Travel Insurance which covers COVID-19?

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Hi, I'm (very) cautiously hoping that international travel will start again next year. But there is one key thing I haven't seen mentioned in the talk about vaccination rates, international borders, quarantine options etc. That is will there be travel insurance available that covers pandemic-related issues? While I'll be fully vaccinated, so not too worried about my health, I might be worried about getting stuck somewhere due to border closures or the like. So I'm wondering if anyone has heard any early noises about insurance options, maybe a policy that covers pandemics or has an option to pay an extra premium to purchase pandemic cover. I did wonder if Qantas might eventually have something in their travel insurance offering.

Thanks
 

CaptainCurtis

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Hi, I'm (very) cautiously hoping that international travel will start again next year. But there is one key thing I haven't seen mentioned in the talk about vaccination rates, international borders, quarantine options etc. That is will there be travel insurance available that covers pandemic-related issues? While I'll be fully vaccinated, so not too worried about my health, I might be worried about getting stuck somewhere due to border closures or the like. So I'm wondering if anyone has heard any early noises about insurance options, maybe a policy that covers pandemics or has an option to pay an extra premium to purchase pandemic cover. I did wonder if Qantas might eventually have something in their travel insurance offering.

Thanks
Interesting question indeed. If our government are suggesting we start to treat Covid like the flu/cold, then hopefully the insurance companies will be required to do the same.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Hi, I'm (very) cautiously hoping that international travel will start again next year. But there is one key thing I haven't seen mentioned in the talk about vaccination rates, international borders, quarantine options etc. That is will there be travel insurance available that covers pandemic-related issues? While I'll be fully vaccinated, so not too worried about my health, I might be worried about getting stuck somewhere due to border closures or the like. So I'm wondering if anyone has heard any early noises about insurance options, maybe a policy that covers pandemics or has an option to pay an extra premium to purchase pandemic cover. I did wonder if Qantas might eventually have something in their travel insurance offering.

Thanks

First couple of cabs off the rank on google: nib - Travel insurance for Coronavirus (COVID-19) related events | Get a quote today and COVID-19 Travel Insurance Benefits | Medibank

Both provide medical and repatriation in the event of contracting covid overseas. Both will cover *some* costs towards cancellation or curtailment if you are diagnosed with covid and have to isolate.

Exclusions in both of them, particularly around travelling to a country that is marked 'do not travel'.
 
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First couple of cabs off the rank on google: nib - Travel insurance for Coronavirus (COVID-19) related events | Get a quote today and COVID-19 Travel Insurance Benefits | Medibank

Both provide medical and repatriation in the event of contracting covid overseas. Both will cover *some* costs towards cancellation or curtailment if you are diagnosed with covid and have to isolate.

Exclusions in both of them, particularly around travelling to a country that is marked 'do not travel'.

Thanks for these. I had a look at both of them, the cover for getting Covid is good but they specifically exclude cover for interruptions where a government enacts restrictions. Which is probably the bigger risk, so not very helpful :(
 

MEL_Traveller

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Thanks for these. I had a look at both of them, the cover for getting Covid is good but they specifically exclude cover for interruptions where a government enacts restrictions. Which is probably the bigger risk, so not very helpful :(

Yeah. Not too sure if anyone will ever cover that. Image if Australia closed its borders with 20000 Aussies overseas. An insurance company having to pick up hotel + food for weeks/months + higher airfares if caps are introduced for 20K people would probably see premiums through the roof!
 

Kiwi_Flyer

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You're unlikely to find travel insurance that covers costs associated with government/public health actions/restrictions. Far too costly for that kind of cover to be provided.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I'm currently on an extended trip in Europe (left Australia in July) and found a reasonable policy & price with these guys: WorldTrips Travel Insurance

Covid cover may be especially useful in a few months as countries like Thailand require it as a condition of visa issuance.

Thanks! An interesting comparison between the prices charged by Aussie companies and those overseas.
 

Beatjie

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I'm currently on an extended trip in Europe (left Australia in July) and found a reasonable policy & price with these guys: WorldTrips Travel Insurance

Covid cover may be especially useful in a few months as countries like Thailand require it as a condition of visa issuance.
Hi Volandome, how did you manage to get out of Australia while the borders are closed? What don't I know? :)
 

Mattg

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I do think that once the Australian government removes the "level 4 - do not travel" classification for more countries, the travel insurance options will increase.

Besides, after over a year of almost no business, I imagine the travel insurance companies will be keen to restart sales once the time comes.
 

ethernet

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Australian travel insurance has always been grossly overpriced, and exception ridden, some multiple of comparable countries such as UK. Add in cost of flight changes that can exceed ticket cost. Car hire insurance moreso. Yearly insurance is more in the ballpark.

I doubt credit card insurance will be much chop if you tried to claim. And now you will need $$ preflight tests redone. If I sprinted the 2km walk in Changi or Malaysia, 2 or 3 scanning gates, a chance of picking something up. Gate allocation is still not adjusted to reduce spread. Airport to tarmac boarding- not my cuppa on low cost carriers. Cancelling low occupancy flights and all.

The problem is assume you need to be hospitalised, say motorcycle accident, say Bali or Thailand off an official, unlicensed driver . What if the hospital is full, or not accepting foreigners, unless they extort some multiple. For this reason I expect recovery will be slow. I would prefer a $1000 out of your own pocket first, if this gets things going.

Above all else, Airlines need one Australian airport to dump passengers. When NSW becomes '1st' , I hope other states be struck off the silly season list.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Will have to wait and see the offerings from the credit card companies. I'd like to hope they continue to match their paid counterparts. I required emergency medical care o/s last year and the underwriters for ANZ's cards were absolutely fantastic - the claim forms were waiting for me when I got back home!
 

Seat0B

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I do think that once the Australian government removes the "level 4 - do not travel" classification for more countries, the travel insurance options will increase.

Besides, after over a year of almost no business, I imagine the travel insurance companies will be keen to restart sales once the time comes.
I hope you're right @Mattg. Travel without travel insurance will be a deal breaker for the Seat family I am afraid to say - unless to one of the countries with a reciprocal medical agreement.
 

mrsterryn

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Hoping to do two trips next year
Feb to USA
Dec to UK
Pre covid we would just take out our usual year long insurance declaring all medical issues (have a few )
Has anyone applied for insurance for international travel recently ?
Has it changed much ? Cost or coverage wise ?
 

MEL_Traveller

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Hoping to do two trips next year
Feb to USA
Dec to UK
Pre covid we would just take out our usual year long insurance declaring all medical issues (have a few )
Has anyone applied for insurance for international travel recently ?
Has it changed much ? Cost or coverage wise ?

Might be too early to tell what's going to happen more generally in terms of coverage and prices, although now that Qantas has announced flights, and home Q is on the cards, I'd expect more companies to be coming out with policies in the near future.
 
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VPS

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Hoping to do two trips next year
Feb to USA
Dec to UK
Pre covid we would just take out our usual year long insurance declaring all medical issues (have a few )
Has anyone applied for insurance for international travel recently ?
Has it changed much ? Cost or coverage wise ?
 
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mrsterryn

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Matt_01

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More of a general travel insurance question as I am now in unfamiliar territory (cannot remember). Prior to Covid we had an annual multi trip family policy that covered domestic and international issued by QF and underwritten by a couple of different insurers over the time we had it. As it was continuously renewed there had not been a break in cover for around 10+ years, it was cancelled by the insurer in 2020. I have forgotten the general rules about when insurance needs to be taken out to be covered is it before the trip (say a week) or at the time of booking. As Mrs and MissM travel on rewards I tend to book family holidays about a year in advance. Just wondering if I need to start looking at insurers now or closer to the travel date. I am not wedded to QF and have read the QF offering but this seems to be single trip, does anyone know which insurers maybe offering annual multi trip insurance that includes disruptions due to covid e.g. if any one of us catch covid overseas and not allowed to board a flight. I get that government imposed rules will most likely have a general exclusion I am looking for a policy that will cover reasonable cost of accomodation and flights to return back to AU.
 

Jacques Vert

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More of a general travel insurance question as I am now in unfamiliar territory (cannot remember). Prior to Covid we had an annual multi trip family policy that covered domestic and international issued by QF and underwritten by a couple of different insurers over the time we had it. As it was continuously renewed there had not been a break in cover for around 10+ years, it was cancelled by the insurer in 2020. I have forgotten the general rules about when insurance needs to be taken out to be covered is it before the trip (say a week) or at the time of booking. As Mrs and MissM travel on rewards I tend to book family holidays about a year in advance. Just wondering if I need to start looking at insurers now or closer to the travel date. I am not wedded to QF and have read the QF offering but this seems to be single trip, does anyone know which insurers maybe offering annual multi trip insurance that includes disruptions due to covid e.g. if any one of us catch covid overseas and not allowed to board a flight. I get that government imposed rules will most likely have a general exclusion I am looking for a policy that will cover reasonable cost of accomodation and flights to return back to AU.
In regard to when to take the insurance, for an annual multi-trip, the answer partly depends on what you have pre-paid and whether you can get a refund/credit for amounts you have paid. If you are not at risk of loosing any $, then no need to purchase the insurance at this stage. However, once you expend significant, non-refundable $$$, you need to consider whether you would be happy to loose the $ or want them covered by insurance.
 

MEL_Traveller

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More of a general travel insurance question as I am now in unfamiliar territory (cannot remember). Prior to Covid we had an annual multi trip family policy that covered domestic and international issued by QF and underwritten by a couple of different insurers over the time we had it. As it was continuously renewed there had not been a break in cover for around 10+ years, it was cancelled by the insurer in 2020. I have forgotten the general rules about when insurance needs to be taken out to be covered is it before the trip (say a week) or at the time of booking. As Mrs and MissM travel on rewards I tend to book family holidays about a year in advance. Just wondering if I need to start looking at insurers now or closer to the travel date. I am not wedded to QF and have read the QF offering but this seems to be single trip, does anyone know which insurers maybe offering annual multi trip insurance that includes disruptions due to covid e.g. if any one of us catch covid overseas and not allowed to board a flight. I get that government imposed rules will most likely have a general exclusion I am looking for a policy that will cover reasonable cost of accomodation and flights to return back to AU.

There is no 'required' time to purchase insurance. You can even get cover after you have left Australia and commenced your trip

As Jaques Vert points out however, cover only starts from the time the policy is paid. Any pre-existing matters at the time the policy is paid - whether health or logistics-based - will be excluded.
 
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