The travel industry has suffered one of the hardest losses because of the pandemic. And although New Zealand and Australia are slowly opening due to their successful efforts against COVID-19, many Kiwis are still anxious about travelling — especially international ones. In response to this, many travel insurers have been improving their services and coverage.
Cove More sales and distribution general manager in New Zealand, Will Ashcroft strongly agrees that their business will be a critical factor in reviving the tourism industry. They can use their policies to assure Kiwis that something got their backs if the worst is to happen.
Take a look at some of the possible coverages and benefits that you can take advantage in your future domestic and international travels
Most travel insurance don’t cover epidemics or pandemics in their policies. Some companies may even go as far as indicating it as an exclusion. Instead, some companies mostly rely on government intervention clauses like border closures and travel bans, which may confuse them to cover for any loss from a pandemic.
Due to this, any claims related to pandemic — even if the airline decides to cancel the flights — aren’t honoured by insurance companies. However, this is expected to change moving forward. Writing customised COVID-19 related cover — or any kind of epidemic or pandemic — will be the priority of many insurance companies to help the travel industry to bounce back.
No matter how ready you are against COVID-19, the unexpected can still happen. Flights may be cancelled any time because of the high chance of transmission. Worst, you may contract the disease yourself, which means you have to cancel the flight yourself — not only for your health, but for others’ safety as well.
This is the lesson that most travel insurance companies will apply in their policies. They may start imposing a more flexible coverage for cancellation costs, curtailment, travel delay, missed connections, and other related additional travel expenses. As their insurer can support them when things go south, Kiwis can get encouraged to travel more.
It’s not only New Zealand who’s winning the fight against COVID-19 — several countries are also winning. Because of this, many countries are forming a travel bubble, which eases their citizens’ quarantine restrictions. One of the most important travel bubbles of New Zealand is the Trans-Tasman bubble, where most of the country’s trade and travel happens.
While travel in both countries have been slowly bouncing back, it’s far from the rate it used to be. Cove More general manager believes that providing better coverage can encourage more Kiwis to travel in Australia. In return, this can revitalise the economy faster and help trade to go back to pre-COVID rates.
To cope with the demands of COVID-19, most travel companies are expected to rewrite existing policies. This includes writing coverage inclusions and exclusions for contracting the disease. This means clearer policy for you, and clearer liability for the insurer.
This rewriting was first tested by most insurers during the SARS outbreak in 2003. However, most insurers have neglected its implementation as it didn’t pose as much of a global concern compared to COVID-19. In 2020, insurers are testing this rewriting, and are hoping to rewrite all policies moving forward.
These great inclusions and coverages don’t come cheap. While it’s apparent that your premiums will become more expensive, the question is, by how much? If the premiums skyrocket the premiums into new heights, almost no one — not even existing customers — will be willing to purchase it.
Insurers need to find a good balance between price and coverage. For now, it’s a bit early to quote fixed prices, as most insurers are still testing these policies.
More than ever, securing your travels with a great policy is important. It’s essential to have a travel insurance policy to cover you for all kinds of travel emergencies.
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