Letter to outbound students on insurance matters

Correspondence to outbound students (those travelling overseas on University activity) Sent: 8 February 2020

SUBJECT: Travel insurance: important Coronavirus-related changes to University-provided insurance

Dear [Student]

You are receiving this message because you have registered to a programme on Via TRM or are part of a group who has registered interest in an exchange, selective/elective placement or another University activity overseas.

IMPORTANT TRAVEL INSURANCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Allianz, the University’s travel insurance provider, has issued important information regarding a change in coverage for Coronavirus-related claims.

Any insurance policies placed after midday Thursday 30 January 2020 will be deemed to have been booked “with awareness of the Coronavirus”. For these policies, Allianz will not pay any claim “caused by, or in any way connected with, this event.” 

This means that any medical costs, cancellation or disruption to travel plans associated (even remotely) with the Coronavirus outbreak will not be covered by Allianz. 

Any policies placed before the above deadline are covered in the normal fashion. However, any changes made to an existing travel booking after the deadline will be treated as a new booking and the policy subject to the new restrictions outlined above. 

Please note this new exclusion is placed by the insurer and is outside of the University’s control. Additionally, the University is not aware of any insurer that would currently cover Coronavirus- related costs through a new insurance policy.

WHO DOES THIS IMPACT AND CONTACTS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

This change will impact:

Similar changes might also be in effect for:

  • Students travelling on outbound exchanges or other activities, who are travelling on privately purchased insurance policies or policies arranged through their overseas institution

As different types of insurance policies are involved, please refer to the table on the Contacts for Coronavirus-related changes to student travel insurance to see important information on:

  • the effective date for the change and when your insurance policy is considered as ‘placed’
  • contacts for further questions on policy coverage

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M TRAVELLING UNDER A POLICY WITH THE NEW EXCLUSION AND I EXPERIENCE COSTS RELATED TO THE CORONAVIRUS?

1) Cancellation/curtailment: if you need to change your travel plans for Coronavirus-related reasons, e.g. an outbreak or a change in MFAT’s risk rating in a region you were intending to travel to, you will be responsible for the cost of any changes. Note: an exception may be where travel was funded by the University and these cancellation costs are normally absorbed by departmental budgets.

2) Medical costs and other major direct costs related to Coronavirus normally covered by insurance: where there is no other cover available to you through public health services or other sources, the University will cover these costs.

The above arrangement only applies for students travelling on:

KEEP SAFE WHILE TRAVELLING

Everyone travelling or intending to travel on overseas University activity is reminded that the Coronavirus outbreak is a fast-moving situation. There may be further changes to travel advisories, and University and insurer position.

Please note:

  • You must monitor the travel advice on the MFAT SafeTravel site and ensure you are not travelling to any destinations, including transit stops, rated by MFAT as ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or ‘do not travel’. If a destination on your itinerary is rated as such by MFAT either before or during your travel you will be required to amend your travel plans
  • The University reserves the right to require amendment of travel plans for University activity in cases where risk is not yet reflected in MFAT advice
  • You should also follow advice for travellers on the New Zealand Ministry of Health site.

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

Refer to Contacts for Coronavirus-related changes to travel insurance for the contacts for the policy you are travelling on.

If you have further questions please complete the University Coronavirus form, noting your insurance question.

If you have concerns about travelling internationally on exchange or another University programme, you can also contact the 360 International team

The latest updates on University responses and FAQs are on the University Coronavirus update site

We recognise the importance of your overseas experience as part of your University experience and as such the University is committed to supporting you through these changes and associated uncertainty.

Rachelle Miller

Manager, Risk Office