Numerous Australian travel insurers are now offering policy refunds or credits to customers that had to cancel their trip due to COVID-19 restrictions. If you had purchased a travel insurance policy before COVID-19 became a known event (around the end of January), and were either unable to take your trip or had to cut it short, you may be eligible to get your money back!
Most travel insurance policies come with a cooling-off period – typically 14 days – during which you can cancel your policy for a full refund. But if you were unable to use your policy due to COVID-19 restrictions, and you have not made any claims against your travel insurance, you may be eligible for a refund or credit even outside of the usual cooling-off period.
When the Australian government updated its travel advice for the entire world to “do not travel” on 18 March 2020, this allowed some Australians that had not yet departed the country to claim cancellation expenses through their travel insurance. If you’ve claimed for cancellation expenses, you cannot also get a refund for your insurance policy. But if you were already overseas on 18 March and your coverage stopped prematurely due to the “do not travel” warning, you may also be eligible for a partial refund or credit if you did not make any insurance claims.
Which travel insurance companies are offering refunds or credits?
Columbus Direct is now considering partial refund requests on a case-by-case basis for unused travel insurance policies as a “gesture of goodwill”. Here’s what the Columbus Direct website says:
Outside of the 19-day cooling-off period, the policy does not permit cancellation and refund as standard. However, we do understand that the current COVID-19 situation represents an exceptional set of circumstances. As such, as a gesture of goodwill, Columbus Direct and the underwriters are currently willing to consider offering a refund of the unused portion of your policy premium, excluding irrecoverable administrative and promotional costs. The detail of the partial refund that would apply to your policy is available on request and subject to no claims having been made on the policy.
Meanwhile, Travel Insurance Direct (TID), InsureandGo and Fast Cover are among the insurance providers currently offering credits for unused or partially-used policies. Note that this is not an exhaustive list.
Travel Insurance Direct is offering credits for trips that were originally due to commence by 30 September 2020. Customers must request a credit by 30 September, and redeem it towards a new policy by 30 June 2021 (the new trip can take place after this date).
InsureandGo is offering credits or deferrals to single trip and annual multi-trip policy holders. Here’s what the InsureandGo website says:
Now, we will also consider all* single trip policyholders who have not made a valid claim and can no longer travel as planned due to the impact of COVID-19 a credit for with no administration or cancellation fees applying.
For all Annual Multi-Trip policy holders who have not made a valid claim and can no longer travel as planned due to the impact of COVID-19 we will consider a deferral of their policy.
The same policy also applies for Tick Travel Insurance, which like InsureandGo, is underwritten by Mapfre Insurance Services Australia.
Fast Cover may allow you to change your travel dates or place your policy on hold, to use at a later time.
Not all insurance companies are offering this. But if you have an unused policy with another travel insurance provider, you may wish to check with them whether you’re eligible for a refund, deferral or credit.
Numerous AFF members have already successfully claimed credits or refunds for their unused travel insurance policies…
I just needed to provide detail of why we can’t travel and that it’s not because we actually have COVID (we don’t). The only thing that is a bit of a bummer is credit must be redeemed by June 30 next year but fingers crossed by then we’ll be planning overseas travel again.
After reading this thread, I just logged in to Insureandgo and discovered that I’m eligible for a $602 credit towards a future policy due to not using 8 months of my current travel insurance policy.
On a policy that cost $527 they offer a refund of $342.55. A quick calculation shows that is 65%. I think that is quite reasonable. There has to be some give and take under these terrible circumstances. I’m happy.
So, if you had written off the cost of your travel insurance policy, think again!
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Credits or refunds on unused travel insurance