Qantas international flights restart: How to get travel insurance for COVID

Posted: 3 November 2021 10:30 am
News
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It's an exciting day for Australia – we can finally travel again! Here's how to get travel insurance.

Remember international travel? Only vaguely? Well that's okay, you're not alone.

Fortunately for Australia, the day has finally arrived. International travel is back, with the likes of Qantas and Emirates resuming flights for fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents.

Can I get travel insurance?

Yes. On 28 October, the Australian government removed its "Do Not Travel" warning for 162 countries. This means you can now get travel insurance if you're going to a Level 2 country, which includes the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Germany and Argentina among others.

Smartraveler graphic

What about COVID?

A handful of travel insurers have adapted to the new reality of living with COVID-19.

Several don't just cover typical travel-related woes (like the airline losing your luggage or having to pay an expensive overseas medical bill) – some now insure you for COVID-19-related expenses as well.

We've made a list of policies available.

So what COVID-related expenses can travel insurance cover?

We looked at 34 different insurance policies and found 3 partner brands offering travel insurance for international flights that include COVID-related cover. They may cover you for:

  • COVID-19 medical expenses.
  • Trip rearrangement costs if you, a fellow traveller or your host gets COVID and it impacts your trip.
  • Expenses if you're unexpectedly forced into quarantine during your trip.

Are there any other exceptions where I'll be covered?

Yes, a couple. Cover-More will allow you to amend or cancel your trip if a relative or business partner is diagnosed with COVID-19 and it's considered life-threatening.

You can also get reimbursed if you're an essential healthcare worker such as a pharmacist, nurse, doctor or paramedic and your leave is revoked due to COVID-19-related reasons.

Okay, but what if there's another government-imposed lockdown?

While it's unlikely the New South Wales and Victorian government will impose another lockdown anytime soon, if it does happen, travel insurance won't cover you.

There are a few other COVID-related situations where travel insurance is unlikely to help out. These include if:

  • You go into quarantine or self-isolation that you knew about in advance.
  • You ignore a doctor's advice that you aren't well enough to travel.
  • You contract COVID-19 on a multi-night cruise.
  • You travel to a "Do Not Travel" country.

Additionally, travel insurance won't cover PCR tests (many airlines and countries have made them a requirement). This is because insurance only covers unforeseen events, which doesn't generally include vaccinations.

"Insurance companies in the past have not covered the cost of getting a compulsory vaccination like yellow fever or for your malaria tablets when travelling to certain countries that require them," says Travel broker and Luxury Travel CEO Sandra Skelton.

"Nor have they covered the costs for Visas that maybe required for certain countries, so I cannot see them ever covering the PCR tests," Skelton added. "I think these will be something that is just considered as a cost as part of travelling."

So where can I get travel insurance?

That's where we can help. Finder has a page dedicated to travel insurers that cover COVID-19-related expenses. You can compare policies here, click through for a quote and get covered for that long-awaited trip abroad.

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