Coronavirus: Ombudsman advises travellers to contact airlines, insurers

She urges travellers to buy cover despite possible restrictions

Coronavirus: Ombudsman advises travellers to contact airlines, insurers

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) causes flight cancellations and travel bans in some parts of the world, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO) Karen Stevens is urging Kiwis to consult their airline, travel agent, and insurer before they change their travel plans.

“We’ve been receiving a number of calls from people who want to change or cancel their travel plans because of the coronavirus outbreak, but they’re concerned about insurance,” Stevens said.

She advised travellers to take out insurance as soon as they book their flights and to fully understand their policy as all travel insurance policies are different.

“Most travel insurers have specified the cover they offer and its restrictions since the coronavirus became a known event in late January. The advisories will be updated as the situation changes, so keep checking,” she explained. “Even if insurers restricted cover for coronavirus, travel insurance still offers cover for other unexpected events.”

Bruce Morrison, chief executive officer of Cover-More, aired the same sentiments – adding that service desks are doing their best to accommodate the inquiries.

“[We advise travellers] to check with their airline, travel agent, or cruise operator as many of these providers are doing what they can to assist with customers’ options. They should also check with their travel insurer to ask about their options and clarify what insurance coverage they may have,” Morrison said.

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