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Travel insurance restrictions due to COVID-19

Photo: SunLive/ Daniel Hines.

As the Coronavirus situation continues to develop the Insurance Council of New Zealand is urging those who have purchased travel insurance to speak with their insurer to clarify what cover they may have.

‘’While some insurers continue to offer cover, all of our members have issued travel advisories specifying the cover they offer and the restrictions on this cover since this became a known event in late January," says ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton.

"Many insurers are regularly updating their advisories with additional guidelines on what cover may or may not be available under their policies specifically in relation to Coronavirus."

However, Tim stresses that it is still important to purchase travel insurance at the point of purchasing your travel for the wider cover it offers.

"Travel insurance is still available to purchase and still offers cover for a variety of unforeseen events.

"Even if cover is restricted in relation to Coronavirus, it is important to remember that travel insurance still offers cover for other unforeseen events as outlined in individual policies - such as a broken leg, lost baggage or the impacts of a significant weather event."

ICNZ says that the industry continues to monitor the Coronavirus situation closely.

It believes further updates can be expected following the New Zealand Government’s continuous review of the situation.

On Monday March 2 the New Zealand Government confirmed an extension to the travel restrictions to mainland China and Iran, and new requirements for people arriving from South Korea and Italy to self-isolate.

"As this is an evolving situation, we urge people to stay up to date - check with their travel insurer for changes and keep an eye for updates on Safe Travel, the Governments official advisory site."

"We strongly advise anyone who is concerned about their insurance cover or looking to amend their travel in response to the outbreak, to contact their travel agent or airline in their first instance or speak with their insurer before they make any changes."

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