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Coronavirus, RAT and PCR tests while overseas

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Coronavirus, RAT and PCR tests while overseas

Travellers may experience Coronavirus before they travel, or while overseas. It may leave many travel plans in tatters, but there may be cover if you contract COVID-19 while on your travels.

What you need to know about supporting evidence for Coronavirus related travel insurance claims you may make

Depending on your policy, you may be required to provide documentation to support the circumstances of your claim. The type of documentation you are able to provide may vary and are often assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Information you supply if you contract Coronavirus before you go may include:

• PCR Test demonstrating that at the time you were due to travel, you had an active case of COVID-19;
• Proof you were subject to mandatory isolation at the time you were due to travel due to a registered RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) result;
• Letter from a medical practitioner confirming you are medically unfit to travel due to COVID.

Don’t forget to contact your travel service providers as well, as you’ll also need to demonstrate that you have requested to refund or reschedule your arrangements, and what your out-of-pocket costs are.

I’m overseas and a doctor won’t come to my hotel to perform a PCR test – what do I do now?

First of all – if you have travel insurance, contact your emergency assistance provider as they may be able to help.

When it comes to evidence for any claim you may make, the type of evidence required can vary. You should consider:

• It’s always best to obtain as much information as you can to support any potential claim, including any efforts and records of contacts you’ve made to get medical assistance.
• Depending on the scenario, a Rapid Antigen Test may be sufficient, however, in order to confirm the facts of your claim, your travel insurance provider may look at what is reasonable in the situation and may need additional information.

You should also adhere to applicable government advice and register the results of any positive Rapid Antigen Test as required.

How do I prepare myself ahead of travelling for a possible COVID-19 diagnosis whilst overseas?

Planning is the key to being better prepared for travelling while COVID-19 continues to impact travel. Knowing what you’re covered for (if you have travel insurance), what to do and who to contact in the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis during your trip will help navigate these potentially new situations for many travellers.

Here are a few tips that may assist you: 

Before you go 

• Research the government requirements around a positive COVID-19 test at the destinations you intend to visit: No two countries are alike, and neither are their rules around dealing with COVID cases. Some countries may require hospitalisation if you test positive to COVID while travelling to or through them, regardless of whether or not you have symptoms. It’s important that you know if there are any quarantine or testing requirements on both entry and exit from where you're travelling, as well as the costs.
• Understand your travel insurance policy and its benefit limits: make sure you know the benefit limits and exclusions and what they are and if you’ve purchased the right level of cover for you.
• Budget for a positive COVID-19 diagnosis: We don’t say this to instil fear, but the chances of contracting COVID-19 may be higher when travelling when you’re out exploring, which could mean some unexpected costs that you’re not prepared or covered for (if you’ve purchase a travel insurance policy). It’s always a good idea to keep some reserves for last minute unexpected costs.

On trip

Negotiate with your airline or travel provider: If you need to make changes to a flight or your accommodation, even at the last minute, don’t delay in speaking with your airline or provider.  If you can’t continue with your planned arrangements due to a positive diagnosis, simply not showing up could mean you forfeit your booking or incur additional fees when you may have been able to move your dates or times at no or minimal cost. If you booked through a travel agent, they may be able to assist you with this, too. 

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