should definitely buy travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage. The coronavirus is still going to be around and having insurance that provides cover for sickness or COVID-19-related changes is imperative.
An Insurance Council of Australia spokesperson says some insurers are offering travel insurance products that give international travellers some cover for COVID-19-related situations, but only to countries that have had the Australian Government’s Do Not Travel alert lifted.
New Zealand is currently the only country without a Do Not Travel alert.
We reported in our pages last week that Australian-based travel insurance provider Cover-More has a COVID-ready product for Australia and New Zealand and its chief executive for Asia-Pacific, Judith Crompton, says COVID-19 cover from Cover-More will be the same for any travel to other countries, as travel is approved by the Federal Government.
“In simple terms, once countries are taken off the Australian Government’s Do Not Travel advice list from the Smart Traveller website, the cover will be available when you travel to those countries. At the moment, NZ is the only country without Do Not Travel advice,” she says.
The key message from the Insurance Council of Australia is to do your research.
Find the appropriate travel insurance for your trip, research available policies.
Read the product disclosure statements carefully to determine inclusions, exclusions and limits and how the cover responds to COVID-19 in the event you get ill or if your travel plans have to change.
Cover-More’s insurance, for example has the following COVID-19 benefits.
It includes cover for overseas medical expenses if you need treatment or hospitalisation for COVID when travelling but also if:
You or your travel companion are placed into quarantine and you cannot start your trip.
If a relative or business partner in Australia or New Zealand contracts COVID-19 and their condition is life-threatening so you need to cancel your trip.
If the person you were planning to stay with in Australia or New Zealand has to go into quarantine for COVID-19 and you need to find new accommodation.
If your accommodation in Australia or New Zealand is cancelled for a deep clean.
You are also covered for refunds if your holiday activities in Australia or New Zealand are cancelled due to COVID-19.
Or if you are an essential worker who has leave revoked due to COVID-19 and can no longer travel.
To check the latest travel advice from the Australian Government visit smartraveller.gov.au
On the site there is also more handy information relating specifically to travel insurance.
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