Information on COVID-19 in regards to travel insurance

Information for our customers and partners related to COVID-19 and insurance cover
Status: August 11 2020

Current assessment and our recommendation

Although extensive travel restrictions are currently still in place worldwide, travel restrictions are gradually being lifted, especially within the European Union. Hotels and travel agencies have reopened and air travel is possible again in more and more destinations. The security situation in many holiday countries is improving and the Austrian Foreign Ministry is downgrading the countries step by step.

If you wish to book a trip abroad, we recommend that you use the services of a travel agency or tour operator and make sure you book a package travel. This will give you the best possible protection under travel law, sound advice on all eventualities and provide you with a personal contact. In addition, package travels are insured against insolvency of the tour operator. For hotel accommodation in Austria or South Tyrol you find competent agents in the particular accommodation itself as well as in your travel agency.

Cancellation cover also in case of COVID-19 illness despite pandemic status
Due to the improved situation, we will not, as of now, classify COVID-19 as a pandemic and therefore as a reason for exclusion in cancellation and travel interruption insurance, as long as the situation remains stable and there is no renewed surge in cases (second wave of infection) and, as a result, no tightening of measures, in particular travel restrictions.
Thus, as long as the situation remains stable, full cancellation insurance and travel interruption cover will apply again. Cancellation cases in connection with COVID-19 are also covered, although COVID-19 is still classified as an epidemic or pandemic (WHO, Austrian health authorities, therefore pandemic exclusion according to the ERV Terms and Conditions for Travel Insurance will not be argued as long as the situation remains stable). This also applies to any travel interruption costs.
Here are some concrete examples to explain the cancellation cover.

Cover exists in the event that you, as the insured customer, are unable to commence the trip
– because you have been found to have an elevated temperature measured, even if a later test result is negative, or you have tested positive for COVID-19 without showing symptoms.
– if you show COVID-19 symptoms.
– because a close relative or a person living in the same household has contracted COVID-19 and your urgent presence is required.
– because a close relative in the shared household has contracted COVID-19 and you must therefore be quarantined.

However, there is no protection against cancellation if you cannot or do not want to start the travel because you are a risk patient or – even as a risk patient – you are worried about infection due to the increasing number of cases at your holiday destination. As before, our premiums do not differentiate between high-risk patients and non-risk patients, and, as before, we do not introduce any age limits. Reasons for cancellation that are causally related to the previous pandemic, such as job loss or short-time work, are not covered.

In the event of a renewed surge in cases (second wave), the finally regained travel freedoms would have to be withdrawn and travel restrictions would have to be imposed again. In that case, the pandemic exclusion according to the ERV Terms and Conditions for Travel Insurance would have to be applied again and there would be no coverage for cancellation. If service provider or tour operator cannot render services as booked due to such travel restrictions, no cancellation fees may be charged anyway.

It is expressly stated that the question of insurance cover can only be assessed on the basis of the specific point in time at which the claim has occurred. Therefore, it is decisive what, for example, the specific circumstances of “freedom to travel” and any new waves of the disease are at the time when the claim occurs and which official regulations apply.

Health insurance cover in connection with COVID-19 during the travel
Fundamentally, for products containing coverage for medical services abroad, full health insurance cover applies during the travel.

Here are some concrete examples to explain the insurance cover.
Cover is provided in the event that you, as a customer with travel insurance, during the travel contract COVID-19

– for all medical treatment costs.

– for a possible COVID-19-test in case relevant symptoms occur.

– for possible additional return travel costs.

– for possible additional cost for extended accommodation.

No coverage is provided for cost of pure quarantine accommodation.
Before each holiday travel, please pay particular attention to your state of health, if necessary – especially as a risk patient – contact your family doctor.
Not covered are costs for ‘prescribed’ prophylactic COVID-19-test as an entry- or departure requirement.
It could happen that the destination is upgraded to (partial) travel warning (level 5 or 6) during the travel, and you will have to start your journey home as soon as possible. In this case, the insurance cover will be valid for a maximum of another 14 days. In such cases, provision of emergency services may be limited. We would also like to point out that any additional costs arising from local quarantine regulations are not covered.
Not covered are costs which, for legal reasons, must be borne by the service provider or tour operator and which cannot be passed on to the traveller even in the event of non-insurance, for example if the basis of the transaction ceases to exist.

In principle, the security situation in your holiday destination must be taken into account at the start of the journey: No insurance cover is provided for travels abroad to countries with (partial) travel warning (level 5 or 6) issued by the Austrian Foreign Ministry at the time of departure. See daily updated information on the website of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and make use of their free travel-registration for travelling abroad.
Inquiries and availability.

We kindly ask you to mail all inquiries, in particular those concerning coronavirus and insurance coverage, directly to your area manager or to E-mails are usually processed by the sales team of Europäische on a daily basis.