Allianz Partners New Zealand is expanding the scope of its travel policies to include some coverage for epidemic and pandemic diseases, including COVID-19.
It has announced that it will cover travellers’ cancellation and medical expenses if they contract an epidemic or pandemic disease, including COVID-19. However, the general exclusion for pandemics and epidemics will remain, and no cover will be offered to policyholders who cannot, or choose not to, travel as a result of a disease outbreak.
Chief sales officer David Wallace said travel insurers are constantly reassessing the needs of customers, and will be looking to adapt accordingly. Allianz Partners is the first New Zealand insurer to rework its policy wordings to include some coverage for epidemic and pandemic diseases.
“We will soon be able to offer customers more assurance up front, so they can book their trip knowing that there will be provision to claim for cancellation, should they contract COVID-19 and can no longer travel,” Wallace said.
“We’ll be progressively releasing new policy wordings that have a more considered approach to epidemic and pandemic diseases, starting with selected domestic policies from the end of October 2020.”
Wallace said that the feature will be rolled out progressively, with Allianz Partners’ domestic policies being given priority. Customers will be able to claim medical expenses for a disease outbreak only after they commence their travel journey.
“Our intention is to roll out this new feature across many of our policies, but given the restrictions currently in place for international travel, we have prioritised the roll out for domestic policies,” Wallace commented.
“With the new policy feature, there will be provision to claim for cancellation should the policyholder contract an epidemic or pandemic disease such as COVID-19. However, at this stage we don’t intend to extend the cover for broader travel disruptions due to epidemics and pandemics.”
Wallace said that customers looking to purchase a travel insurance policy should carefully read the policy wording to check its terms, conditions and exclusions.