While unfettered international travel is still many months away, the trans-Tasman travel bubble looks set to restore free and easy access with our Aussie cousins.
However, as the government has already indicated, it’s traveller beware. In the event of any new lockdown or the reintroduction of border quarantines, it’ll be up to the individual to suck up any resulting expense.
Travel Bubble Insurance: What Your Policy Won’t Cover. In this article we cover:
- Which COVID-19 related events your travel insurance won’t cover
- COVID-19 related events that can be covered
Whenever you head overseas, it’s always a good idea to take out travel insurance. We’ve all read too many horror stories about the plight of the uninsured to make it a no-brainer. But in terms of COVID-19, where do you stand making a claim?
Travel bubble insurance: what isn’t covered
According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) due to current levels of uncertainty, it’s impossible for travel insurance providers to offer products that cover all COVID-19 related risks. And, at the moment, general travel insurance policies don’t cover:
- Travel cancellations caused by government-imposed lockdowns
- Costs if the government imposes a blanket quarantine
- Travel delay caused by COVID-19
- Border closures due to COVID-19
- Travel to any other countries where there is still a ‘do not travel’ alert in place.
Travel bubble insurance: what can be covered
This makes it even more vital that you check your policy and discuss your level of cover with your insurer. And if you are going away, it is possible to purchase cover for some specific COVID-19 claims. These include:
- Cancellation costs if you contract COVID-19 and can’t travel
- Cancellation due to being a close contact with someone with COVID-19 before travel
- Costs to return home if a relative gets sick with COVID-19
- Costs if you get sick with COVID-19 and need to quarantine while overseas
- Reasonable costs if the person you are supposed to stay with gets COVID-19 and you need to find alternative accommodation
- Cancellation costs for denied boarding due to a positive COVID-19 test at the airport, if you didn’t know you were positive
Ultimately, the decision to travel overseas during the pandemic is a personal decision. And it’s one that must take into consideration the risks to both your health and finances.
But if you do decide to travel, ensuring that you have the correct insurance in place is vital. For while it can’t ensure that your trip will be be risk-free, should the virus affect either plans, at least you’ll be able to stress less.
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