Frequently Asked Questions - Overseas Medical, Cancellations/Additional Expenses

I need to cancel my trip as my employer has denied my leave request – will I be covered?

No – we do not cover cancellations if you decide not to travel due to a denial of your leave request by your employer.

Can I claim on expenses if I want to change my travel plans?

No - our policy does not cover changes to your travel plans arising from change of mind or personal preferences. However, you may be covered for changes to your trip due to an insured event, such as a medical emergency or natural disaster. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for a full list of terms.

Will I be covered for cancelling my trip due to a cyclone?

Yes – cancellations or changes due to natural disasters will be covered if the policy was purchased prior to the event. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for a full list of limits, terms, and conditions.

Will I be covered for cancelling my trip due to the death of a relative?

Yes – you may be covered for cancellation or amendment fees arising from the death of a relative under the age of 85, provided you were not aware of the likelihood of their death at the time of taking out a policy. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for a full list of limits, terms, and exclusions.

Can I claim medical/hospital expenses due to a pre-existing medical condition?

You may be covered for some pre-existing medical conditions listed in our Product Disclosure Statement, provided you meet the criteria for each condition as well as any additional terms and conditions that may apply. Please refer to our Pre-existing Medical Conditions page for more information.

Am I covered for any claims related to COVID-19?

Your policy contains a general exclusion relating to pandemics. This means there is no cover for cancellation or rearrangement costs due to COVID-19 or for medical-related expenses if you contract COVID-19. The pandemic exclusion applies to all policies regardless of when your policy was purchased or your dates of travel.

If you are overseas and need emergency medical assistance, please contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team using the details listed below:

Seniors Emergency Assistance phone: +61 2 8883 7006

Seniors Emergency Assistance email: seniors24assist@hollard.com.au

I have paid for my trip, however I now want to cancel it (for example – I am travelling to an affected area / I don’t want to travel / I am elderly / my Doctor recommended I don’t travel / I am travelling with children / I suffer from anxiety). Will my cancellation or amendment be covered under my insurance policy?

All claims for cancellation or amendment costs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy.

If the reason that you want to cancel or amend your trip arises from or relates to COVID-19, then the General Exclusion for an epidemic/pandemic applies and cover is excluded.

We do recommend that you contact your travel agent and/or travel and accommodation providers in the first instance to reschedule or seek a refund for your trip.

I’m due to travel to a destination soon where the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has advised against all but essential travel. Am I covered and what should I do?

Your policy also contains general exclusions related to all other claims if you do not follow the Government’s advice against travel to a particular country or a part of a country and/or if you do not act in a responsible way to protect yourself.

On 13 March 2020, the Government stated that it has issued this advice for two main reasons:

  • There may be a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 overseas. You may come in contact with more people than usual, including during long-haul flights and in crowded airports. Health care systems in some countries may come under strain and may not be as well-equipped as Australia’s or have the capacity to support foreigners. You may not have your normal support networks overseas.
  • Overseas travel has become more complex and unpredictable. Many countries are introducing entry or movement restrictions. These are changing often and quickly. Your travel plans may be disrupted. You may be placed in quarantine or denied entry to some countries. The Government advised that you need to think about what this might mean for your health, and your family, work or study responsibilities.

If you wish to cancel your trip, you should contact your travel agent and/or travel and accommodation providers in the first instance to reschedule or seek a refund for your trip.

We have temporarily relaxed our policy cancellation rules to provide you with the most flexibility we can offer. If you determine that our travel insurance policy does not suit your needs, you can cancel your policy for a full refund up to the date of departure if at the time of your scheduled departure your destination remains at DFAT Level 3 ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or Level 4: ‘Do not travel’.

I’m due to travel to a destination in a couple of months where the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has advised against all but essential travel. Am I covered and what should I do?

Your policy also contains general exclusions related to all other claims if you do not follow the Government’s advice against travel to a particular country or a part of a country and/or if you do not act in a responsible way to protect yourself.

We do suggest you monitor the situation closely and regularly check Smartraveller for updates on your travel destination. If the travel advice for your destination remains at DFAT Level 3 ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or Level 4: ‘Do not travel’ and you wish to cancel your travel insurance policy, please contact us and we can arrange this.

You should contact your travel agent and/or travel and accommodation providers in the first instance to reschedule or seek a refund for your trip.

We have temporarily relaxed our policy cancellation rules to provide you with the most flexibility we can offer. If you determine that our travel insurance policy does not suit your needs, you can cancel your policy for a full refund up to the date of departure if at the time of your scheduled departure your destination remains at DFAT Level 3 ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ or Level 4: ‘Do not travel’.

I’m at a destination where DFAT has advised against all but essential travel and I want to return home earlier than planned. Am I covered?

If you’re currently travelling and are having trouble getting home to Australia, please contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team using the details listed below:

Seniors Emergency Assistance phone: +61 2 8883 7006

Seniors Emergency Assistance email: seniors24assist@hollard.com.au

Please also consider contacting the Australian Government's 24-hour consular emergency centre from overseas on +61 2 6261 3305, or SMS +61 421 269 080. While they rarely offer financial assistance, they may be able to provide helpful advice regarding your individual situation.

If I do travel to a destination where DFAT had advised against all but essential travel, will I be covered?

If you travel to a destination where DFAT had advised against all but essential travel, several factors will determine whether your claim is covered.

  • If the claim arises from or relates to COVID-19, then the General Exclusion for epidemic/pandemic applies and cover is excluded; or
  • If you have not followed Government advice against travel, then your claim may be excluded, even if it arises from an event unrelated to COVID-19; or
  • If your claim arises from an event unrelated to COVID-19, then it will be assessed in accordance with the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy.

What is defined as ‘essential travel’?

DFAT doesn’t have a definition of what is ‘essential travel’ and this is generally not defined in travel insurance policies either. You will need to decide whether the travel is essential, and you will need to make an informed decision based on the risks.

We do want to let you know that our policy requires customers to follow Government advice regarding travel, to act responsibly to protect themselves, and to minimise potential claims related to the pandemic.

Our claims team will consider the advice available to you on a case by case basis and whether your actions were appropriate to avoid or minimise any potential claim under your policy.

What can I expect if I do travel to a destination where DFAT had advised against all but essential travel?

If you decide to travel anyway, it's your responsibility to reduce your risks and stay safe. The Australian Government may also be limited in how and when it can help if you get into trouble.

Here are just some of the things you may experience on your travels:

  1. Disrupted or delayed travel due to entry and movement restrictions, border closures, airport health screenings, quarantines and closure of tourist sites.
  2. Limited access to routine or critical care as foreign health care systems are coming under strain due to COVID-19.
  3. Loss of income on your return to Australia due to government requirements for self-isolation for 14 days.

Please note that cover is excluded under our policy for these circumstances.

If I can reschedule my trip with my travel provider, will you be able to change my travel insurance policy to cover me for the new dates?

Yes, we can most certainly update your travel insurance policy. As long as the destination and duration are the same, your premium won't change.

Please contact our team to arrange this.

What can I do with my policy if I’m no longer travelling and have received a full refund for my holiday?

We are happy to offer you a full refund of premium. Please contact our team to arrange this.

I am due to travel in the next couple of weeks and I have symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Can I claim for cancellation?

All claims for cancellation costs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy.

We do recommend that you contact your travel agent and/or travel and accommodation providers in the first instance to reschedule or seek a refund for your trip.

To make a claim, please visit our make a claim page.

If I am quarantined, will my policy cover loss of income?

If you’re returning to Australia, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Your policy contains a general exclusion relating to pandemics. This means there is no cover for loss of income costs due to COVID-19. The pandemic exclusion applies to all policies regardless of when your policy was purchased or your dates of travel.

What should I do before I submit a claim?

Contact your travel agent or travel provider to discuss options which may be available to you for either amending or cancelling your trip. Your travel agent or travel provider may be able to confirm any cancellation or amendment fees.

Contact your airline to confirm if they can amend or cancel your flight and if there will be any additional fees to pay.

Contact your accommodation provider to confirm if you have the option to change your accommodation dates and/or if there will be any amendment or cancellations fees.

Contact your cruise provider to confirm if your cruise has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and if your cruise company intend to offer you a full refund.

Please contact our claims team on 02 8883 7005 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday, AEST) to discuss your circumstances, prior to cancelling or amending travel plans.

To make a claim, please visit our make a claim page.

Additional information

Smart traveller coronavirus updates https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/crisis/covid-19-and-travel

World Health Organisation situation reports https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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