Tens of thousands of monkeypox cases have been detected around the world as the outbreak continues to grow. Unlike COVID-19, it hasn’t closed the border, allowing people in Australia to move abroad freely. Some may wonder if their travel insurance will cover them should they contract monkeypox, especially as many insurers declined COVID-19-related claims during the height of the pandemic (although many are now opting for coronavirus coverage). problematic). Many travel insurers do not cover epidemics or losses caused by or related to epidemics. Monkeypox has yet to be officially labeled with one of these, but insurers will still treat it differently. In fact, 1 Cover, an insurance brand, told SBS News that it did not provide coverage for monkeypox claims after July 9th.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox can include fever, headache, skin rashes, and sores that form a scab before falling off, among other symptoms. Symptoms usually begin 7-14 days after exposure. It can be transmitted from person to person through close contact with wounds, body fluids, or material contaminated with the virus, such as bedding or clothing. People with the virus become infected when symptoms appear and continue until the wound heals and a new layer of skin forms underneath. Many reported cases have occurred in men who have had sex with men. But the World Health Organization (WHO), medical professionals and LGBTQI+ advocacy groups have insisted.
There is a vaccine against monkeypox and its introduction has started in Australia. In the initial phase, priority will be given to those most at risk, with further deliveries expected later this year and into 2023.
Where does monkeypox occur?
Since early May, an increase in monkeypox infections has been reported outside of western and central African countries, where the disease has long been endemic. The WHO declared the situation an international health emergency on July 23. More than 35,000 cases in 92 countries and 12 deaths have now been reported to the WHO. There have been 89 (confirmed and probable) infections in Australia.
Almost all new cases come from Europe and America.
Does travel insurance cover medical expenses related to monkeypox?
SBS News has contacted several travel insurance brands to confirm which claims related to monkeypox they will cover. These include Cover-More (which also issues policies under Flight Centre, Helloworld, NRMA Insurance, Commonwealth Bank, Virgin Australia, Malaysia Airlines). Air New Zealand, Webjet and easy travel insurance brands), NIB (with distribution partners such as Travel Insurance Direct and World Nomads), Medibank and 1 Cover. , and that claims for medical expenses arising from treatment for monkeypox are eligible in the same way as for any other medical condition, subject to the conditions set out in their policies.
Does travel insurance cover the cost of self-isolation?
SBS News also asked these brands if they would cover the cost of self-isolation if a passenger contracted monkeypox and was directed by a doctor or state health agency to self-isolate. Cover-More and Medibank said these expenses could be claimed as additional accommodation, which should match the standard of accommodation originally booked.
The NIB said it does not cover costs related to self-isolation or quarantine.
Introduction of the monkeypox vaccine in Australia has begun, with early stages prioritizing high-risk groups for vaccination. Source: AAP, EPA/Christobal Herrera-Ulashkevich
What else you should know
It’s important to read a travel insurance policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing coverage so you know exactly what’s claimable and what exclusions are excluded, said Steve Michenbaker, head of comparison site CanStar’s financial services group. For example, NIB has a general exclusion in its policy stating that it “does not cover damage due to pandemics, pandemics, or the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of a public health emergency of international concern.” The WHO later declared monkeypox. This general exclusion does not apply to medical expenses and hospital compensation, among other things. However, the NIB said this means the cost of canceling or postponing the holiday “cannot be recovered”. he said.
“If you and your travel companions or family members or business associates cover some cancellations or disruptions and some do not cover those events at all.”
Mr Mickenbaker said that PDS can be lengthy and complicated and recommended checking with the insurer before purchasing a policy if you were unsure. A traveler who contracts monkeypox and needs to make a claim should contact their insurer as soon as possible, he said. “Your policy will tell you how quickly you need to do this,” he said. He said this should be done before any costs are incurred as the insurer will explain what you are entitled to and what you need to do to ensure your claim is approved. “Keep every record you can … and any receipts for expenses incurred,” he said.
– AFP. With