As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact travelers from the U.S., giving your clients the reassurance they need to continue to travel with a plan in place, and travel insurance, should they have to cancel last minute may help keep you bookings. Many tour operators are changing their cancellations policies, and Allianz Global Assistance is allowing medical and other cancellation claims for a limited time.
Allianz Global Assistance is currently allowing specific medical and cancellation claims that are typically not covered under its plans. For a limited period, the company will accommodate claims for trip cancellation and emergency medical care for customers who become ill with the coronavirus, as well as cancellation claims for customers traveling to China, South Korea, and the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy. This is a temporary action that the company hopes will help customers who become ill or who are struggling with the decision on whether to travel to these destinations.
Travel insurance claims due to known, foreseeable or expected events, epidemics or for fear of travel are typically not covered by standard travel insurance products. However, until further notice, the company will be accommodating claims for the following:
- Emergency medical care and emergency medical transportation for a customer who becomes ill with COVID-19 while on their trip.
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip.
- Non-refundable, non-transferrable trip cancellation expenses for customers who purchased their plan prior to Jan. 22, 2020 for trips that include stops in Mainland China, South Korea or the Lombardy or Veneto regions of Italy, who are departing prior to April 1, 2020.
These three allowances are being made only for claims related to COVID-19 and only for customers whose plan includes those benefits. All other plan terms, conditions and exclusions still apply.
“This is undoubtedly a difficult time for both travelers and the travel industry,” said Mike Nelson, CEO of Global Travel Insurance at Allianz Partners. “By taking these steps today, we want to support our customers in a very meaningful way. Our ultimate goal is to help both our customers and our distribution partners to navigate what we hope will be a short lived but admittedly very serious situation.”
The company will review every claim received based on the unique facts and circumstances described in the claim, and it urges customers to contact them if they need help while traveling or have questions about their policy.
Customers may also change their plan’s effective dates to cover a new or rescheduled trip. Alternatively, for a temporary period, the company is offering refunds for the cost of the customer’s travel protection plan for trips canceled by travel suppliers due to COVID-19, as long as no payable claim has been filed under that plan.
Customers should contact their travel provider prior to canceling their travel arrangements. Some airlines and other travel suppliers may allow customers to cancel their trip and receive a refund or change their dates of travel without change fees when traveling to a destination affected by COVID-19.
One such supplier is Collette, which is offering an industry-leading Travel Protection Plan that offers a full cash refund for any guest who has to cancel up to 24 hours before departure, providing flexibility should any situation arise. The company has already guaranteed more than 35 percent of its travel dates through 2022, showcasing a commitment to its guest and their plans.
“Our plan is designed knowing that life happens and that sometimes, plans change. We want to provide a worry-free experience for both you, as well as the guest,” said Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, president of Collette.
For more information, visit allianztravelinsurance.com and gocollette.com. For more updates on travel during the Coronavirus outbreak, click here. Don’t miss, “Coronavirus’ Impact on Your Peers’ Bookings” and “Novel Coronavirues Travel Questions—What to Tell Wary Travelers.”