Coronavirus – What You Need To Know With The DFAT Update

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has now raised the level of travel advice for mainland China to ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’.

Professor Allan Manning has written in his blog that ‘With this increase it means that many travellers are able to claim under their travel insurance policies* if they are/were going to travel to China and elect to cancel their trip or other options that may be able to them.

*All travel policies are different and we encourage you to contact your Account Manager to confirm if this applies to you.

The increase in the travel advice also means that should travellers elect to STILL travel even with the ‘Do Not Travel’ warning in place, some policies contains Exclusions for acting against Travel Warnings.’

One such example is:

No cover for medical and additional expenses incurred due to the novel coronavirus

No cover for any evacuation or detention costs if you need to leave China and then are unable to complete your journey due to travel restrictions or any other reason related to novel coronavirus

Insured events occurring which are unrelated to novel coronavirus are covered as per the terms and conditions of the policy however the Australian government have advised you must leave China as soon as possible by commercial means. If you delay your departure, the policy does not respond to additional expenses incurred


Travel insurance provides cover for unforeseen events only.

Most policies will not provide any cover for amendment or cancellation costs for policies issued on or after 2nd February 2020 as the situation in China is no longer deemed an unforeseen event.

There are a number of updates coming through all the time regarding the virus and readers should stay up to date through the Australian Government Department of Health Website and Smart Traveller.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact McKenzie Ross today.

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