Global Coronavirus Outbreak: where to now?

Issued 4:07pm AEST, 31st January 2020

Please be aware this post has 1 subsequent relevant update. Click here to view our updated post.

 

On 7th January 2020, Chinese authorities identified a Novel (new) Coronavirus in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, and named it 2019-nCoV. 

On 20th January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed human-to-human transmission, leading to widespread media articles being released. As of 21st January 2020 (12:00am AEST), we consider this to be a known event affecting the Hubei Province of China. 

On 29th January 2020, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) advised all Australians to reconsidered their need to travel to China. The Hubei Province was categorised ‘’Do Not Travel”. 

On 31st January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has deemed this event an international health emergency. As of 31st January 2020 (4:00pm AEST), we consider this to be a known event globally. 

We advise all travellers to reconsider your need to travel to China, as advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Smartraveller website. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the outbreak and claim considerations on DFAT advice, the entitlements of your policy may change depending on the advice given by DFAT. On top of this, please pay close attention to the local media and emergency services, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

If you have travelled to locations affected by this outbreak and have developed symptoms of respiratory illness, please contact your doctor. If you have a trip planned to locations affected by this outbreak, please contact your travel, accommodation and tour providers to amend your travel plans. Also contact your airline, cruise or travel operator to check if tourist services are affected or for cancellations. 

Please note if you choose to cancel your trip, there are no provisions to claim under your policy for change of mind or fear of travel. 

Am I Still Covered For Claims Related To This Event? 

  • If you bought your policy before 12:00am AEST on 21st January 2020:
    • and were in, or due to travel to the Hubei Province you may be covered for cancellation or medical expenses as per the benefits in your specific PDS. 
    • and were due to travel elsewhere you may be covered as per the benefits of your specific PDS, but you will not be covered for cancelling your trip due to change of mind or fear. 
  • If you bought your policy after 12:00am AEST on 21st January 2020 and before 4:00pm AEST on 31st January 2020: 
    • You may not be covered for claims arising in other parts of China, where disruptions to the itinerary occur as a result of publicly known tourist attraction closures directly related to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). For example: Shanghai Disneyland, the Forbidden City or the National Museum of China temporarily closing to contain the outbreak. 
    • You may be covered for claims directly related to travel delays as a result of quarantines at major airports directly related to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), outside the Hubei Province. Please be aware our policies only cover connecting flights where the stopover was originally scheduled on your itinerary for more than 6 hours. 
  • If you bought your policy after 4:00pm AEST on 31st January 2020, you will not be covered for claims related to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It would be expected a policy was entered into with awareness of the virus and its developments.