Issued: 19 March 2020 (update to advice issued 5 February)
On March 19th, 2020, the New Zealand Government raised the travel advice level for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to Level 4, it's highest level. Advising all New Zealanders: Do not travel overseas at this time. Safe Travel is urging New Zealanders currently travelling overseas to consider returning home while commercial options remain available.
It is always our priority to assist our customers when they need help. If you are overseas and have contracted the Coronavirus or have developed symptoms, please contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team on (+) 64 9884 0229, or email them on [email protected]
Our Emergency Assistance Team are currently receiving a high number of enquiries from people who are not in an emergency medical situation. We will all get through this situation by working together and prioritising people who are sick, injured and vulnerable. Please do not call this line if you are not in a medical emergency.
All of our policies contain exclusions in relation to known events in the mass media and relating to an epidemic or pandemic, or the threat of an epidemic or pandemic. Therefore, regardless of when you purchased your policy, it is unlikely that any claim will be covered if it relates to the coronavirus. This applies to all countries, including countries where MFAT has not yet issued a Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel warning. We will, however, assess each and every claim based on its individual facts and circumstances and policy terms and conditions.
COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant disruption to many travellers' current and future travel plans and we want to ensure that you understand how it affects your travel insurance. Please visit our coronavirus pandemic information page for answers to some commonly asked questions.
If your travel has been affected, we recommend you contact your travel service provider regarding altering your trip. Some airlines, accommodation and tour providers have announced they are providing refunds or penalty-free options to amend bookings. If you need more information on how you can recover your costs, please read this guide.
If you are no longer travelling and want to change your policy details, or you are overseas and want to extend your existing policy you can update your policy online.
We also urge all travellers to remain up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information from SafeTravel and strongly recommend those concerned make themselves aware of the safety precautions for Coronavirus.
Issued: 5 February 2020 (update to advice issued 28 January)
It is always our priority to assist our customers when they need help. If you are overseas and have contracted the Coronavirus or have been stranded overseas as a result of this event, please contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team on (+) 64 9884 0229.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been widely reported in the media and continues to make headlines around the world. With fears of a global epidemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a global health emergency on 30 January 2020. This outbreak constitutes an epidemic event under our travel insurance policies.
All of our policies contain exclusions relating to an epidemic or pandemic and also known events in the mass media. However, we will assess each claim based on its individual facts and circumstances. Please read your policy wording for the full policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) raised its travel advice level to 'Do Not Travel' to all of China on 2 February 2020.
If your travel has been affected, we recommend you contact your airline and accommodation provider as soon as possible. Some airlines have announced they are offering refunds for travel to and from mainland China, and some are offering to waive cancellation fees for other destinations.
Some hotel providers have issued statements that they will offer free cancellations on all bookings in Wuhan or in greater China.
Issued: 28 January 2020 (update to advice issued 23 January)
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has raised its travel advice level to 'Do Not Travel' to all of Hubei Province, China.
Travel advice for the rest of China remains to exercise normal safety and security precautions.
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been widely reported in the media and by authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), and continues to make headlines around the world. The situation of the outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has rapidly escalated. There are now more than 4,500 reported cases in mainland China.
Travel restrictions have been heightened and wearing masks in public is now mandatory in some cities. The outbreak of the virus comes during the Lunar New Year celebration resulting in an expected increase in travel disruptions.
There is unlikely to be any cover for claims relating to or arising from the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for travel to and/or from China for policies purchased after 12:00 pm NZST on Saturday, 25 January 2020. Policies purchased before the time above may also be subject to exclusions relating to an epidemic or pandemic. Please read your policy wording for the full policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions.
We advise all customers who are travelling to China or are already in the affected areas, to take care and please do not hesitate to contact our emergency assistance if you need help.
We also urge all travellers to remain up-to-date with SafeTravel and strongly recommend those concerned make themselves aware of the safety precautions for Coronavirus.
Issued: 23 January 2020
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 destinations with known cases of the Coronavirus. We are continuing to monitor this issue in association with the relevant travel, government and health bodies. Chinese officials have reviewed this health concern and travel outbound from Wuhan has been restricted.
World Health Organisation (WHO) officials have held back on similar moves for now — and don’t expect widespread restrictions. The New Zealand Government's SafeTravel site has upgraded its travel warning and now advises all New Zealanders to avoid all non-essential travel to Wuhan City in Hubei Province. We advise all customers who are travelling to, or are already in the affected areas, to take care and please do not hesitate to contact our emergency assistance if you need help. We also urge all travellers to remain up-to-date with SafeTravel and strongly recommend those concerned make themselves aware of the safety precautions for Coronavirus.
What does this mean for travel to China and countries with known cases of coronavirus?
IF YOU HAVEN'T DEPARTED YET:
If you already have travel booked and you are concerned about whether you should travel to China, we recommend that you contact your airline, hotel and tour providers regarding the best option in altering your trip. There is no provision to claim under your policy for change of mind however some travel providers may provide penalty-free options to amend travel arrangements.
If you were planning on travelling to Wuhan, you must have purchased a policy before 11:59 PM (NZDT) 22 January in order to be covered. If you entered into a policy after 11:59 PM on the 22 January 2020, we would expect that this was done with an awareness of this event, the upgraded travel warning for Wuhan and the applied travel restrictions. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply under your policy and for full details you should refer to the policy wording and Certificate of Insurance you received when you purchased your travel insurance.