Suspension of travel insurance sales (new policies only)
Effective: 18 March 2020
In response to advice from the Australian Government for Australians not to travel overseas, Budget Direct has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the sale of domestic and international travel insurance to new customers from 18 March 2020.
We remain committed to continue providing travel insurance to Australians and this is only a temporary pause given the exceptional circumstances.
The global COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) emergency and the ensuing disruption to people’s travel plans, requires us to focus our attention on our existing customers. Existing Budget Direct travel insurance policies remain in effect.
Please refer below for Contact Details and more information on Coronavirus and what this means for your travel insurance policy.
We are currently experiencing high call volumes, so our wait times are longer than usual.
If you need to make a claim under your travel insurance policy, you can save time by lodging it online.
If you are not travelling or are not due to travel in the near future, please consider contacting us at a later date.
We thank you for your patience and understanding in these uncertain times.
Claims and emergency assistance:
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Update: Coronavirus, All Destinations
Issued: 05 February 2020 (Update: 26 March 2020)
The following update reflects our latest position regarding COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) and supersedes any previous updates. As further information becomes available, we may update, change, amend or make additions to the contents of this page.
When we refer to ‘your PDS’, we mean the Travel Insurance Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) you were issued by us when you purchased your policy.
On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019-nCoV Novel Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On 11 February 2020, the WHO announced a name for the 2019-nCoV Novel Coronavirus: COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’).
On 27 February 2020, the Prime Minister of Australia announced that the federal government was implementing a national pandemic plan to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus in Australia.
The following timeline outlines the key Coronavirus-related warnings and advices by date and country/region (as at 25 March 2020):
20 January 2020 – Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province of China – Coronavirus identified as an outbreak by Chinese authorities
24 January 2020 – Hubei Province, including Wuhan City – Do Not Travel by DFAT
30 January 2020 – All Destinations (Worldwide) – Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO
1 February 2020 – China – Do Not Travel by DFAT
27 February 2020 – All Domestic Destinations (Australia) – The Prime Minister of Australia announced implementation of a national pandemic plan to reduce the spread of Coronavirus in Australia
11 March 2020 – All Destinations (Worldwide) – COVID-19 classified as a ‘pandemic’ by the WHO
13 March 2020 – All International Destinations (Overseas) - DFAT advised all Australians to reconsider their need for overseas travel until further notice
18 March 2020 – All International Destinations (Overseas) – Do Not Travel by DFAT
What does this mean for your Travel insurance cover?
Any claims arising from or relating to the Coronavirus (e.g. flight delays, cancellation and amendment fees, overseas medical and hospital expenses) will be assessed in accordance with the applicable terms & conditions, limits and exclusions of cover outlined in your PDS, also considering the individual circumstances of each claim.
Refer to your PDS for full details.
Please be aware, the purchase date of your policy, travel departure date, destination(s), as well as relevant public warnings and travel advices, may directly impact your ability to claim under your policy.
We strongly recommend that you contact us before making any changes to your current travel arrangements.
Coronavirus related claims
Any claim, directly or indirectly arising from the Coronavirus, will be assessed in accordance with your PDS.
All International Destinations (Overseas), excluding China
- If you purchased travel insurance on/before 30 January 2020 and had already departed Australia on/before 18 March 2020, subject to the terms of your PDS, you will be covered for costs relating to overseas medical expenses and/or your return to Australia.
- If you purchased travel insurance on/before 30 January 2020 and were due to travel overseas soon after 18 March 2020, subject to the terms of your PDS, you will be covered for cancellation and amendment fees.
China, excluding Hubei Province
- If you purchased travel insurance on/before 1 February 2020 for travel to, in or through China (excluding Hubei Province), subject to the terms of your PDS, you will be covered for:
- costs relating to overseas medical expenses and/or your return to Australia if you had already departed Australia; or
- cancellation and amendment fees if you had not yet departed.
- If you purchased travel insurance after 1 February 2020 you will not be covered for travel to, in or through China.
Hubei Province, China
- If you purchased travel insurance on/before 24 January 2020 for travel to, in or through the Hubei Province, subject to the terms of your PDS, you will be covered for:
- costs relating to overseas medical expenses and/or your return to Australia if you have already departed Australia; or
- cancellation and amendment fees if you had not yet departed.
- If you purchased travel insurance after 24 January 2020 you will not be covered for travel to, in or through the Hubei Province.
What should you do?
If you are already travelling
Due to the rapid development of this outbreak and widespread media coverage, all travellers are strongly encouraged to exercise a high degree of caution and to monitor media and relevant domestic (federal, state and territory) and international government outlets for updates and travel warnings, including advice from the WHO and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website smartraveller.gov.au.
If you are currently travelling and become ill or require urgent assistance from the Budget Direct emergency assistance team, please call:
- From within Australia: 1800 444 424
- From overseas: dial the international code, then +61 7 3465 1718
Check if your travel plans may be affected by contacting your travel agent, tour operator or travel provider. If you need to change your travel arrangements, your travel agent, tour operator or travel provider should be able to assist.
If you have not yet departed
If you have not yet departed on your trip, we recommend you first contact your travel agent, tour operator or travel provider to discuss if there is any impact to your current travel arrangements and the options for altering your trip if required. Some travel providers may allow penalty-free options for amendment, cancellation and refunds of existing arrangements, so please contact them first for further details.
Before making any changes to your travel arrangements, you should:
- Speak to your travel provider to confirm if making changes to your trip will incur additional fees and charges, or if a full or partial refund may be available if you cancel some or all of your journey;
- Read all travel insurance documents that we have issued to you, including your PDS and certificate of insurance, to confirm what you are covered for; and
- Contact us before making any changes to your current travel arrangements.
You can try our online chat function (where available) or you can contact us on 1800 444 424 if you have any queries that have not been addressed above.