3 January 2020
Since November 2019, active bush fires have been burning throughout Australia. The bush fires have resulted in tragic loss of life, as well as damage to land and dwellings and road closures across Australia. If you are travelling near the affected areas, we recommend that you contact family and friends to confirm you’re safe.We recommend customers follow the news and listen to the instructions of local authorities.
As a general guide, we suggest that impacted travellers check their travel insurance Policy Wording regarding cancellation, travel delay, missed connection/additional travel expenses and curtailment, as these will provide useful assistance around the cover under your policy.
How will your travel insurance policy respond to this situation?
Your policy provides a number of benefits, conditions, limits and exclusions that may be relevant to your travel plans. Your cover will depend on the type of plan you purchased and your circumstances. We will assess all claims in accordance with your Policy Wording and your Certificate of Insurance. Your policy will only respond to this event if you are directly impacted. There is no cover as a result of deciding not to travel where you are not directly impacted.
If you entered into a policy before 2pm (NZT) Friday 3rd January 2020:
If you are currently travelling:
It is always our priority to assist our customers where possible and within our ability to do so. If you are currently travelling, the following sections of your Policy Wording will provide guidance around the cover your policy provides:
- Cancellation – if your flight is delayed, cancelled or rescheduled and this causes you to miss your pre-paid travel arrangements, you may be able to claim for your pre-paid travel expenses as per the limits outlined in your Policy Wording.
- Additional expenses – if your journey is disrupted as result of the bush fires, you may be able to claim the cost of your necessary and reasonable additional travel and accommodation expenses. Cover may extend to include meals depending on the limits outlined in your Policy Wording.
- Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply under your policy. For the full details, you should refer to the Policy Wording and Certificate of Insurance you received when you purchased your travel insurance.
If you have not yet departed:
- If your pre-booked travel arrangements are cancelled, delayed or rescheduled because of bush fires, you may be able to make a claim for rearrangement of your journey. Please refer to your Policy Wording for the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply.
- If your travel arrangements have been affected, contact your travel agent or travel provider regarding the best option in altering your trip. Some travel providers may provide penalty free options to amend travel arrangements and they should be able to provide further details.
What next steps should you take?
- You should try to minimise your expenses including rearranging your journey where possible. If you have been using, for example, two-star accommodation on your trip to date, then any replacement accommodation should be of a similar standard.
- Keep all receipts for any additional transport, food or accommodation expenses. If you are claiming cancellation or additional expenses you will need to submit documents showing what your original planned pre-paid arrangements were, along with any receipts and documents showing your new arrangements, and advice from the travel provider indicating the non-refundable portion of the journey.
If you entered into a policy after 2pm (NZT) Friday 3rd January 2020:
- We would expect that this was done with an awareness of the bush fires. For these policies, we will not pay any claim caused by or in any way connected with this event. Our policies do not cover claims for losses caused by something that you were aware, or which you ought to have been aware of, of at the time of purchasing your policy.
How to contact us
- If you have any general queries or specific questions about how your policy will respond to claims arising from the bush fires, please contact Worldcare on 0800 553 550.
- To make a claim visit our website www.claimmanager.co.nz
- We will publish this and any updated travel insurance advisories on our website: www.allianzpartners.co.nz