With the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, how does this affect your business trip and can it be covered by Corporate travel insurance? The impacts of the coronavirus have already been far reaching with many International trips cancelled, borders closed, flights and conferences cancelled. Unless your Corporate travel insurance policy has a specific exclusion for pandemics and epidemics, it is likely that you will be covered for cancellation of your trip.
If you do have to make a claim on your Corporate travel insurance policy due to the coronavirus, they will probably ask you to provide evidence that you have already contacted your travel provider to seek a refund or credit note. Most Corporate travel insurance policies require policyholders to take reasonable steps to minimise losses in the event of a claim.
What this means is that before submitting any claim you should first reach out to your travel providers and follow their cancellation and refund policies. The earlier you contact your travel provider, the greater your chances of reducing non-refundable costs. A few days can make a big difference, so it’s important to act quickly. After you have spoken to each provider, you should then call your travel insurance provider to explore any further claims for non-refundable costs.
If you are in need of immediate assistance or are on-trip and unsure what to do, please call your travel insurance provider. If you are a TravelCard customer currently overseas and require urgent assistance, please contact our 24/7 Global Assistance Team on reverse charge number +61 2 7909 2777.
Bookings through travel agencies or third-party websites
If your flights were booked through a travel agency or third-party website (for example Webjet or Booking.com), contact these companies directly to make changes to your booking.
Bookings directly through airline
Most airlines are giving customers who hold tickets for domestic and international travel the ability to cancel their booking and retain the value as travel credit. Please visit the airline websites directly for accurate and up-to-date information. As of 16 March, Qantas and Jetstar are offering travel credit until 31 March for travel booked up to 31 May 2020 – so it is important to contact them as soon as possible to ensure you are able to secure this credit.
Remember that most credit notes can be used on any route so if you cancel your trip to a conference in Bali and are not sure when you’ll be headed there next, that’s not necessarily a problem – credit notes can usually be used on an alternative route, for example Sydney to Melbourne, and are valid for 12 months.
To make it easier for Corporate clients to take steps to minimise their losses, provided below are links to some airlines, hotels and travel companies with their latest COVID-19 advice and refund policies.
|Flights||Hotels||Booking Sites||Travel Agency||Holiday Tours|
Air New Zealand
Stay up to date
The global situation is changing regularly and DFAT and WHO continue to update their travel warnings for affected countries and specific regions within countries. Anyone still contemplating international travel should refer to both the WHO and Smartraveller websites for the latest information.
TCA Insurance Services Pty Ltd (TCA) ABN 76 621 476 220 is an authorised representative (AR 1262773) of the Insurer, The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (Hollard) ABN 78 090 584 473 (AFSL 241436). Any advice provided by TCA in relation to the TravelCard Real-Time Insurance products and the TravelCard is general advice only.