Government warning for Sri Lanka

Posted: 3 May 2019 6:47 am


Travel insurance rules continue to change as a result of the pandemic. Some information may not be accurate at this time. It’s even more important to double-check all details that matter to you before taking out cover. Please note:
    • Some policies may not be available through Finder at this time
    • It’s unlikely that your policy will cover expenses from border closures
    warningFinally, some good news! Travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again. Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance.

    Cityscape of the Downtown district of Colombo, Sri Lanka Image: Shihan Shan/Getty Images

    Will it impact your travel insurance?

    On 21 April 2019, bombs were detonated in a number of churches and hotels across Sri Lanka in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa. The attacks, which left 250 dead and another 450 or more with injuries, prompted the Australian Government to revisit the advisory status of Sri Lanka, raising it to the second highest level: Reconsider your need to travel.

    Officially that means:

    Think seriously about whether you need to travel here due to the high level of risk. If you do travel, do your research and take a range of extra safety precautions, including having contingency plans. Check that your travel insurer will cover you.


    As to whether you'd be covered by your travel insurance it will depend on a couple of things: when you booked and what you want to claim.

    As with just about all travel insurance products, if you "know" about an imminent danger such as civil unrest, a natural disaster or an undeclared pre-existing condition, then you won't be covered. So, if you were to buy a policy now for an upcoming trip to Sri Lanka, you won't get covered if something happens and you need to claim because of that "known" event. Additionally, most travel insurers won't provide you cover if you've ignored travel advisories, such as the one issued by the Australian Government.

    The tricky part comes with what happens if you bought your policy before the situation in Sri Lanka became a known event, ie, before 21 April 2019. While you will have cover for certain benefits such as medical if you were to go and there was another attack, you'll probably find that your policy has a blanket exclusion for claims for alternate transport expenses, cancellation and travel delay that are the result of an act of terrorism.

    If you do have travel to the region booked and are still planning on going, make sure you keep an eye on the advisories and check with your insurer as to whether you're covered, should the worst happen.

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