Coronavirus – Info for our Travellers

Update: our corporate and short term travel Insurer’s (AXA XL) position on COVID-19.


On 24 March the Prime Minister of Australia announced a ban on all overseas travel, with few exceptions. This is on top of standing advice from 18 March to not travel overseas at this time. While there are still commercial options available to return to Australia, take them.

For more information and regular updates, please visit The Smart Traveller website.


AXA XL Policy Response

Hubei Province only
Current AXA XL Protect & Assist Corporate Travel Insurance policy holders can submit claims for cancellation of travel for any trips to the Hubei Province booked prior to 5:00pm on 24th January 2020 (AEST). Any claims relating to travel to the Hubei Province booked after that date will be treated as ‘foreseen’, and may not be covered.

Mainland China (excluding Hubei Province)
Current AXA XL Protect & Assist Corporate Travel Insurance policy holders can submit claims for cancellation of travel for any trips to the Mainland China (excluding Hubei Province) booked
prior to 5:00pm on 1st February 2020. (AEST). Any claims relating to travel to the Chinese mainland (excluding Hubei Province) booked after that date will be treated as ‘foreseen’, and
may not be covered.

Known Event – Worldwide
As of 5:00pm 5th of March 2020, COVID-19 is considered a ‘foreseen’ circumstance for all new AXA XL Protect & Assist Corporate Travel Insurance policies effected after this date, and/or new paid travel arrangements under existing AXA XL Protect & Assist Corporate Travel Insurance policies after this date.

Coverage for a ‘foreseen’ circumstance may be precluded from the terms of your policy.


 

What this means for Seventh-day Adventist Church:

For travel booked after 5 March 2020, AXA XL reserves the right not to pay claims for Travel Disruption when the reason for cancellation is due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 is considered by AXA XL to be a “foreseen circumstance” in relation to travel to any domestic and/or global destination regardless of any current DFAT rating (www.smarttraveller.gov.au) and regardless of any active or known COVID-19 outbreak at the destination country/region or any transit country.


COVID-19 circumstances:

Circumstances applicable to the reasonable foresee-ability of COVID-19 may include:

  • Visa or immigration restrictions due to COVID-19
  • Airline flight cancellations / hotel closures / conference centre closures linked to COVID-19
  • Cancellation of events, conferences, which are linked to COVID-19
  • Employer or company mandates preventing insured persons from travelling due to COVID-19
  • Any cancellation of an activity or conveyance intended to pre-emptively prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • The prevention of entry to any region/location intended to pre-emptively prevent the spread of COVID-19

Coverage impacted:

This limitation applies to Travel Disruption coverage – which is described in the policy as those expenses set out below which are reasonably, necessarily and additionally incurred or that are
forfeited under contract and are not otherwise recoverable by way of refund or credit for future use:

  • any deposits, frequent flyer points forfeited, and/or advance payments made for travel and accommodation expenses;
  • the unused portion of travel and accommodation expenses;
  • charges for transport on any Conveyance;
  • charges for accommodation and sustenance; or
  • any other charges, additional or forfeited Travel or Accommodation Expenses and/or out-of-pocket expenses
  • loss of Travel or Accommodation Expenses paid in advance of a proposed journey following cancellation or alteration

IMPORTANT: Note that cover for Overseas Medical and Emergency Travel Expenses arising from COVID-19 is still available regardless of the date of travel, the date travel was booked, and the destination. However this cover is only available should an Insured Person incur reasonable and necessary medical costs for hospital, surgical, diagnostic or remedial treatment given or prescribed by a Doctor as a direct result of COVID-19 (or other sickness) first diagnosed during the journey. Cover for Overseas Medical and Emergency Travel Expenses is not necessarily available if the Insured Person is merely in isolation and is not showing symptoms of COVID-19 nor has received any diagnostic treatment.


Date Travel Booking is paid is important:

Insured persons with paid bookings will be provided normal full cover regardless of their actual travel date provided their paid bookings were made as follows:

  • for travel to/from Hubei Province in China – the travel booking must have been paid prior to 24 January 2020
  • for travel to/from all other parts of mainland China – the travel booking must have been paid prior to 1 February 2020
  • for travel to/from any other destination (either domestic or international) – the travel booking must have been paid prior to or on 5 March 2020 at 5pm

Future Travel:

If an Insured Person has a valid claim for Cancellation and/or Disruption (i.e. booked and paid before the respective dates above) AXA XL will typically not consider your claim until such time as your travel is reasonably imminent. AXA XL have not specified an exact time frame but as a general rule we suggest that Insured Persons with travel booked to commence outside four (4) weeks should hold off making any claims for cancellation expenses until they are within four (4) weeks of the date of commencement of travel.


Considerations:

  • We recommend travel bookings including flights, hotels etc be made on a fully flexible or fully refundable basis until further notice unless there is no prospect of the travel being impacted by COVID-19.
  • Travel reservations can still be made provided they do not result in a contractual commitment to pay.
  • For any travel booked and paid before the dates outlined above, normal cover applies including cover for cancellation arising out of COVID-19.

To speak with someone in RMS please call us on + 61 2 9847 3375

For detailed and factual information about the actual Coronavirus itself, please visit the InternationalSOS website.

This page will be updated as and when we receive advice from our insurance providers.
Last update: 3:50pm, Monday 30th March 2020.


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