Protesters to slow down Hong Kong airport
How do these protests impact your travel insurance?
Starting on Friday 9 August 2019 protesters have taken up residence in Hong Kong's International Airport. The protests are expected to continue through Sunday 11 August 2019.
The demonstrations are expected to slow down Hong Kong Airport, with some airlines issuing warnings to weekend travellers. In a travel advisory on its website, Cathay Pacific said that while its flights in and out of Hong Kong will be operating as normal, passengers should prepare for delays.
"Passengers should allow sufficient time for travelling to the airport, as there may be congestion on roads and public transportation. Additionally, there may be added entrance procedures at the airport [...] All customers scheduled to fly are advised to check Flight Status before proceeding to the airport."
The recent protests have caused several countries including Australia and the United States to issue government travel advisories. Earlier this week, the Australian Government's Smartraveller website raised its advisory from "Exercise normal safety precautions" to "Exercise a high degree of caution". The warning follows ongoing protests that are "unpredictable and are expected to continue". The warning advised that tourist areas have been impacted.
Will your travel insurance cover you?
If you are heading to the region you might be wondering if your travel insurance covers you for flight delays or cancellation. Well, that will depend on when you bought your policy and your insurer. Since the protests have been so widely covered, it's classed as a "known event". This means if you bought your cover after it became a known event you won't have cover. However, when exactly your insurer determines that the Hong Kong protests meet this standard is another matter.
Both CoverMore (underwritten by Zurich Australian Insurance) and Allianz Partners (which underwrites brands like Virgin Travel Insurance) have a cutoff date of having to have bought cover prior to 7 August 2019.