Brussels Terrorist Attack
Important information for policyholders in relation to the Brussels terrorist attack.
On 22 March 2016, two explosions were reported at Brussels airport (Zaventum) and at Maalbeek metro station in the EU district of central Brussels. Go Insurance understand that flights in and out of Zaventum airport have been cancelled and that road and rail connections to the airport have been suspended. Belgium has increased its National Threat Level to Level Four of 4. It is being reported that all public transport in Brussels has been cancelled as the country enters a declared period of mourning following the Brussels terrorist attack.
The Australian government has urged Australians in Brussels and surrounding areas to remain vigilant, avoid public areas if possible, follow the instructions of local authorities and also stay up-to-date with media reports.
The Australian government has lifted their official travel advice to Level 4 of 5 ‘Reconsider your need to travel’.
Travellers in Belgium or those planning to travel to Belgium are also advised to register their travel with Smart Traveller.
“In principle” advice regarding likely policy response to claims for medical expenses, cancellation, disruption and delay of scheduled travel arrangements is provided below.
For Single Trip policies purchased prior to 17:00 AEST 22 March 2016 and trips booked under Annual Multi Trip policies prior to 17:00 AEST 22 March 2016:
1. Overseas Medical Expenses
There is provision within the policy to cover policyholders if they are injured as a result of terrorism. If you are in Belgium and have been injured in the Brussels terrorist attack, please contact us for assistance.
2. Disruption experienced post-departure
Claims for disruption to scheduled travel arrangements post-departure are considered under Section 1 or Section 10.
Subject to relevant terms and conditions, Section 1 will respond to compensate the policyholder for additional travel expenses incurred to curtail the trip (and a proportionate refund of unused arrangements) as the current DFAT warning has been increased to Level Four ‘Reconsider your need to travel’.
Subject to relevant terms and conditions, Section 10 operates to provide financial assistance in the event the departure of public transport on which the policyholder is booked to travel is delayed by at least 12 hours. Section 10 does not operate if the policyholder has claimed under Section 1 or 12 (Special Events) in relation to the same cause.
In the event of travel to Brussels and surrounding areas, the policyholder must act as a “prudent uninsured” and proceed on the most economical basis to minimise their loss. We therefore suggest in the first instance you liaise with airlines and associated travel providers to reschedule travel arrangements / obtain refunds as appropriate.
All claims for additional accommodation and travel expenses must be supported by receipts, evidence of pre-booked travel schedule and actual travel arrangements.
3. Disruption experienced pre-departure
If the policyholder has planned to travel to Brussels or surrounding areas; has not yet departed on the insured trip; and their outbound flight arrangements are cancelled due to:
1. Delayed departure of the initial outbound flight beyond 12 hours; or
2. 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) due to the Brussels terrorist attack.
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.
Some airlines offer full refunds in the event of cancellation due to terrorism and we therefore 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 after 17:00 22 March 2016 :
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.