We are closely monitoring the coronavirus 2019-nC0V outbreak.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues worldwide travel guidance and will regularly update depending on local, political, geographical and medical circumstances. The current (as of 29th January 2020) FCO advice in respect of China is as follows:
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.
Due to increasing travel restrictions and difficulty accessing medical assistance, the FCO is working to make an option available for British nationals to leave Hubei Province. This may happen quickly and with short notice. If you’re a British national in Hubei Province and need assistance, contact our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on (+44) (0)207 008 1500 to register your desire to leave before 29 January at 11am local time. You will be contacted once arrangements are confirmed.
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Business Travel Policies with Zurich Insurance
Business Travel coverage continues unchanged during the ongoing situation, with normal policy cover in place for travel to affected areas.
If you have any queries regarding policy cover please contact your insurance intermediary or usual Zurich contact.
Policies usually include cover for trip cancellation, curtailment, rearrangement, medical expenses and repatriation. Comprehensive medical assistance services and advice is also available, including pre-travel advice.
Cancellation and Curtailment
Generally, non-refundable costs from cancelled or curtailed business trips due to concern about coronavirus 2019-nCOV would not be recoverable. We are however considering each claim on its merits.
If trips are cancelled due to FCO advice not to travel, or curtailed due to FCO advice to leave, the policy would normally respond.
Medical Costs and Assistance
If a traveller is taken ill and needs assistance all medical costs would normally be covered. This would include costs of medical repatriation where agreed or arranged with the policy emergency assistance provider.
Employers’ Liability Policies with Zurich Insurance
Employers’ Liability coverage in respect of employees working abroad, including in potentially affected areas, also continues as usual.
As a matter of good practice, customers are advised to continue to monitor the advice published by the FCO, consider their staff travel policies and ensure employees are briefed as to any changes.
In general, we would advise all our customers to have in place an up to date pandemic plan covering both staff safety and business continuity concerns that may result from an epidemic / pandemic event.
For more information on this topic, please get in touch with your local Zurich contact.