coronavirus pandemic information

 

 

understand coronavirus & travel insurance

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing significant disruption to many travellers' current and future travel plans. We understand that the evolving nature may lead travellers to be unclear on what their options are. We have prepared a number of resources for our customers and other travellers to assist in navigating how coronavirus may affect their travel plans. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. 

Travel Alert: Latest Coronavirus travel insurance information.
 

 

I'M OVERSEAS AND NEED HELP

Our priority is helping you stay safe. If you're overseas see our help section. Read more.

RECOVERING
COSTS

There may be ways you can recover fees and deposits if your travel has been disrupted by the pandemic. Read more.

TRAVEL ALERT
INFO

The coronavirus situation has been constantly evolving across the world. Visit our coronavirus travel alert.

 I'M OVERSEAS AND NEED HELP

If you are currently travelling, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself and stay informed as the situation changes.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES


Our number one priority during this crisis is travellers who are overseas and in a medical emergency. Regardless of the general exclusion in our policy for pandemics and epidemics, we still encourage all travellers in an emergency medical situation to contact our Emergency Assistance team. They can provide guidance as to the next steps you can take. 

Our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team are receiving a high number of enquiries from people who are not in an emergency medical situation. If you are in an actual emergency and experience a delay when calling our Emergency Team, please do not panic. Stay on the line if you can, or send an email. If you have sent an email, it will get seen, and our team will contact you as soon as they can.

We will all get through this situation by working together and prioritising people who are sick, injured and vulnerable. Please do not contact our Emergency Assistance Team unless you or someone on your policy is overseas and in a medical emergency. 

EXTENDING MY POLICY


If you are overseas and have to stay longer due to closed borders, flight rescheduling, or other travel bans, you can extend your policy yourself online. People who have pre-existing conditions may be blocked by the system from extending their policy. Please email our customer service team on [email protected]

Please be advised that all policies, including policies which are extended, continue to have a general exclusion for claims arising from or associated with pandemics and epidemics.
 

I NEED TO GET HOME

If you're stuck overseas and need to get home, there are a number of steps you can take to both stay safe and get home as soon as possible.
 

Follow local laws
Many countries are locking down domestic and international travel, or limiting movement in local areas. Follow and understand local laws, as fines or imprisonment may be employed at this time to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Practice good hygiene and social distancing
The current advice is to wash your hands with soap and running water regularly, or to use hand sanitiser when that is not available. Avoid coming into close contact with other people.

Contact your airline
DFAT and MFAT are advising overseas travellers should return home as soon as possible, as commercial flights may not be available later. Contact your airline to see when is the earliest they can reschedule your flight home.

Leave enough time
If you are travelling soon, you may find that mobile and self-print boarding passes have been disabled, and additional screening procedures may cause delays. Make sure you have enough time to check-in at the airport at the check-in counter.

STAY UP-TO-DATE


Understand the Coronavirus
There is a lot of information and resources in relation to the Coronavirus, which includes a lot of false information about the virus. We recommend authoritative resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which provides advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak and answers frequently asked questions.

New Zealanders should visit safetravel.govt.nz. The official advice site for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas. Register your travel plans so the government can account for your safety and wellbeing. You can subscribe here to receive updates on travel advisories.

Australians should visit smartraveller.gov.au, the official advice site for Australians living and travelling overseas. You can subscribe to your destination and our news and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive latest updates on the situation as they occur.

 

understand coronavirus & travel insurance 

Below are some of the most common questions regarding Coronavirus, travel, and travel insurance. 

The information contained in these FAQs is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider these having regard to the policy document.

  • Q. What is the novel coronavirus COVID-19?
  • The COVID-19 Coronavirus is a respiratory illness caused by a novel, or new strain of coronavirus previously not identified in human beings. Symptoms range from a mild cough to severe pneumonia. Some people recover easily, while others get very sick very quickly and may become critically ill. It appears to be less severe in children and healthy people, and more severe in older people, people who smoke, and people who are immunocompromised. There is clear evidence that the virus spreads from person to person. The illness originated in China, but there are now occurrences of the novel coronavirus in over 100 countries.

  • Q. How will Coronavirus affect my travel plans?
  • There may be delays or cancellations from travel providers, such as airlines, tour operators and accommodation companies. Additionally, some countries are locking down domestic or international travel, cancelling mass gatherings or closing public facilities such as museums and cinemas. Many customers who are travelling soon may be worried about the possibility of contracting the virus while they are overseas. Other people are considering cancelling or changing their existing travel plans because of fears of disruptions, such as closures of national borders and travel bans.

  • Q. What if I want to cancel or amend my travel plans because of Coronavirus?
  • If you want to change your travel plans, we highly recommend contacting your travel providers, such as airlines, tour and accommodation companies, to check what options you have. Many providers are offering refunds, rescheduling or credit notes due to the Coronavirus. Each provider has different policies, and it may depend on when you're travelling and where you're travelling to.

  • Q. Does TINZ travel insurance policy have an exclusion regarding epidemics and pandemics?
  • Yes, all TINZ policies have a general exclusion for the threat of, likely, or actual epidemics and pandemics. This means that regardless of when you purchased your policy, you are unlikely to be covered under the policy for any claim relating to the Coronavirus. This includes (but is not limited to) situations where you decide or need to cancel your plans due to the Coronavirus, if you are quarantined or suffer travel delays due to the Coronavirus. This applies to all countries you travel to or are planning to travel to, even those which do not currently have a DFAT or MFAT travel warning advisory issued.

  • Q. Can I still make a claim if you have an exclusion in your policy?
  • If you suffer a loss, you are still entitled to lodge a claim through our online claims system. Every claim is assessed individually on a case-by-case basis by our Claims Team, and will consider the policy wording and personal circumstances. During the claims process, you can ask your Claim Manager questions regarding your claim if you are unsure of what documents you need. If, after your claim has been assessed, you are unhappy with the outcome, you can make a complaint, and will reconsider your claim in accordance to our Complaints Policy.
  • Q. What do I do if my flights have been cancelled or delayed?
  • Many major airlines have suspended or significantly reduced flights to a number of countries, including mainland China, South Korea, and Italy. Your policy is unlikely to cover claims for any costs related to the Coronavirus. However, many airlines and travel providers are providing refunds, free or low-cost rescheduling or credit notes.
  • Q. What if I contract Coronavirus?
  • There is unlikely to be cover under the policy if you contract Coronavirus (or have symptoms) as the policy has a general exclusion for claims related to pandemics and epidemics. However, if you think you may have the coronavirus, please contact our emergency assistance provider, First Assistance, for non-financial advice and assistance. You remain are entitled to lodge a claim - First Assistance can start the lodgement process for emergency medical claims - and we will consider these claims on a case-by-case basis on the policy wording and your individual circumstances.
  • Q. What if I am quarantined because of Coronavirus, either here or overseas?
  • If you are quarantined because of the Coronavirus in New Zealand/Australia and need to cancel your trip or make alternative travel arrangements, we are unlikely to be able to cover your costs due to the exclusion regarding pandemics and epidemics. You are however still entitled to lodge a claim, as all claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Q. What if I get Coronavirus while travelling in New Zealand?
  • While you are in New Zealand, we are unable to cover any domestic medical expenses. If you are New Zealand permanent resident or citizen, you will likely have access to the public healthcare system, or your private health insurance.
  • Q. Will I be covered by Reciprocal Health Agreements?
  • New Zealand has reciprocal healthcare agreements a number of countries which covers the cost of medically necessary care when New Zealanders visit those countries and visitors from these countries visit New Zealand. Reciprocal health care agreements can cover or subsidise some emergency medical costs. This is usually for urgent treatment that can't wait until you get home. Some reciprocal health care agreements can cover other costs. This can include local medical transport, medication and specialist services. Unfortunately, a reciprocal health care agreement is not a substitute for insurance, and it’s likely you’ll still have some out of pocket expenses. Our policy does not cover medical care that is covered under a reciprocal health care agreement.
  • Q. If the countries we are travelling to close their borders and do not let us in, are we covered??
  • If the countries you are travelling to close their borders because of the Coronavirus, you will not be covered for the cancellation or additional costs of your holiday. This is because we have a general exclusion for claims related to pandemics and epidemics in our policy.
  • Q. I took the policy out before Coronavirus was known so why would you not cover me?
  • The epidemic exclusion in our policy for applies to all sections of the policy, regardless of when a policy was purchased or where you are travelling to. There is no reference in the exclusion to when the policy was purchased.
  • Q. What if there is a government-issued travel alert for the country I wish to travel to? For example “Do not travel in relation to coronavirus.”
  • The policy exclusion regarding epidemics and pandemics means that no matter when you purchased your policy, you are unlikely to be covered for cancelling your trip to any destination. This applies to all countries, even those that Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has not raised a travel-warning about.
  • Q. Can I cancel my travel insurance policy if I’m not covered for Coronavirus-related claims?
  • If you don’t want your policy anymore, you can cancel your travel insurance and receive a refund provided that your policy hasn't started and you are within the cooling-off period. This is typically 14 days, or the number of days between your policy issue date and the start date of your policy if you purchased less than 14 days before travel. If you wish to cancel your policy after 14 days of purchase, then please contact us and we will consider your specific circumstances..

 

 

 RECOVERING YOUR TRAVEL COSTS

destination Get in touch with your booking agent

We recommend you contact your travel agent or travel provider regarding the best option in cancelling or altering your trip. Some booking agents are waiving cancellation or amendment fees. Certain agents are offering travel credits to be used within 12 months.

destination Contact your airline directly

Many airlines have offered refunds for travel to and from mainland China, and some are also offering refunds and waived cancellation fees to other countries in relation to Coronavirus. When you purchase a flight, an airline is responsible for getting you to your destination. All your usual consumer rights apply when you purchase domestic flights and international flights departing Australia or New Zealand.

destination Contact your accommodation provider directly

A growing number of hotel providers have issued statements that they will offer free cancellations or rescheduling in countries affected by the Coronavirus. Many providers are evolving their policy on Coronavirus daily.

destination Speak with your cruise company

With known cases of Coronavirus onboard a cruise ship, cruise lines have swiftly reacted to the outbreak and started implementing their own precautions and policies. Many cruise lines have cancelled or altered scheduled itineraries and have issued statements to the effect that guests on cancelled cruises will receive full refunds.

destination Check your details

Some airlines are proactively contacting customers about flight rearrangements. Make sure they can get in touch by ensuring your details are up-to-date in the “online account” or “manage booking” area of the airline’s website.

destination Enquire with your credit card company 

You should try to resolve any dispute with your travel service provider directly in the first instance. If that fails and you booked your travel with your credit card, you may be able to lodge a dispute for cancelled or unfulfilled services. Log into your internet banking or call your institution for instructions on how to do this.

 


Contact details

 

AIRLINE NUMBERS WAIVER
Air New Zealand 0800 737 000 Manage booking
Asiana +64 9 905 6708 Manage booking
British Airways 09 966 9777 Manage booking
Cathay Pacific 0800 441 289 Manage booking
China Airlines +64 9 256 8088 Manage booking
Emirates +64 50 836 4728 Manage booking
Etihad +61 1300 532 215 Manage booking
Hong Kong Airline 0800 040 514 [email protected] [email protected]
Japan Airways 0800-441-090 Manage booking
Jetstar +64 9975 9426. 0800 800 995 Manage booking
KLM +64 9 921 6040 Manage booking
Jetstar +64 9975 9426. 0800 800 995 Manage booking
Korean Air   Manage booking
Lufthansa +64 800 945220 Manage booking
Malaysia 0800 777 747 Manage booking
Qantas 0800 808 767 (within NZ). +64 9 3578900 (outside NZ) Manage booking
Qatar +64 9 913-5279 Manage booking
Qantas 0800 808 767 (within NZ) +64 9 3578900 (outside NZ) Manage booking
Qantas 0800 808 767 (within NZ) +64 9 3578900 (outside NZ) Manage booking
Scoot   Manage booking
Qantas 0800 808 767 (within NZ) +64 9 3578900 (outside NZ) Manage booking
Singapore +64 9 379 3209 Manage booking
Thai +64 9 377-3886. [email protected] Manage booking
Virgin Atlantic +44 (0)344 874 7747 Manage booking
Virgin Australia 0800 67 0000 Manage booking

 

what if i'm still travelling?

 

Fiji Travel  You continue to have access to our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team

If you come down with symptoms of any medical emergency overseas, including Coronavirus, we still recommend that you call our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team, First Assistance. You are still entitled to lodge a claim, as all claims are assessed on a case by case basis.

Fiji Visa New Zealand  Some countries have travel restrictions

Many airlines have offered refunds for travel to and from mainland China, and some are also offering refunds and waived cancellation fees to other countries in relation to Coronavirus. When you purchase a flight, an airline is responsible for getting you to your destination. All your usual consumer rights apply when you purchase domestic flights and international flights departing Australia or New Zealand.

Where to Go Fiji  Know your recent movements

A growing number of hotel providers have issued statements that they will offer free cancellations or rescheduling in countries affected by the Coronavirus. Many providers are evolving their policy on Coronavirus daily.

Fiji Visa New Zealand  Leave enough time

With known cases of Coronavirus onboard a cruise ship, cruise lines have swiftly reacted to the outbreak and started implementing their own precautions and policies. Many cruise lines have cancelled or altered scheduled itineraries and have issued statements to the effect that guests on cancelled cruises will receive full refunds.

Best Time to Visit Fiji  Practice good hygiene and social distancing

The current advice is to wash your hands with soap and running water regularly, or to use hand sanitiser when that is not available. Avoid coming into close contact with other people

 

stay up to date

Understand the Coronavirus. There is a lot of information and resources in relation to the Coronavirus, which includes a lot of false information about the virus. We recommend authoritative resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which provides advice to countries and individuals on measures to protect health and prevent the spread of this outbreak and answers frequently asked questions.

New Zealanders should visit safetravel.govt.nz. The official advice site for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas. Register your travel plans so the government can account for your safety and wellbeing. You can subscribe here to receive updates on travel advisories.

Australians should visit smartraveller.gov.au, the official advice site for Australians living and travelling overseas. You can subscribe to your destination and our news and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive latest updates on the situation as they occur.

The coronavirus situation has been constantly evolving across the world. Visit our coronavirus travel alert to keep up to date with the latest information from TINZ.