UPDATE: Outbreak of Coronavirus Worldwide – How Does It Affect You?

Issued 4:30pm AEST, 2nd February 2020 

Updated 5:00pm AEST, 4th February 2020

Please note: There were previous messages related to the Coronavirus Outbreak. This is our latest position. As further information becomes available, we may add to the contents of this page. 

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 had a travel advice warning of Level 4 (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. If you purchased your policy before this and cannot travel to China while DFAT’s Smart Traveller website has a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) warning, we advise you to first contact your airline, accommodation and tour providers immediately to assess your cancellation or rescheduling entitlements. Should there be outstanding out of pocket expenses, you are entitled to submit a claim. 

On 1st February 2020, DFAT’s Smart Traveller website upgraded the travel advice warning to China to Level 4 (Do Not Travel). As a consequence, we are now unable to provide any coverage for travel to China.

If you purchased your policy before 31st January 2020 (4:00pm AEST) and cannot travel to China while DFAT’s Smart Traveller website has a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) warning, we advise you to first contact your airline, accommodation and tour providers immediately to assess your cancellation or rescheduling entitlements. Many airlines and accommodation providers have reacted to the 2019-nCov Coronavirus outbreak by amending their cancellation policies for travellers. For advice on which accommodation providers and airlines have amended policies, what country of travel this applies to and applicable dates, please refer to this page. Should there be outstanding out of pocket expenses, you are entitled to submit a claim. 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. 

Please note if you choose to travel to China whilst the Level 4 advice is in place there are no provisions to claim under your policy for any section. 

Please note if you choose to cancel your trip to any place that does not have a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) warning on DFAT’s Smart Traveller website, there are no provisions in your policy to claim for change of mind or fear of travel. 

Am I Covered For Claims Related To This Event, for travel to or transit through China (Including the Hubei Province)? 

  • If you bought your policy before 12:00am AEST on 21st January 2020 and were in, or due to travel to China (Including the Hubei Province) you may be covered for cancellation or medical expenses as per the benefits in your specific PDS. 
    • If you had previously contacted us and were advised we will not cover cancellations to China (outside the Hubei Province), your coverage may have changed as a result of DFAT’s Smart Traveller website updating the travel advice warning for China from Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) to Level 4 (Do Not Travel), at 6.00pm AEST, 1st February 2020. 
  • If you bought your policy after 12:00am AEST on 21st January 2020 and before 12:00pm AEST on 29th January 2020 and were in, or due to travel to China you may be covered for cancellation or medical expenses as per the benefits in your specific PDS. However, you may not be covered for cancellation or medical expenses as per the benefits in your specific PDS if you were in, or due to travel to the Hubei Province (Including Wuhan City). 
    • If you had previously contacted us and were advised we will not cover cancellations to China (outside the Hubei Province), your coverage may have changed as a result of DFAT’s Smart Traveller website updating the travel advice warning for China from Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) to Level 4 (Do Not Travel), at 6.00pm AEST, 1st February 2020. 
  • If you bought your policy after 12:00pm (AEST) on 29th January 2020 and before 4:00pm AEST on 31st January 2020, you will not be covered for claims related to this event in the Hubei Province, China. All claims are subject to the terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions of the policy you purchased. Please note: 
    • You may be covered for claims in other parts of China (Outside Hubei Province). However 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. 
    • If you had previously contacted us and were advised we will not cover cancellations to China other than the Hubei Province, your right for cover may have changed as a result of DFAT’s Smart Traveller website updating the travel advice warning for China from Level 3 to Level 4 (Do Not Travel), at 6.00pm AEST, 1st February 2020. 
  • 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 the policy was entered into with awareness of the virus and its developments. 

Am I Covered For Claims Related To This Event, for travel to Destinations other than China? 

  • If you bought your policy before 12:00am AEST on 21st January 2020, 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 be covered for claims directly related to travel delays as a result of quarantines at major airports directly related to the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 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 the policy was entered into with awareness of the virus and its developments.