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Background

With the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) being an ongoing situation, Chubb continues to closely monitor guidance issued from leading organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local authorities. Chubb continues to track the progression of COVID-19 through its travel security and medical assistance partners.

On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic and expressed concerns about the alarming levels of spread and the severity. In response, most countries issued, and continue to impose, border closures, travel bans and/or travel warnings prohibiting and/or restricting travel.

Chubb continues to monitor and consider government advice and other public reporting of this situation, in order to assess policy coverage. On 19 March 2020, Safetravel (provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), issued a ‘do not travel’ advice to all New Zealanders, being the highest advice level, which continues to be in force. New Zealanders are restricted from travelling overseas indefinitely, with limited exemptions.

Advice to our customers wanting to cancel their trip

If a travel cancellation or disruption loss does occur, we recommend first considering if:

  • a refund is available from the travel agent or travel provider;
  • a travel credit/voucher is available from the travel agent or travel provider; or
  • alternate travel arrangements can be made based on existing bookings.

However, if the customer is unable to recover from the travel agent or travel provider and is insured under a Chubb Business Travel policy, then we encourage the customer to submit a claim for consideration. Please ensure that the following information is submitted with the claim:

  • original and amended itineraries; and
  • relevant documents to substantiate the remaining loss.

We will assess all claims based on their individual circumstances.

Policy Response

We encourage our customers to submit a claim for consideration as each claim received by Chubb will be investigated and assessed in accordance with the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of the policy.

Declared “foreseen circumstance”
There is no cover for trip cancellation or disruption if the policy was purchased after the customer became aware of circumstances which could lead to the cancellation or disruption of the trip (a “foreseen circumstance”). It is important that the customer considers this prior to the purchase of any new travel insurance or new travel arrangements for an existing travel policy with Chubb.

Chubb considers COVID-19 to be a “foreseen circumstance” for policies that are issued and/or travel arrangements under an existing policy that are paid for after the following dates for travel to, from or within the following areas:

  • 5:00 pm (NZDT) on 22 January 2020 for Hubei province, China;
  • 9:00 am (NZDT) on 2 February 2020 for mainland China; and
  • 4:00 pm (NZDT) on 2 March 2020 for all other destinations outside New Zealand.

Therefore, where a policy was issued and/or travel arrangements are paid for after the above dates, COVID-19 is considered a “foreseen circumstance” and as such claims for trip cancellation or disruption are unlikely to be covered by the policy. As such, please ensure that you or your client consider this prior to making any travel arrangements or purchasing a policy.

We are monitoring the roll-out and success of the vaccination program around the world. In the meantime, we note the New Zealand Government is maintaining but due to review its ‘do not travel overseas’ advice. It is still uncertain when COVID-19 will be contained to the point where the risk of further outbreak is no longer a foreseen circumstance. We also note the risk of further outbreak is likely to continue even after government travel restrictions are lifted and even if there are no local outbreaks – meaning that claims for trip cancellation and disruption will remain a “foreseen circumstance” (and so not covered under the policy) even in those circumstances.

This is further reinforced by the statement on 24 March 2021 made by Tim Grafton, Chief Executive of the Insurance Council of New Zealand:

As discussed over the last few days, border closures imposed by a government are not covered by any insurer as it is simply not possible to develop a product that accounts for the uncertainty and the level of risk this presents.” [1]

In the event that the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak ceases to be a foreseen circumstance, if a customer still does not wish to travel, Chubb may consider any cancellation of such travel to be a disinclination to travel which is not covered under the policy.

Please check your policy wording for full terms, conditions, exclusions and limits.

Directors and executives private travel:
Chubb currently excludes cover for any loss, damage, liability, Event, Bodily Injury or Sickness directly or indirectly arising from, relating to or in any way connected with COVID-19 where a covered person undertakes:

  1. Directors and Executives Private Travel; or
  2. Excluded Private Travel (being Incidental Private Travel other than non-business or private travel which is taken immediately either side of or during a business trip),

under the Chubb Business Travel policy. [2]

Enquiries and Claims

We encourage our customers to submit a claim for consideration as each claim received by Chubb will be investigated and assessed in accordance with the terms, conditions, exclusions and limits of the policy. We are monitoring the situation regularly and will revise our position as needed.

Business Travel policy holders +64 9 374 1774

 

[1] Source: Insurance Business Magazine

[2] Please see the Chubb Business Travel Policy and Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) endorsement for further details of the exclusions, including the definitions of capitalised terms.

Cover is subject to the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of the Chubb Business Travel Insurance Policy. This policy is issued and underwritten by Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited (Chubb) Company No.104656, FSP No. 35924. The information in this document does not constitute financial advice, and does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read and consider the policy wording before you make any decisions about this product. Please also see Chubb’s website for information about Chubb’s financial strength rating and Chubb’s Privacy Statement.

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