The below advice should be read in conjunction with the advice we issued on 4 February 2016.
We are aware of the global concerns regarding travel to areas affected by the Zika Virus and are continuing to monitor this issue in association with the relevant travel, government and health bodies.
The World Health Organisation has reviewed this health concern and stated that there should be no restrictions on travel or trade with countries areas and/or territories with Zika virus transmission.
What does that mean for travel to countries with known Zika Virus transmission?
If you are travelling to a destination where the Zika Virus is known to be transmitted we strongly suggest you make yourself aware of the safety measures to prevent mosquito bites, which include:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Use insect repellents (always use as directed).
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents)
- Use bed nets as necessary Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms
If you entered into your policy after 12noon (AEDT) Thursday 4 February 2016:
- If you already have travel booked and you are concerned about whether you should travel, we recommend that you consult your local doctor, particularly if you are pregnant. We also suggest contacting your airline, hotel and tour providers who may be able to speak with you about options.
- Our policies do not cover claims for losses caused by something that you were aware of at the time of purchasing your policy. If you entered into a policy after 12noon (AEDT) Thursday 4 February 2016 we would expect that this was done with an awareness of the Zika Virus. For these policies, we will not, to the extent permitted by law, pay any claim caused by or arising from or in any way connected with the Zika Virus.
- Limits, conditions and exclusions apply under your policy and for full details you should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement and Certificate of Insurance you received when you purchased your travel insurance.
What next steps should you take?
- To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) maintains travel advisories for more than 160 destinations overseas via its website www.smarttraveller.gov.au. DFAT’s travel advice provides accurate, up-to-date information about the risks Australians might face overseas, assisting you to make well-informed decisions about whether, when and where to travel. We recommend that you stay up-to-date with its destination specific travel advisories for the country of your destination as your travel insurance cover may be affected if you travel to high risk areas or situations.
- We will assess all claims in accordance with your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and your Certificate of Insurance. Your cover will depend on the type of plan you purchased and your particular circumstances.