Tuesday, March 3, 2020 11:00:00 AM

View the latest update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

FAQS below last published 27 March 2020

  1. Why can't I purchase a travel policy at the moment?
  2. I have a trip I want to insure for later this year, when can I purchase a policy again?
  3. I have a policy but I'm yet to travel and want to change my dates – how can I do this?
  4. Why have you stopped selling? When will I be able to purchase a policy in the future? I am travelling in December – am I able to buy a policy now?
  5. Can I still extend my policy? What's the process for extending a current policy and, if it was initially purchased prior to the cutoff date, will it cover COVID-19? I want to get an extension as I'm stuck overseas – how do I do this?
  6. I have a current policy with you – does this change?
  7. I'm trying to get home but can't and I'm not eligible to extend my Insurance policy – will you extend on compassionate grounds?
  8. When will I be able to purchase a policy again?
  9. I want to accept an airline's offer to postpone my flights – how do I change the dates of my travel insurance policy?
  10. I would like to cancel my policy and get a refund as I won't be travelling.
  11. I need to get home and suspend my trip, as my plans have been cancelled
  12. I'm seeking advice and information on whether I should return home or continue my trip.
  13. I've already left on my trip and the country I'm travelling to has been declared a "Do Not Travel" region – what do I do?
  14. If I'm being advised to quarantine; are any of my accommodation or re-booking expenses covered?
  15. What should I do if I have a flight booked?
  16. How do I access medical help?
  17. Should I let anyone know I am traveling?
  18. What if I am still intending to travel?
  19. Will I be able to access health care while I am traveling?

1. Why can't I purchase a travel policy at the moment?

Due to COVID-19, and the travel restrictions imposed by a number of governments across the world, Travel Insurance Direct has temporarily ceased issuing new policies for travel insurance.

This change is effective close of business on Wednesday 1 April 2020.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will advise travellers once we resume issuing new travel insurance policies.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and understand you will have questions about what this means for your individual circumstances. You may already find the answers to common questions in our FAQs, and we will continue to update these as soon as possible.

2. I have a trip I want to insure for later this year, when can I purchase a policy again?

Due to COVID-19, and the travel restrictions imposed by a number of governments across the world, Travel Insurance Direct has temporarily ceased issuing new travel insurance policies.

This change is effective close of business on Wednesday 1 April 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will advise travellers once we resume issuing new travel insurance policies.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and understand you will have questions about what this means for your individual circumstances. We are working on a set of answers and scenarios which we will add to our FAQ pages shortly.

3. I have a policy but I'm yet to travel and want to change my dates – how can I do this?

If you are a member, you can change your policy start date through your membership to a date in the future and get instant confirmation. If you’re not a member, you can contact us and we will help you change the dates. There are limits on how far from your original purchase date you can move your policy start date.

Please be aware we are experiencing high volumes of calls so there may be longer than usual wait times.

4. Why have you stopped selling? When will I be able to purchase a policy in the future? I am travelling in December – am I able to buy a policy now?

Due to COVID-19, and the travel restrictions imposed by a number of governments across the world, Travel Insurance Direct has temporarily ceased issuing new travel insurance policies.

This change is effective from close of business on Wednesday 1 April 2020 and only applies to new international policies. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will advise travellers once we resume issuing new travel insurance policies.

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes and understand you will have questions about what this means for your individual circumstances. We are working on a set of answers and scenarios which we will add to our FAQ pages shortly.

5. Can I still extend my policy? What's the process for extending a current policy and, if it was initially purchased prior to the cutoff date, will it cover COVID-19? I want to get an extension as I'm stuck overseas – how do I do this?

This does not change the terms of your policy and you can still extend if you meet the eligibility criteria. Please note your cover may be effected if you alter your policy. As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all "Do Not Travel" bans or or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording to understand the impact before you alter your policy.

If you're not eligible for an extension and wish to continue travelling, be aware you may not be able to purchase any more cover with us.

6. I have a current policy with you – does this change?

No. Your current policy is still valid under the terms and conditions of the plan you have purchased. Our decision to stop issuing new policies for travel does not change the terms of your existing policy.

7. I'm trying to get home but can't and I'm not eligible to extend my Insurance policy – will you extend on compassionate grounds?

If you’re not eligible for an extension we may not be able to extend your policy please contact us to discuss your options.

8. When will I be able to purchase a policy again?

At this stage we can't say with certainty when we will be able to start selling international travel insurance again. Our first priority is making sure our existing customers are safe and assisting them in these difficult times. We will continue to monitor the government warnings.

9. I want to accept an airline's offer to postpone my flights – how do I change the dates of my travel insurance policy?

If you are a member with Travel Insurance Direct, you can extend your policy start date via your membership and get instant confirmation. If you’re not a member, you can contact us and we will help you change the dates. There are limits on how far in advance you can move your policy – our service team can advise or check your policy for more information.

Please be aware we are experiencing high volumes of calls so there may be longer than usual wait times.

10. I would like to cancel my policy and get a refund as I won't be travelling.

All our policies are subject to a period within which you may cancel your policy without any penalty (known variously as the cooling-off period, right to examine or Satisfaction Guarantee). Check your policy wording for details on what this period is.

How does this period work?

If you request to cancel your policy with Travel Insurance Direct within this period, we will refund your premium as long as you aren't using your policy in any way. This means that:

  • the departure date hasn’t started; and
  • you have not yet left home or started your trip (and if you purchase your policy while already overseas, to start the same day, we consider that you have started your trip)
  • you have not and will not make any claim; and
  • you will not exercise any right/s under the policy.
How do I cancel my policy during this period?

If you are eligible to cancel your policy during this period, you can cancel it by:

  • For members – logging into your membership and cancelling online (where available)
  • For guests (and members) – contacting us
Will you refund my policy?

If you're unable to travel due to COVID-19 and the related travel restrictions, you can request a refund using this online form, and we will ask our underwriting team to review your request. We have received a high volume of enquires, so we will be in touch as soon as possible with the outcome of this review.

Refunds, once approved, take up to 10 business days to appear in your bank account.

11. I need to get home and suspend my trip, as my plans have been cancelled

If you're on your trip and your holiday or tour has been cancelled, and you need to get home, there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Speak to your agent, airline, cruise line or tour operator to see if they can help rearrange your tickets. Many operators are offering refunds, and vouchers, without charging fees, to help travellers get home or where they need to be, as flights are cancelled and travel bans are imposed. It’s a good idea to go to the local airport and speak to airline agents in person to see if they can help.
  2. Many governments, including Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland, have placed 'Do Not Travel' warnings on many, and in some cases, all destinations and we expect to see more in the coming weeks. We recommend you check your government’s travel advisory website. In addition, there may be 'Do Not Travel' warnings to certain regions. While there are many bans and restrictions being imposed between countries, most are allowing their own citizens to come home, although you may be subject to quarantine measures when you do arrive home.
  3. This is a rapidly changing situation and governments may change their travel advice and bans at a moment’s notice. Make sure you stay informed about what is happening and follow the advice of local authorities.
Can I claim my additional expenses?

Whether or not your additional expenses are covered under your policy depends on the plan you purchased, when you bought your policy or extended it, and when you made your bookings.

As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all "Do Not Travel" bans or or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording for full details of what events are insured under your travel insurance policy as this will depend on the plan you’ve purchased, when you bought your policy, and your individual circumstances.

You can continue to submit a claim as per the terms and conditions of your policy. We recommend you keep your receipts to support any claim you make, and try to minimise your expenses as much as possible. As there’s a lot of concern over COVID-19 we are experiencing high volumes of enquiries, so if you have any claims-related questions it's best to contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

How can you help?

Our 24/7 emergency assistance team members are available to help get you in touch with local authorities, direct you to embassies and keep you updated on the situation. We have a number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how COVID-19 may impact your travel plans.

12. I'm seeking advice and information on whether I should return home or continue my trip.

Many people are unsure whether they should continue their holiday plans or cancel and return home. We can’t advise what's best for you, but we do suggest you stay informed about what is happening in regards to COVID-19 in your local region and where you’re planning to travel to.

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to:

  1. Speak to your airline or travel operator to confirm your travel arrangements have not been disrupted.
  2. Check your government’s travel advisory website and that there are no warnings, bans or quarantine requirements in place for where you're planning to travel to. Be aware these are updated regularly and changing very quickly at the moment, so check back daily to stay abreast of any changes.
  3. Make sure you stay informed about what is happening by watching and listening to local and international media, and follow local authorities’ advice and directions.

As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all "Do Not Travel" bans or or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording for full details of what events are insured under your travel insurance policy before you choose to stay where you are as this decision may also effect or limit cover for insured events to the extent your loss is exacerbated by them.

I'm experiencing a medical emergency and need help

If you're experiencing a medical emergency and need medical help, contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team who can help direct you to or help you obtain medical help, and if medically necessary they can work with local authorities to repatriate you home, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.

13. I've already left on my trip and the country I'm travelling to has been declared a "Do Not Travel" region – what do I do?

If you're on your trip and your destination has been declared a 'Do Not Travel' area, then you need to decide whether to continue to that destination or not. A 'Do Not Travel' warning is issued following very careful consideration by the respective government, and travelling against such warnings will affect any cover that may be available under your policy.

If you decide to cancel and return home you should:

  1. Speak to your airline or travel operator to see if they can help rearrange your flights. Airlines are working to help many of their travellers get home or where they need to be, as flights are cancelled and travel bans imposed. It’s a good idea to go to the local airport and speak to airline agents in person to see if they can help.
  2. Many governments including Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland have placed 'Do Not Travel' warnings on many, and in some cases all destinations and we expect to see more in the coming weeks. We recommend you check your government’s travel advisory website. In addition, there may be 'Do Not Travel' warnings to certain regions. While there are many bans and restrictions being imposed between countries, most are allowing their own citizens to come home, although you may be subject to quarantine measures when you arrive home.
  3. If you’re trying to travel to another destination, check that there are no bans in place before you make any travel bookings.
  4. This is a rapidly changing situation and governments may change their travel advice and warnings at a moment’s notice. Make sure you stay informed about what is happening and follow local authorities’ advice and directions.
Can I claim my additional expenses?

Whether or not your additional expenses are covered under your policy depends on the plan you purchased, when you bought your policy or extended it, and when you made your bookings. As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all "Do Not Travel" bans or or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording for full details of what events are insured under your travel insurance policy before you choose to stay where you are as this decision may also effect or limit cover for insured events to the extent your loss is exacerbated by them. You can continue to submit a claim as per the terms and conditions of your policy. We recommend you keep your receipts to support any claim you make, and try to minimise your expenses as much as possible.

Please note as there's a lot of concern over COVID-19 we are experiencing high volumes of enquiries, so if you have any claims-related questions it’s best to contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

If it's urgent please contact us.

If you decide to go anyway:

Many of our policies have general exclusions around travel to destinations with government warnings. You'll need to check your policy and your home country’s government travel warnings (or the warning of the government department noted in your policy, if different to your home country) to better understand how these may affect you and your travel insurance coverage in these regions.

If your policy has an exclusion for travel to a country or region where the government has issued a 'Do Not Travel' warning, and you choose to travel there, no cover is available in any event under any section of your policy.

14. If I'm being advised to quarantine; are any of my accommodation or re-booking expenses covered?

Some governments have imposed quarantines in relation to Coronavirus/COVID-19 which may affect some travellers' plans. As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all 'Do Not Travel' bans or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording for full details of what events are insured under your travel insurance policy as this will depend on the plan you’ve purchased, when you bought your policy, whether you’re ill or not and your individual circumstances

What do I do if I’m quarantined?
  1. If quarantined, follow the direction of the local authorities and contact us as soon as possible for assistance. If you become ill while quarantined, seek medical assistance and contact our emergency assistance team when possible.
  2. You should speak to your airline or travel operator to see if they can help rearrange your flights. Airlines are working to help many of their travellers get home or where they need to be, as flights are cancelled and travel bans imposed.
Can I claim any additional expenses I incur because I'm quarantined?

As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all "Do Not Travel" bans or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording for full details of what events are insured under your travel insurance policy as this will depend on the plan you’ve purchased, when you bought your policy, and your individual circumstances.

15. What should I do if I have a flight booked?

Contact your airline 72hrs before your flight. Check if it has any special requirements you will need to meet prior to travel. Some airlines may require a medical clearance or confirmation that you are a resident or citizen of the county you are intending to enter or transit through.

16. How do I access medical help?

If you need to access a health care provider for any illness or injury, you may be required to undergo a COVID-19 test. These tests may be expensive and if you are asymptomatic (you don’t have any symptoms), it may be difficult to obtain a test. The nib Assist team will be able to direct you to an appropriate provider in your area.

17. Should I let anyone know I am traveling?

Register your travel with the appropriate authority, (eg. Smartraveller) or contact your country’s consulate to update them on where you are and if you need assistance. It may be able to provide advice on closed boarders and any quarantine laws that may apply.

18. What if I am still intending to travel?

If you're are continuing your journey, make sure you are able to enter your intended destination as there may be additional entry requirements. This may also apply to any countries you are required to transit through, so please ensure you check all destinations or transit locations. Check whether your intended destination has any quarantine or self-isolation requirements and if all services are available. Find out if you are you still able to access your accommodation and buy food.

As advised in our prior travel alerts we will not provide you with cover for any loss or event related to the coronavirus, COVID-19, all "Do Not Travel" bans or or government restrictions or recommendations. Loss related to these events ceased to be covered from the date they became known events. Please consider your PDS or policy wording for full details of what events are insured under your travel insurance policy before you choose to continue your journey or choose to travel as this decision may also effect or limit cover for insured events.

19. Will I be able to access health care while I am traveling?

Remember at this time, the health care systems of all countries are being inundated and services may be limited or have additional access requirements. If you are needing to access treatment or medical services, we recommended calling ahead to the provider to understand any requirements or contacting nib Assist for direction to the most appropriate facility in your destination.

FAQS below were last published 14 March 2020 and will be updated during this developing situation

  1. Is cover available before the cut-off date?
  2. Is cover available after the cut-off date?
  3. Is cover available for quarantine?
  4. Is cover available if I am advised by my doctor not to travel?
  5. Is cover available for COVID-19 if I purchase a policy now?
  6. Why is the cut off for COVID-19 not in the PDS?
  7. What happens if a country is declared 'Do Not Travel' due to COVID-19?
  8. Why is the information not listed on your App?
  9. Am I covered for medical due to COVID-19?
  10. How do I cancel my policy?

The information provided here is to assist you in understanding cover that may be available depending on your circumstances. If you have incurred costs, you are welcome to submit a claim, which will be assessed by our claims team.

1. Is cover available before the cut-off date?

Cover may be available under the policy if your trip is affected, as you have purchased before the cut-off date. Cover is subject to all terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the policy wording, including exclusions such as: travelling against government warning, change of mind, delay or detention by a government official, or loss arising from government intervention or regulation.

You can find our current policy wording here, for policies purchased prior to 1 August 2019 please check the PDS provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again.

2. Is cover available after the cut-off date?

We feel it is important that customers are aware that we consider COVID-19 to be a known event, as the cover offered by the policy is for unforeseen events. Policies purchased after the cut off time will not offer cover for claims arising from or relating to COVID-19.

3. Is cover available for quarantine?

If you decide to cancel your trip because you are concerned you may be quarantined in relation to COVID-19, contact your travel service providers and request a refund or credit for your unused arrangements. Our policies exclude cover for cancellation due to change of mind. If there is nothing preventing you from taking your trip, this may not be covered by the terms of the policy.

If you do travel, and are subject to a quarantine overseas, contact nib International Assistance, who will be able to offer support and guidance. Our policies can offer cover for medical expenses overseas, as well as for additional expenses, however this cover is subject to all policy terms, conditions limitations and exclusions. Depending on the circumstances, exclusions that may apply include loss arising from government regulation or intervention, or for a loss arising from failure to follow the advice of a government or official body's warning.

Cover for loss of income, Section 4 of the PDS, is only available if you suffer from an injury during your trip and you are unable to return to your full time occupation within 30 days.

4. Is cover available if I am advised by my doctor not to travel?

If you have cancel your trip, contact the providers that you have booked through, and see if you are able to obtain a refund for your arrangements.

Along with other terms, the policy includes an exclusion for you or a member of your travelling party deciding not to continue with the trip.

Our policies can offer cover if you are unfit to start or continue your trip due to being diagnosed with a sudden illness or serious injury.

You can find information about existing medical conditions here.

5. Is cover available for COVID-19 if I purchase a policy now?

No, cover under the policy is for unforeseen events. As per the information on our Travel Alerts page, we will not offer cover for travel to/from China for policies purchased from 5pm AEDT 23 January 2020. This was extended to travel to and/or from all other destinations worldwide for policies purchased after 6am AEDT 31 January 2020.

This means that we are no longer covering claims arising from ANY event related to COVID-19 for policies purchased after the relevant time however, you are more than welcome to submit a claim for our consideration.

6. Why is the cut off for COVID-19 not in the PDS?

The PDS contains the terms, conditions limitations and exclusions of the cover. When you purchase cover, the wording that is effective at the time you purchase will be the wording that any claim you submit will be considered under.

You can find our current policy wording here, for policies purchased prior to 1 August 2019 please check the PDS provided with your purchase. You can contact us if you need this sent to you again.

We don't publish an alert for every event, however, travel alerts are made to inform our travellers of current events occurring around the world which may have a significant impact on travel, such as COVID-19, and these are displayed on our home page.

We feel it is important that customers know that we consider COVID-19 to be a known event, as the cover offered by the policy is for unforeseen events.

7. What happens if a country is declared 'Do Not Travel' due to COVID-19?

Please be aware no cover is available for any event under any section of this policy should you travel to a country or region where the Australian government has issued a 'Do Not Travel' warning.

As the Australian Government has issued 'Do Not Travel' advice for China, we've removed this from the list of countries you’re able to purchase a policy for, and will continue to monitoring this situation.

If the country or region in which you currently are travelling in, or plan to travel to is declared a 'Do Not Travel' zone by the Australian government, we may be able to offer cover for your unused travel arrangements if you have to cancel your trip and are unable to receive a refund from your travel providers. This cover is subject to all policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions, including exclusions for government regulation or prohibition.

8. Why is the information not listed on your App?

We do currently have a link to our latest Travel Alerts under the 'Get Help' section of the App homepage. As we consider this important information, we are looking into making this more readily accessible.

We don’t publish an alert for every event; we consider COVID-19 to be a known event, and the cover offered by the policy is for unforeseen events.

9. Am I covered for medical due to COVID-19?

If your policy was purchased before the cut-off date, overseas medical expenses can be covered as per the policy wording, along with additional expenses for travel and accommodation.

If you become ill while travelling, contact nib International Assistance for support and guidance. If you are out of pocket for any medical treatment that you receive during your trip, we welcome you to submit a claim. All claims are assessed against the policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions based on individual circumstances.

10. How do I cancel my policy

All our policies are subject to a period within which you may cancel your policy without any penalty (the cooling-off period). Check your policy wording for details on what this period is.

How does this period work?

If you request to cancel your policy with Travel Insurance Direct within this period, we will refund your premium as long as you aren’t using your policy in any way. This means that:

  • the departure date hasn’t started;
  • you have not yet left home or started your trip (and if you purchase your policy while already overseas, to start the same day, we consider that you have started your trip);
  • you will not make any claim; and
  • you will not exercise any right under the policy.

How do I cancel my policy during this period?

If you are eligible to cancel your policy during this period, you can cancel it by:

Outside of this period, if you’re not sure what you want to do, as time is of the essence, please contact us and we can help further explain the options available to you

Customer service

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Sunday
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