Coronavirus Affecting World Travel


The Coronavirus is the current story affecting world travel and in particular the health of those travelling to or from China. Gow-Gates has an experienced travel team which is readily available to answer travel related questions regarding this outbreak and your travel plans.

Similar to the previous large virus outbreaks, (SARS), the Coronavirus will eventually settle or a medical solution will be developed to reduce or eliminate the risk to humans.

Questions regarding the extent of travel insurance cover and Coronavirus are front and centre for those looking to travel or have already booked travel to various locations around the globe especially China.

Will my travel insurance cover my non-refundable costs already paid for my trip if flights are cancelled due to government advice not to travel to China or any other part of the world?

In general, if travel expenses (e.g. Airfares, accommodation, tickets for major attractions etc. ) were booked and paid for prior to any travel warnings declared by DFAT to “Do Not Travel“ to these affected areas, there is a good chance that most travel policies will respond to your claim to recover non-refundable expenses paid to travel and accommodation providers.

In the first instance you should always seek advice on potential refunds from the travel agent or travel provider where you made your booking.

If medical treatment is required for symptoms of Coronavirus whilst overseas, you may not be covered if you are travelling to countries that are affected by the virus and certainly no cover will be provided if there is a “Do not Travel” warning posted by DFAT.

With the ambiguity around the spread of the virus, it is worth noting that as the “Do Not Travel” warning is placed on China, this might be placed on other affected areas. Insurance and obtaining insurance cover will change. This could affect business or leisure travel plans as we head closer to the end of the financial year and winter holiday period.

As with all insurances, you should read terms and conditions of cover before purchasing a travel insurance policy or talk to your Insurance Broker for advice on the appropriate Travel Insurance policy.

Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers advises that persons should not act on the material contained in this article as the items are of a general nature only and may be misinterpreted. We therefore recommend that advice be sought before acting in these areas.

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