Smartraveller now raised ALL overseas travel alert

does the Australian consumer law notcome into play here???
Several overseas accommodation providers were already offering refunds due to the pandemic. Now that it has been raised by our govt. surely they are obligated to refund?

I am definitely not a legal expert, but how did the Australian consumer law comes into play? LE will make "alternative arrangements" (it's not clear what those are on the website) for people who legally cannot enter the country of destination for the trip or to areas that have a "do not travel" alert from AU govt. In other cases, LE will argue they have delivered the product to you, but you just decided not to take the trip due to a fear of coronavirus rather than a failure of providing service.

I totally understand that's not people have signed up to, but it's no different to the cruise company: Yes, some are offering refunds due to goodwill, but I don't see a legal requirement for them to issue a refund for cruise that are scheduled to depart.

I would say it will be an uphill battle given most insurance company won't cover anything below the "do not travel" alert.
 
I am definitely not a legal expert, but how did the Australian consumer law comes into play? LE will make "alternative arrangements" (it's not clear what those are on the website) for people who legally cannot enter the country of destination for the trip or to areas that have a "do not travel" alert from AU govt. In other cases, LE will argue they have delivered the product to you, but you just decided not to take the trip due to a fear of coronavirus rather than a failure of providing service.

I totally understand that's not people have signed up to, but it's no different to the cruise company: Yes, some are offering refunds due to goodwill, but I don't see a legal requirement for them to issue a refund for cruise that are scheduled to depart.

I would say it will be an uphill battle given most insurance company won't cover anything below the "do not travel" alert.

Fair points, and I by no means are a lawyer. Hence my question to this community - perhaps there is someone who may be (a lot) more qualified than me to answer this.

My understanding is, that when you purchase something in good faith, that we are protected from unrealistic, or certain 'exchange' policies that may be unlawful - based off the law. I'm also basing this decision off the Choice.com article:

Getting your money back on accommodation in a pandemic
Your rights for accommodation bookings are covered by Australian Consumer Law and you have access to consumer guarantees, the same as for any other goods or services. Booking sites generally have their own terms and conditions and if you used a booking site, you should deal with them, not the end-point service provider. The booking site should still be subject to Australian Consumer Law.

I take from that, due to the extreme (pandemic) situation we all face, that these companies (LE) that have a strict cancellation policy need to look at the waiver of their cancellation policies as most travellers will now be uninsurable, and therefore the service/package they bought (in good faith) is now risky, and combined with the new warnings, unrealistic to expect customers to be able to get what they originally booked.
 
I totally understand that's not people have signed up to, but it's no different to the cruise company: Yes, some are offering refunds due to goodwill, but I don't see a legal requirement for them to issue a refund for cruise that are scheduled to depart.

I would say it will be an uphill battle given most insurance company won't cover anything below the "do not travel" alert.

I don't get it. I mean...I don't get the reasoning. (except they're trying to protect themselves.)
I'm with Insure and Go. Have a multi $10x K holiday to Europe.
Am going to cancel. Can't see it improving dramatically by June 2, even though that's 10 weeks away, and can't see myself relaxing on a dozen trains, planes and automobiles, not to mention a dozen hotel rooms.
HOWEVER - I'm devasted to cancel, because I have a good 30% non refundable early bird bookings. Including many inter continental flights.
This means - if insurance co won't cover anything below the do not travel alert, I'm nearly forced into going, else lose so much money. (and AM covered for virus related things as an early insurance purchase), but then could say the risk of a claim is SO much higher, due to probablility of catching the virus in France, Germany,Italy (assuming it's open in July) - and so I have to go and expose myself to the risk. (It'snot like I'm staying in my hotel room for 8 weeks). Surely, by being 'forced to go' due to the worry of losing the paid accom etc, I'm not taking my own due diligence in trying to circumvent a claim.....THAT'S bizarre. And THATS what I don't understand.
 
FWIW, I have been on hold to Qantas for 3 and a half hours now. Understandable... obviously due to the current circumstances.
Being a Bronze, I feel like every-time I get somewhat close to being answered, a platinum rings! hahah

Obviously all call centres are under the pump massively. We do have an award booking with SIA, and are about to call them to cancel.
It will be interesting (or not) to see how long we wait for SIA to respond.
Will report back.
 
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Just received this in an email from LE.

Contacting us
Due to the unprecedented high number of calls we’re receiving, we advise that you avoid contacting our customer service team by phone, as we will not be able to process your request in a timely manner. Given the urgency involved, we must prioritise those customers who have an upcoming booking.

Changing your travel dates
As your booking is more than 45 days from today, you are entitled to change your dates free of charge (subject to availability and seasonal surcharges). You are able do that on our website by clicking here. Please note that this option is unfortunately not available for flights, as each airline has their own change and cancellation policies and associated fees. If there is a flight associated with your booking, please email us on [email protected] and we will prioritise responses by travel date.

We understand this is a stressful time for our customers with travel bookings, and we thank you sincerely for your understanding and patience.
 
Had a win - for us personally. After a good 4 hours on hold with QFF (bronze) I was able to change our flights and secure F flights MEL - DXB - MEL
We will wear the other costs ourselves. L
 
Agreed. However, I don't see any issue with calling the accomodation providers directly and seeing if they are willing to waive any fees/offer full refunds.
Travel Insurance is a different ball game. From my understanding, a lot of providers will not allow/reject cancellation claims as the warning is only level 3 - not "Do not travel" (level 4).
For me personally, my insurer (SCTI) does not cover any cancellation costs now that COVID-19 is a pandemic.

I'm hoping now that the non refundable accomodation bookings we made will offer refunds now that the Aust Gov has raised to level 3. Time will tell. Ill report back.

FWIW, we are now looking at cancelling our Thailand and Singapore part of our holiday (due to depart 11th April) and just doing Dubai. We know that our TI wont cover any medical now that the alert from Smartraveller is at level 3. A risk we are willing to take (both youngish - 33 and healthy).
We're travelling to Singapore and Thailand a couple.of weeks after your dates, haven't changed anything at the moment, but will be watching closely.

As it stands now, our Travel Insurance provider will not accept a cancellation claim as DFAT have not issued any Do Not Travel earnings for those countries. But they also will not payout any claims as the government has now issued a warning. What a rort.
 
We're travelling to Singapore and Thailand a couple.of weeks after your dates, haven't changed anything at the moment, but will be watching closely.

As it stands now, our Travel Insurance provider will not accept a cancellation claim as DFAT have not issued any Do Not Travel earnings for those countries. But they also will not payout any claims as the government has now issued a warning. What a rort.

Who are you with? This is what Insureandgo just posted on FB. (I'm not Cheryl btw) Insure and go cover for pandemics.


Good morning Cheryl, that is not completely correct. (Cheryl was saying they would not be covered for Covid even if they'd bought before the cutoff date because the level had now gone to level 3)

If you bought your policy before the cut-off date, 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.

For example, if you travel to a Level 3 country, you will not be covered for cancellation but you may be covered for other claimable events, even if the claim is a direct result of the coronavirus.

If this is still not clear, please contact the assistance team at: [email protected].

Michelle
 
Who are you with? This is what Insureandgo just posted on FB. (I'm not Cheryl btw) Insure and go cover for pandemics.


Good morning Cheryl, that is not completely correct. (Cheryl was saying they would not be covered for Covid even if they'd bought before the cutoff date because the level had now gone to level 3)

If you bought your policy before the cut-off date, 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.

For example, if you travel to a Level 3 country, you will not be covered for cancellation but you may be covered for other claimable events, even if the claim is a direct result of the coronavirus.

If this is still not clear, please contact the assistance team at: [email protected].

Michelle

We're with Chubb who also resell as a few other brands I think
 
We're with Chubb who also resell as a few other brands I think
There is a drop down list here in this article from Choice of whether companies will cover you

If your Insurance was originally prepared to refund cancellation for a Level 4 for Covid, (ie you were covered for it) and you travel on a level 3 then your cover is hasn't changed.
 
There is a drop down list here in this article from Choice of whether companies will cover you

If your Insurance was originally prepared to refund cancellation for a Level 4 for Covid, (ie you were covered for it) and you travel on a level 3 then your cover is hasn't changed.

Its not the level 3/4 issue that's my concern. That is clear cut and depends on DFAT making the call. It's that the Government has now issued a declaration against non-essential travel.

Given this Government declaration, there is a now a General Exclusion event at play that means they can exclude any claims on this basis.
so If DFAT keeps our destination(s) at level 3 but we cancel because of the Government's guidance, we cannot claim cancellation. So its almost as if the insurance agency is encouraging us to disregards the governments warning. I've emailed them about this and await their reply.
 
Its not the level 3/4 issue that's my concern. That is clear cut and depends on DFAT making the call. It's that the Government has now issued a declaration against non-essential travel.

Given this Government declaration, there is a now a General Exclusion event at play that means they can exclude any claims on this basis.
so If DFAT keeps our destination(s) at level 3 but we cancel because of the Government's guidance, we cannot claim cancellation. So its almost as if the insurance agency is encouraging us to disregards the governments warning. I've emailed them about this and await their reply.
Level 3 doesn't have any impact on your level of cover as long as you were covered previously. At least on our policy

From FB Insure and go.
If you purchased your policy prior to the cut-off date, 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. Your destination(s) needs to be a status 4 (do not travel) by DFAT to be a claimable cancellation event. If this is still not clear, please email assistance at [email protected].

Michelle
 
Level 3 doesn't have any impact on your level of cover as long as you were covered previously. At least on our policy

From FB Insure and go.
If you purchased your policy prior to the cut-off date, 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. Your destination(s) needs to be a status 4 (do not travel) by DFAT to be a claimable cancellation event. If this is still not clear, please email assistance at [email protected].

Michelle
I understand

If we cancel now, there is no claim because DFAT has not made it level 4. But the Govt has made a declaration of non essential travel to be avoided. So if we cancel due to this then our insurer will say no claim as it's not level 4 yet. So they are basically telling us to ignore the government directive?
 
I understand

If we cancel now, there is no claim because DFAT has not made it level 4. But the Govt has made a declaration of non essential travel to be avoided. So if we cancel due to this then our insurer will say no claim as it's not level 4 yet. So they are basically telling us to ignore the government directive?
I totally get your point and have tried hashing this out with our insurance. It all seems counter intuitive to me too. The thing is that level 3 is on for a number of countries permanently but we still go there. I’d get it in an email from them that the Level 3 doesn’t actually change anything at all with regards to previous level of cover. .
 

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