With this unexpected outbreak of Corona virus (COVID-19), it’s important to stay up to date with current news and its effect on your consumer rights in the insurance world.
This post is to inform our users about the small things that a lot of people tend to forget (it’s okay we’re only human). Hopefully, we can answer some of your burning questions and provide a little bit more insight on any recent developments.
There’s a lot of information out there and, whilst it is becomingly increasingly difficult to tell what accurate information in this digital age is, always fact check with official sites.
As Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus states with regards to the misinformation and language being used during this outbreak, “Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit, but it does have [a] significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma, and paralysing systems.”
Website’s like World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will provide you with new information regarding the status of the virus and travel recommendations. Please use these websites to keep up to date with the locations that have been issued with warnings against travel.
You only need to cancel or change a flight that an official warning has been issued against. You can still travel to destinations that are not covered by WHO or the DFA.
First and foremost, the whole world is not currently under a lockdown! The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised against non-essential travel to mainland China, specifically the Province of Hubei. Other countries within the Eastern Asia region that have been mildly advised against, but not by any official body of authority.
You should contact your travel provider if you had previously planned to travel to mainland China or any other countries affected by the virus.
Your Consumer Rights and the DFA
- You are not entitled to a refund if your flight proceeds as planned and the DFA has not warned against non-essential travel.
- You are entitled to a refund if the DFA has issued a warning against travel to your flight destinations
- If your airline cancels your flight you should get to choose between; getting a new flight booked at your earliest convenience, a new flight being booked at your latest convenience or a refund.
- If the DFA issues a warning when you are in the middle of your trip, you can make a claim if you comply with the warning and decide to leave early. You can request a refund on any costs incurred due to the changes to your trip.
- If the DFA has issued out a warning against travel to your flight destination but the airline has not cancelled your flight you can make a claim up to the limit shown in your policy agreement. The amount you claim is mostly dependent on whether or not you have bought a Travel Disruption extra with your travel insurance plan.
- You can travel to a destination against the DFA’s advice however, any travel insurance claims made past this may not be accepted.
- Conversely, some claims may be accepted for trips where evidence can be offered to show that travel could not be avoided.
- You can request a refund for accommodation retained through a travel provider (all-inclusive etc.) by making direct contact with the travel provider.
- You can also request a refund for accommodation retained independently by making contact with the accommodation supplier.
- If you believe you have contracted the virus whilst abroad, you should; self-quarantine unless you require medical assistance, avoid using public facilities and call your doctor or the nearest medical health professional before your visit. Provided you have not travelled against FDA/WHO advice your medical expenditures can be covered by your travel insurance provider.