We have received several enquiries from folks who have had to cancel their planned travel, but their insurance company denied their claim for reimbursement of accommodation or flight costs. What follows are some very basic tips in case you are considering making a claim on your insurance company.
Not all insurance policies are the same. You may have heard in the news that all insurers deny claims which are in any way related to a pandemic or epidemic. Many policies do have pandemic/ epidemic related exclusions, but not all of them do! So, is it worth checking your policy wording or PDS.
You might also want to check if your insurance company’s policy wording has been updated since you purchased your cover. If there was no pandemic exclusion in the policy when you signed up, then the insurer cannot deny for claim just because they “wrote in” a new exclusion into their policy since then.
It also matters when you bought your cover. If it was after COVID-19 pandemic became a “known event” then your insurance company may try to deny your claim even if they don’t have a pandemic exclusion. This is because insurance is meant to cover unknown/uncertain events only.
But when did COVID-19 become a “known event”? Many insurers seem to suggest this was around the end of January, but they don’t all use the same date. Another important document is the certificate of currency or policy schedule. This may have specific conditions which contradicts the PDS, or it may refer to add-ons which you might have purchased on top of the regular cover. For example, Covermore has a “Cancel For Any Reason” add-on which would come very handy if you purchased cover before 13 March 2020 – when they suspended issuing this product.
Finally, some of the insurers who covered pandemic related cancellation expenses include AIG, GIO and Budget Direct (there are a few more)
If you are in doubt about your cover, give us a call and we will be happy you look at this for you.