Australia Wildfires

Australia Wildfires – Provider Position Statements

Last Updated:

Squaremouth’s travel insurance providers give their official position statements explaining coverage for the wildfires in Australia, which have been ongoing since October 2019 and are expected to continue through Australia’s summer season.

GeoBlue

As of January 3, 2020, at least 19 people have died, while dozens are missing, and more than 1,400 homes have been lost in the country’s wildfires, which have been burning since October.

What you need to know about your policy:

As of October 9, 2019, the event is no longer considered an unforeseen event. Coverage related to the event is not available for GeoBlue policies purchased after this date.

GeoBlue policies purchased on or prior to October 9, 2019 may provide coverage related to the event, including Trip Interruption and Lost Baggage and Personal Effects benefits.

Trip Interruption coverage for Natural Disasters:

If you cannot continue your trip, we will pay for you or your traveling companion’s return home from your current location outside the United States.

For an event to be covered under GeoBlue policies, the event must occur after a Voyager Choice or Voyager Essential policy has been purchased and meet at least one of the following requirements. Trekker Choice and Trekker Essential policies do not have interruption coverage.

  • Illness or Injury which would cause a reasonable person to delay, cancel or interrupt their Trip, we will pay for additional transportation expenses needed to reach the scheduled termination point of Your trip or to travel from the place Your trip was interrupted to the place where You can rejoin your trip.
  • You are the victim of a felonious assault during your period of coverage and you no longer can complete Your trip, we will pay for you to return home from your current location outside of the United States.
  • Due to a terrorist event or an imminent threat to personal safety, which is documented by a U.S. State Department Travel Warning, we will pay for additional transportation expenses needed to reach the scheduled termination point of Your trip or to travel from the place Your trip was interrupted to the place where You can rejoin Your trip. In the event you cannot continue your trip, we will pay for your return home from your current location outside of the United States.

Baggage & Personal Effects Coverage for Natural Disasters:

For an event to be covered under the Baggage & Personal Effects benefit within GeoBlue policies, it must be a Voyager Choice or Voyager Essential plan and meet the following requirements. Coverage is secondary to any coverage provided by a Common Carrier. Trekker Choice and Trekker Essential policies do not have Baggage & Personal Effects coverage.

  • The baggage and personal effects must be owned by the insured person.
  • You must notify the appropriate local authorities at the place the loss occurred and inform them of the value and description of Your property within 24 hours after the loss.
  • You must file written proof of loss with the Company within 90 days from the date of loss, attaching copies of airline, cruise line or Common Carrier claims forms, original police reports, passport/visa reissuance receipts, an itemization and description of lost items and their estimated value, and all receipts, credit card statements, canceled checks, photos, or other appropriate documentation as may be required.
  • The baggage and personal effects must not be items which are specifically excluded by your insurance contract with GeoBlue.

In addition to Trip Interruption and Baggage & Personal Effects Coverage, other benefits, including Emergency Medical Evacuation, may also be available for coverage related to the wildfires.

In the event of an emergency, please contact GeoBlue’s 24 Hour Emergency Assistance department as soon as reasonably possible at:
Emergency Assistance Inside U.S.: 800-257-4823 (Toll Free)
Emergency Assistance Outside U.S. (Collect Call): 610-254-8771
Emergency Assistance Email: globalhealth@geo-blue.com

In the event of a claim, please contact GeoBlue’s Claim department at claims@geo-blue.com. Alternatively, you may start your claim online through your Member Services account: https://geobluetravelinsurance.com/login/login.cfm

This information is meant to be a summarized overview of benefits in GeoBlue Voyager and GeoBlue Trekker plans that can assist those in need due to this event. Please always refer to the plan documents for specific details. If you have any questions, please contact GeoBlue at 855-481-6647. Our agents are available 24 hours per day and are happy to help.

Global Underwriters

Natural Disaster Evacuation/Repatriation – If the Plan Participant requires emergency evacuation or return of deceased remains due to a Natural Disaster, which makes his/her location uninhabitable, or, your location in the Host Country is deemed uninhabitable by the travel assistance company security personnel, the travel assistance company security will arrange and the Company will pay for evacuation from a safe departure point to the nearest safe location for the following reasons: 1) Officials of the foreign country or the embassy of the country with which the Plan Participant is a national has issued for reasons due to the natural disaster situation, a recommendation that categories of persons which include the Plan Participant should leave the foreign country; AND A Plan Participant cannot obtain commercial transportation to the nearest safe location within a time period which will enable the Plan Participant to leave the foreign country in time to avert imminent bodily harm or to comply with the time allowed to leave the foreign country pursuant to the orders of the recognized government of that foreign country. The Plan Participant must contact the travel assistance company as soon as possible after his/her Host Country issues the official disaster declaration, as delays may make safe transportation impossible. The method of transportation will be as deemed most appropriate to ensure the Plan Participant’s safety. If evacuation becomes impractical due to hostile or dangerous conditions, the travel assistance company will maintain contact with and advise the Plan Participant until evacuation becomes viable or the natural disaster situation has been resolved. Should commercial flights be available, but transportation to the airport will place the Plan Participant in imminent bodily harm, the travel assistance company shall arrange and pay for his/her secure transport to the airport. Airfare change fees are the responsibility of the Plan Participant once he/she reaches an airport where normal commercial flight is available. The Evacuation must occur within 14 days of any covered event. Benefits are only payable for arrangements made by the authorized travel assistance company. The travel assistance company shall arrange an the company will pay up to $100 per day up to a maximum of five (5) days for reasonable expenses related to lodging if the Plan Participant is delayed at a safe haven. The travel assistance company shall also arrange and the company will pay for one-way economy airfare to return the Plan Participant to his/her Home Country following an Evacuation. Economy airfare and lodging costs shall not exceed a combined single limit of $5,000.

No Benefit shall be payable if there is a U.S. Department of State Level 4 travel Advisory/Warning in effect within 30 days prior to the Plan Participant date of arrival in the host country.

Travel Assistant’s Company must make all arrangements for the Plan Participant. Services rendered without the travel assistant company’s coordination and approval is not covered. No claims for reimbursement will be accepted. If the Plan Participant is able to leave their host country by normal means, such as changing a commercial airline ticket, the travel assistant company will assist in rebooking flights or other transportation. Expenses for non-emergency transportation are the responsibility of the Plan Participant.

Emergency Evacuation Exclusions: We do not cover:

  1. loss or expense for a Non-Medical Emergency Evacuation covered reason which took place in an Excluded Country;
  2. loss or expense recoverable under any other insurance or through an employer;
  3. loss or expense arising from or attributable to:
    1. fraudulent or criminal acts committed or attempted by You;
    2. alleged violation of the laws of the country You are visiting, unless We determine such allegations to be fraudulent, or
    3. failure to maintain required documents or visas;
  4. loss or expense arising from or attributable to:
    1. debt, insolvency, business or commercial failure;
    2. the repossession of any property; or
    3. (c) Your non-compliance with a contract, license or permit;
  5. loss or expense arising from or due to liability assumed by You under any contract.

HTH Worldwide

As of January 3, 2020, at least 19 people have died, while dozens are missing, and more than 1,400 homes have been lost in the country’s wildfires, which have been burning since October.

What you need to know about your policy:

As of October 9, 2019, the wildfires are no longer considered an unforeseen event. Coverage related to the wildfires is not available for HTH TripProtector policies purchased after this date.

HTH TripProtector policies purchased on or prior to October 9, 2019 may provide coverage related to the event, including Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Trip Delay benefits.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage for Natural Disasters:

For an event related to a natural disaster to be covered under TripProtector Classic or TripProtector Preferred policies, the event must occur after a policy has been purchased and meet at least one of the following requirements. The TripProtector Economy plan does not provide coverage for natural disasters.

  • Sickness, accidental injury or death of an insured person or an insured person’s family member or traveling companion.
  • Your destination accommodations are rendered uninhabitable.
  • Inclement weather resulting in the complete cessation of travel services at the point of departure or destination for at least 48 consecutive hours.
  • You or a traveling companion being hijacked, quarantined, required to serve on a jury, subpoenaed, the victim of felonious assault during the trip; having residence made uninhabitable by fire, flood, volcano, earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster; or burglary of your residence during the trip.
  • Death or hospitalization of your host at your destination.
  • You or a family member, who are military personnel, are called to emergency duty for a natural disaster; this does not include war.

Baggage & Personal Effects Coverage for Natural Disasters:

For an event to be covered under the Baggage & Personal Effects benefit within HTH TripProtector policies, it must meet all of the following requirements. Coverage is secondary to any coverage provided by a common carrier. There will be a per article limit shown on the Confirmation of Coverage.

  • The baggage and personal effects must be owned by the insured person.
  • The police or other authority must be notified within twenty-four (24) hours in the event of theft.
  • You must file written proof of loss with the insurer within 90 days from the date of loss, attaching copies of airline, cruise line or common carrier claims forms, original police reports, passport/visa reissuance receipts, an itemization and description of lost items and their estimated value, and all receipts, credit card statements, canceled checks, photos, or other appropriate documentation as may be required.
  • The baggage and personal effects must not be items which are specifically excluded by your insurance contract with HTH Worldwide.

Travel Delay coverage for Natural Disasters:

For an event to be covered under the Trip Delay benefit within HTH TripProtector policies, it must meet the following requirements for minimum length of delay:

  • TripProtector Economy policy: 8 consecutive hours
  • TripProtector Classic policy: 6 consecutive hours
  • TripProtector Preferred policy: 6 consecutive hours

In addition to Trip Cancellation, Interruption and Baggage & Personal Effects Coverage, other benefits, including Emergency Medical Evacuation, may also be available for coverage related to the Australian wildfires.

In the event of an emergency, please contact HTH Worldwide’s 24-Hour Emergency Assistance department as soon as reasonably possible at:

  • Emergency Assistance Inside U.S.: 888-243-2358 (Toll Free)
  • Emergency Assistance Outside U.S. (Collect Call): 610-254-8771
  • Emergency Assistance Email: globalhealth@hthworldwide.com

In the event of a claim, please contact HTH Worldwide’s Claim department at 888-243-2358 or HTHclaims@hthworldwide.com

This information is meant to be a summarized overview of benefits in HTH TripProtector plans that can assist those in need due to this event. Please always refer to the plan documents for specific details. If you have any questions, please contact HTH Worldwide at 888-243-2358. Our agents are available 24 hours per day and are happy to help.

Tin Leg

Record heat in Australia has caused wildfires to break out across the country over the past few months, burning millions of acres, hundreds of homes, and killing multiple people.

What you need to know about your policy:

As of October 1, 2019, the wildfires are no longer considered an unforeseen event. Coverage related to the fires is not available for Tin Leg policies purchased after this date.

Tin Leg policies purchased prior to October 1, 2019 provide coverage related to the fires, including Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and Trip Delay benefits, however the coverage varies. Each claim will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption coverage for Natural Disasters:

In order for a wildfire to be covered under Tin Leg policies, it must occur after an Economy, Luxury, or Adventure policy has been purchased, and must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Inclement weather resulting in the complete cessation of travel services at the point of departure or destination for the following specified amounts of time:
    • Tin Leg Economy policy: 24 consecutive hours
    • Tin Leg Luxury policy: any delay or cancellation of travel
    • Tin Leg Adventure policy: any delay or cancellation of travel
  • Accommodations at your destination are made uninhabitable or inaccessible
  • Your or your traveling companion’s primary residence has been rendered uninhabitable

Travel Delay coverage for Natural Disasters:

In order for a wildfire to be covered under the Trip Delay benefit within Tin Leg policies, it must meet the following requirements for minimum length of delay:

  • Tin Leg Economy policy: 12 consecutive hours
  • Tin Leg Luxury policy: 6 consecutive hours
  • Tin Leg Adventure policy: 5 consecutive hours

In addition to Trip Cancellation and Travel Delay coverage, other benefits, including Emergency Medical and Medical Evacuation, may also be available for coverage related to the wildfires.

In the event of an emergency, please contact Tin Leg’s 24 Hour Emergency Assistance department as soon as reasonably possible at:

  • Emergency Assistance Inside US: 844-927-9265 (Toll Free)
  • Emergency Assistance Outside US (Collect Call): 001-727-264-5657
  • Emergency Assistance Email: emergency@tinleg.com

In the event of a claim, please contact Tin Leg’s Claim department at 844-240-1233 or claims@tinleg.com. Start your claim online: https://tinleg.com/claims/online

Please contact Tin Leg with any questions at 844-240-1233, we are delighted to answer any additional questions.