- A travel insurance policy that covers COVID-19? September 9, 2021
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Important Information (CLOSED) March 13, 2020
- Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Insider Tips February 20, 2020
- Known Event: When is it too late to buy travel insurance? February 14, 2020
- Novel Coronavirus Travel Update (CLOSED) January 29, 2020
- Novel Coronavirus Cover Advice (CLOSED) January 23, 2020
We’ve got good news for you!
At Go Insurance, we have updated all of our policies to include some cover for losses arising from Coronavirus COVID-19.
These policy updates mean you may be covered if you or your travelling companion contract COVID or are specifically quarantined due to exposure to COVID. No cover is provided for border closures or disobeying government directives.
Here’s some more detail on what we cover when it comes to COVID-19.
Overseas Medical Expenses
If you contract COVID-19 while travelling overseas, you will be covered for:
- The reasonable cost of medical treatment for your COVID-19 infection. This includes hospital charges, ambulance transfers, physician fees and medication for you to be treated overseas. In addition to this, there is also cover for the cost of repatriation back home or evacuation if medically necessary.
- The reasonable cost of additional accommodation if you are ordered into quarantine or medically unable to travel because you have contracted COVID-19.
- The reasonable cost of additional accommodation if you are denied boarding of public transport due to the detection of possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Trip Cancellation and Curtailment
You will be covered for the irrecoverable value of cancelled travel bookings if:
- Your trip is cancelled because you or your travelling companion contract COVID-19 in Australia and can’t travel.
- Your trip is cancelled because you or your travelling companion are ordered by the Australian government into mandatory quarantine or self-isolation because contact tracing indicates you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Your trip is cancelled because your relative or business partner tests positive to COVID-19 and the level of infection is life threatening.
You will be covered for additional travelling expenses and a pro rata refund of forfeited travel bookings if:
- Your trip is disrupted because you or your travelling companion are ordered into mandatory quarantine by the government of a foreign country because you have contracted COVID-19.
- Your trip is disrupted because you or your travelling companion are ordered into mandatory quarantine by the government of a foreign country because contact tracing indicates you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- You or your travelling companion are denied boarding of public transport due to the detection of possible COVID-19 symptoms.
But certain circumstances aren’t covered
- You won’t be covered for hard border closures. So, if a government decides to shut its borders to all travellers, this is not covered.
- You won’t be covered for cancellation losses if you decide not to travel because you are worried about being exposed to COVID-19.
- You won’t be covered for COVID-19 related claims where you can’t provide proof of infection or evidence that you were denied boarding or ordered into mandatory quarantine / self-isolation.
- You must observe government and health authority advice relating to preventive and precautionary measures including vaccination, hygiene and social distancing guidelines. If you don’t, we might not pay your claim.
- You won’t be covered for any costs you would have incurred anyway. So, if you would have incurred quarantine costs regardless of having or being exposed to COVID-19, these costs will not be covered.
- Go Insurance policies are modular so you can choose the cover options you want. You wont be covered for trip cancellation or curtailment losses arising from COVID-19 if you decide to remove the Cancellation module from your policy.
It is very important you read the PDS and policy to make sure the cover we offer is right for you and that you understand what is and isn’t covered. Click here to review the full terms and conditions.
A note on the government “do not travel” advice
At the moment, the Australian federal government travel advice is “do not travel” for all international destinations because of COVID-19 risk.
Most often, government “do not travel” advisories relate to criminal, social and political risks (eg terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping) or natural disasters etc.
If you are travelling to a destination for which the Australian government has in place a “do not travel” or “reconsider your need to travel” advisory which relates to any reason other than COVID-19, you will not be covered for any losses which arise from you travelling to that destination.
However, if the travel advice for your destination relates only to COVID-19 risk, you will be covered provided you are travelling legally. Travelling legally means you have secured an Australian government travel exemption or are otherwise able to depart/return to Australia without impediment.
Need more info?
Want to book a time for us to call you at your convenience? Click here to book a chat.
Pre-existing Medical Conditions are a fact of life but do you know what you need to declare when applying for travel insurance?
All travel insurance policies have terms and conditions relating to pre-existing medical conditions and it is important you understand what is covered so there is no disagreement if you have to make a claim.
When it comes to pre-existing medical conditions, leisure travel insurance policies generally fit into one of three categories:
- No cover is provided for any claim related to or arising from a pre-existing medical condition. In this case, they are completely excluded from cover.
- Cover is provided for only certain listed pre-existing medical conditions. Claims which arise from other conditions are excluded.
- Cover is provided for certain listed pre-existing medical conditions but if you have any other conditions, you have the option to declare these at the time of application for the insurer to decide if they will offer cover.
Policy Type #1 – no cover for any pre-existing medical condition
The first policy type is great for travellers who have no pre-existing medical conditions whatsoever. This type of policy will only respond to compensate you for medical expenses if you suffer an accidental injury or illness while travelling overseas. If you need medical treatment for or related to a pre-existing medical condition, there will be no cover.
Policy Type #2 – cover for certain pre-existing medical conditions that are listed in the policy
The second policy type will only suit those travellers who have one (or more) of the listed pre-existing medical conditions. With this policy type, there are usually certain provisos that you must satisfy for the automatic cover to be provided.
In the case of “automatically covered” conditions, there is usually a requirement that you haven’t been hospitalised within a certain timeframe (usually 2 years) and/or you haven’t received medical treatment for the condition within a certain period of time (usually the previous 90 days). If you have a medical condition that is in the “automatically covered” list but you have recently been hospitalised or received medical treatment, this disentitles you to automatic cover for the condition. Let’s look at Asthma as an example.
Many travel insurance policies provide automatic cover for Asthma provided you have not received hospital treatment in the past 2 years and/or consulted a doctor for the condition in the past 90 days. There are usually some other criteria you must meet to be eligible for automatic cover of Asthma. For instance, you must also be less than a certain age (usually 60 years old) and you must not use more than two medications to control the condition.
If you do not meet all the criteria for automatic cover of Asthma, you will not be covered in the event of a claim for treatment of this condition while travelling. It is not a case of meeting one or two of the provisos – you must satisfy all of them to be eligible for cover.
Take care with this policy type if you have one pre-existing medical condition that is automatically covered and another condition that is not automatically covered. If your chosen insurer will not allow you to apply for cover of the condition that is not automatically covered, this may produce a gap in your cover.
Policy Type #3 – option to declare pre-existing medical conditions when applying for cover
The third policy type provides you with more flexibility when it comes to finding a policy that will cover you for claims related to your past medical history. It is important though that you get it right when declaring your past medical history and check to make sure what your chosen insurer expects you to declare.
If you have two medical conditions, one of which is automatically covered by the policy and one that is not, check to see if you need to declare both of your conditions as part of the application process. It may be the insurer requires you to declare and undertake medical screening for all of your conditions – including the one that is automatically covered.
Many pre-existing medical conditions are related. For instance, heart disease, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes can be “linked” conditions. Having one of these conditions can also be a risk factor for the others. Many travel insurance policies provide automatic cover for high blood pressure and/or cholesterol but not diabetes. If you have high blood pressure and diabetes, please don’t assume that because high blood pressure is an automatically covered pre-existing medical condition, you only need to declare your diabetes. Please check with your chosen insurer to make sure you are declaring your medical history in accordance with their underwriting requirements. It is always best to make sure everything is declared to avoid distress and potentially disagreements if you need to make a claim.
Last words …
Travel insurers generally exclude cover for any condition where the traveller is undergoing or awaiting medical treatment of any kind.
So, if you have been referred to a specialist and are waiting for an appointment or you are receiving treatment at the time of applying for cover, the insurer will most likely decline to offer cover. This is because the condition may not be stable and the risk is unable to be adequately assessed. The insurer cannot make a judgement call on your medical status while you are still receiving or are awaiting medical investigation. You should still be able to buy a travel insurance policy, but it will in all likelihood exclude cover for the condition that is receiving or awaiting treatment.
If you do decide to self insure your pre-existing medical conditions by not declaring them at the time of applying for insurance (or the insurer declines to cover them), you can still buy a policy and it should operate in all respects except for the (non-covered) pre-existing medical conditions. For instance, if you were to suffer a bout of food poisoning, it is unlikely this would be related to your medical history and you should be able to claim for the cost of treatment. Similarly if you were travelling as a passenger in a commercially licensed form of public transport which was involved in an accident causing you to sustain injury, this too should be covered. You should be able to claim the cost of medical treatment for your injuries because the accident is in no way related to your past medical history.
Taking medication for a condition does not mean you have been cured of the condition. It means the condition is being managed with medication. If you stopped taking the medication, the symptoms would likely return. For instance, if you are taking medication to treat high blood pressure, this means you have controlled blood pressure; it does not mean the condition no longer exists. So, if you are taking medication for any reason, declare this to your chosen travel insurer. Similarly, if you have had surgery for a medical condition, you should still declare the condition that the surgery was performed to treat. If you had a coronary stent inserted to treat heart disease, this does not mean the heart disease is cured, it means the stent is being used to treat / manage the condition. You should declare any past surgical procedures and let the insurer decide if it is relevant to their decision to insure you.
The term known event sounds like insurance jargon but it is an important concept.
As the term suggests, known event means something (ie the event) has happened and you know about it.
When it comes to insurance, it is really important you understand the term known event and how it may affect you.
Insurance is designed to cover sudden, unforeseen and unexpected events. Insurance is essentially risk transfer – by purchasing a policy you are transferring your risk of financial loss in the event something unforeseen happens. You are transferring your risk to the insurance company and for this you pay the insurer an amount of money (ie the premium).
Insurance does not cover you against something that you know about and which could reasonably be expected to result in you making a claim. This is where known event comes into play. If something has already happened and it is likely you will suffer financial loss as a consequence, it becomes uninsurable because it is not unexpected or unforeseen.
This may sound confusing so let’s look at some examples.
A known event can take many forms but if we look at travel insurance, here are some scenarios which would involve a known event.
Sally and Sam planned to go on a Contiki tour. They paid for the tour and their airfares but did not buy travel insurance. Two days before they were due to depart, Sally suffered appendicitis and required surgery. Sally’s doctor advised them to cancel the trip because Sally was too unwell to travel. Sally and Sam then bought travel insurance to cover them for the loss of their holiday.
The airfares and Contiki tour were non refundable. Sally and Sam lodged a travel insurance claim. The travel insurer reviewed the claim and declined it on the basis of known event. That is, when Sally and Sam purchased their travel insurance policy, they knew that Sally was sick and that she may not be able to travel. The appendicitis was a known event – that is Sally and Sam knew about it when they bought the policy. They tried to buy a policy because they knew they would suffer a financial loss. They were trying to pass their loss to the insurance company.
Richard was backpacking through Europe when he started to suffer stomach pains. He wanted to visit a doctor but did not have any travel insurance. Richard bought an “already overseas” travel insurance policy and went to see a doctor. Richard was diagnosed with gallbladder stones and admitted to hospital for treatment. Richard claimed compensation for these costs from the travel insurer. The travel insurer denied the claim because Richard was aware that he needed medical treatment before he took out the policy. Therefore, the stomach pains (and need for treatment) was a known event.
Tom and Sarah arranged a trip to Fiji but did not buy travel insurance. The week before they were due to go on holiday, a cyclone developed in the Pacific Ocean and was tracking to hit Fiji. They bought travel insurance in case the cyclone meant the trip would be cancelled. As they were aware of the cyclone and the potential that it would stop them from travelling before they purchased their policy, the cyclone was a known event. No claim would be payable if they had to cancel the trip due to the cyclone because it was already in existence when they purchased the policy. It was not unforeseen or unexpected.
Similar scenarios could relate to the declaration of medical epidemics/pandemics or instances where the government travel advisory for a destination country is upgraded to advise against travel. If you wait to purchase travel insurance until after an epidemic is declared or the government upgrades its travel advisory recommending against travel, it is too late because the event which might result in you suffering a financial loss has already happened – it is a known event.
Most if not all insurance policies have exclusions that relates to a known event. In travel insurance policies, the exclusions normally take the following form.
You are not covered for any incident that does not occur during the period of insurance.
You are not covered for circumstances manifesting between the date of booking your trip and the date you purchased your insurance.
We strongly recommend that you arrange travel insurance once you have started to make payment for any trip arrangements. When you hand over money, you are carrying the risk that something might happen which could cause your trip to be cancelled or disrupted. If you wait until something happens that might cause you to cancel your trip, it is too late – this is like waiting until the horse has bolted before shutting the gate. Don’t delay – once you have paid money (even if it is just a deposit), organise your travel insurance immediately.
Chinese authorities have identified an outbreak of a new type of Coronavirus, in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China.
We are aware of concerns regarding travel to China and destinations with known cases of the Coronavirus.
We suggest all travellers remain up to date with the latest advice for the Coronavirus from Smartraveller.
“In principle” advice regarding likely policy response to claims for cancellation, disruption and delay of scheduled travel arrangements is provided below.
For Single Trip policies purchased prior to 8:30am AEST on 23 January 2020 and trips booked under Annual Multi Trip policies prior to 8:30am AEST on 23 January 2020:
Disruption experienced post-departure
Claims for disruption to scheduled travel arrangements post-departure are considered under Section 1 or Section 10.
To claim under Section 1, your policy must include the Cancellation and Curtailment module. To claim under Section 10, your policy must include the Disruption module.
Subject to relevant terms and conditions, Section 1 will compensate the Insured Person for additional travel expenses incurred (and a proportionate refund of unused arrangements) if a natural disaster prevents the planned travel from occurring.
Subject to relevant terms and conditions, Section 10 provides financial assistance in the event the departure of public transport on which the Insured Person is booked to travel is delayed by at least 12 hours. Section 10 does not operate if the Insured Person has claimed under Section 1 or 12 (Special Events) in relation to the same cause.
All Insured Persons must act as a “prudent uninsured” and proceed on the most economical basis to minimise their loss. We therefore suggest in the first instance they liaise with airlines and associated travel providers to reschedule travel arrangements / obtain refunds as appropriate. Some airlines will provide accommodation to passengers whose travel is disrupted due to a medical epidemic and policyholders should avail themselves of this facility if possible.
All claims for additional accommodation and travel expenses must be supported by receipts, evidence of pre-booked travel schedule and actual travel arrangements.
If you are quarantined due the Coronavirus and as a result means you cannot return home as scheduled, your policy will provide a 21 day automatic extension. This means that if you cannot return home due to circumstances outside your control, your policy will remain in place for up to a further 21 days without payment of additional premium. You don’t need to contact us to request a policy extension – this is an automatic provision.
Disruption experienced pre-departure
If you have not yet departed on the trip and your outbound flight arrangements are cancelled due to:
- Medical epidemic preventing the booked travel occurring as planned;
- Delayed departure of the initial outbound flight beyond 12 hours; or
- DFAT issuing a travel warning advising against travel to the affected region and which remains in force 7 days prior to scheduled travel;
There is provision within the policy for amendment costs or reimbursement of irrecoverable payments made in the event of total cancellation (Section 1).
In this case, Section 1 provides to cover the cost incurred to amend the policyholder’s travel to a later date / alternate route OR the cost of forfeited pre-booked travel arrangements if the trip is cancelled (whichever is the lesser). If a policyholder’s travel is affected, we retain the option to decide which of these options will be used as the basis for determining policy response.
Many airlines will offer full refunds or rescheduling at no cost in the event of cancellation due to a medical epidemic and we would recommend policyholders liaise with the airline/s, travel agent/s and associated travel providers to minimise any loss / claim.
For Single Trip and Multi Trip policies purchased on or after 08:31am AEST on 23 January 2020:
Insurance serves to provide cover for sudden and unforeseen risks. It is not possible to insure against known risks and the policy specifically excludes claims resulting from circumstances known at the time of policy purchase or trip booking and which could reasonably be expected to give rise to a claim.
Whilst this advice details a preliminary assessment of potential policy response, it is anticipated that no cover will be afforded for any claim arising from the Coronavirus outbreak under policies purchased on or after 08:31am AEST on 23 January 2020 or trips booked under an Annual Multi Trip policy on or after 08:31am AEST on 23 January 2020.
Please remember that no two claims are the same and accordingly, claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis. This advice is of a general nature. Claims are assessed on their individual merits and are subject to the terms and conditions of the PDS which was in force at the time of policy purchase.
Whilst we recommend policyholders keep up-to-date with airlines, travel agents, tour operators etc, our claims team is available to advise and assist you. Please contact us if you require assistance.
Subject to relevant terms and conditions, Go Insurance travel policies do provide cover for claims arising from medical epidemics. However, on 23 January 2020, Go Insurance raised a cover restriction … Read More
Taal volcano located near Manila in the Philippines has erupted releasing ash into the sky. This eruption has resulted in the immediate evacuation of thousands of people from the surrounding … Read More
What’s New at Go
Flexible Travel Insurance
Non-Resident Travel Insurance
Go Insurance provides unrivalled one-way and return travel insurance for non residents. If you’ve been resident for 3 months, you are eligible for our travel insurance.
Flexible Travel Insurance
Comprehensive and basic policy options tailored to suit your itinerary and budget because at Go Insurance we believe that one size does not fit all
Kids Insured Free
Making family holidays even better. Children under the age of 18 are covered free when travelling with an adult. It’s just another way Go Travel Insurance is looking out for you.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Automatic cover for many conditions – because some things are a fact of life. Can’t find your condition in our extensive list of automatic covers? Call us for a tailored quote.