Hong Kong protests: Will travel insurance cover disrupted plans?

Thousands of Kiwis will potentially be affected by protests which continue to disrupt travellers in Hong Kong, which could be seen as a reminder to book travel insurance as early as possible.

Allianz Partners NZ says if you booked your travel insurance after they issued their travel advisory in relation to the Hong Kong protests on August 6, then it's unlikely you will be covered, as the company "does not cover claims for losses caused by something that you were aware of at the time of purchasing your policy".

You can't upgrade your accommodation when your insurance company starts paying for it.
You can't upgrade your accommodation when your insurance company starts paying for it. Photo credit: Getty Images/Newshub.

"A travel advisory is an official warning statement issued by an insurance company to provide information about the safety of the destination you are travelling to or visiting. The purpose is to enable travellers to make an informed decision about a particular travel destination, and to help travellers prepare adequately for what may be encountered on their trip," the company said.


If you purchased your travel insurance before Tuesday, August 6:

  • You are more than likely covered, but there are quite specific terms - including what time of day on August 6 you purchased the insurance cover.
  • If your return to New Zealand is delayed as a result of these protests, your insurance policy will likely be extended to cover you until you do return.
  • Claims for additional travel, accommodation and meal expenses may be covered, if additional costs were incurred due to the protest activty.
  • Any claims for accommodation must be in-line with the standard of accommodation before your trip was affected. For example, if you are staying in three-star accommodation up until the day of disruption, any expenses claimed for accommodation after that must be of the same three-star standard. 
  • Receipts, receipts, receipts: Keep any and all receipts for additional transport, food or accommodation expenses, as you'll need them to get your money back. 
  • If you have not yet departed and your travel arrangements are cancelled, delayed or rescheduled - it's likely you'll be able to make a claim.
  • Inform your travel agent and insurance company as soon as your plans are affected.

If you purchased your travel insurance after Tuesday, August 6:

Sorry, it's not good news. If you enter into a policy after a travel advisory has been issued by an insurance company, it's unlikely any claims caused by or connected with this event will be covered.

Allianz Partners NZ advises people to take out insurance the same time they book their trip to be covered from that moment onwards.

Make sure you stay up to date with any advisories from your insurance company and from Safetravel.govt.nz.