The following information concerns the ongoing strike action by Qantas workers up to and including the cancellation of all Qantas domestic and international flights effective 8pm (NZDT) on Saturday 29 October 2011. This applies to travel insurance policies issued prior to 13 October 2011.
Please note: The strike action event that is the subject of this advisory concluded midnight 1 November 2011 with the re-commencement of all Qantas flights. For all policies issued after this time, and subject to your policy wording, any future strike action will be considered a new event and a further advisory will be issued.
We will assess all claims in accordance with your Policy Wording and your cover will depend on the type of plan you purchased and your particular circumstances.
What do you need to know about your policy?
If you are currently travelling:
- If you have started your journey and your transport is delayed or cancelled due to the strikes, there is provision to claim for reasonable additional food, accommodation and travel expenses. You must first take advantage of all compensation provided by Qantas, and any such compensation will be deducted from any settlement should your claim be accepted.
- Limits apply under your policy, and for full details you should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement you received when you purchased your travel insurance.
- There is no provision to claim under your policy for cancellation or rearrangement expenses for the utilised portions of your travel arrangements or if they are operating as scheduled.
If you have not yet departed:
- If you have not yet departed, your policy includes cover for cancellation or the rearrangement of your journey (whichever is less), or the unused portions of your journey, if your pre-booked travel arrangements are cancelled, delayed or rescheduled by the strikes.
- For all policies with a Cancellation benefit, if you have pre-booked travel arrangements and it is more cost effective to purchase a new airline ticket with an alternative carrier than cancelling your travel arrangements, there is cover to do this. You must take advantage of the compensation, reimbursement or rescheduling provided by Qantas before undertaking the new arrangements.
- We recommend you contact your travel agent or travel provider regarding the best option in altering your trip. Some travel providers may provide penalty free options to amend travel arrangements, and we recommend you contact them for further details.
- All travel insurance policies provide cover for unforeseen and unexpected circumstances only. Due to the extensive media coverage of the strike action by Qantas employees, there is no cover for any expenses relating to the strikes for policies issued on or after 13 October 2011. All customers regardless of the purchase date of their policy are welcome to submit a claim for consideration.
What next steps should you take?
- Any compensation and/or refunds you receive from Qantas for transport, food or accommodation will be deducted from any settlement, if your claim is accepted. Please refer to the Qantas website for further information: http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/disruptions/global/en.
- You should take all reasonable steps to minimise your expenses and this includes rearranging your journey where possible. Re-arrangements to your journey should be consistent with the type and standard of arrangements you originally made. For example if you have been using two star or budget accommodation on your trip to date, then we advise that the replacement accommodation you seek should be of a similar standard.
- Please submit your travel insurance claim with relevant supporting documentation.
- We will assess your claim under the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy. If you have a Cancellation only policy, your policy does not include cover for any additional expenses. If you have a Budget policy, please refer to your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the precise benefits covered.
- You will need to submit all receipts for any additional transport, food or accommodation expenses. If you are claiming cancellation or additional expenses you will need to submit all documents showing what your original planned pre-paid arrangements were, along with any receipts and documents showing your new arrangements, and advice from the travel provider indicating the non-refundable portion of the journey.
- Finally, to help New Zealanders avoid difficulties overseas, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) maintains travel advisories for more than 160 destinations overseas via its website www.safetravel.govt.nz. MFAT’s travel advice provides accurate, up-to-date information about the risks New Zealanders 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.
If you have any questions or queries, please contact our Allianz Global Assistance Information Hotline on 0800 574 904.