Coronavirus: Dunedin couple lose $11,000 on trip

An almost deserted piazza Vittorio in Turin, Italy. Photo: Getty Images
An almost deserted piazza Vittorio in Turin, Italy. Photo: Getty Images
A Dunedin couple left $11,000 out of pocket thanks to Covid-19 travel bans has urged people to check their travel insurance.

The pair were due to celebrate milestone birthdays with flights to Italy and a cruise around southern Europe. But with Italy in lockdown following the deaths of more than 800 people, they were forced to cancel their "trip of a lifetime".

The wife, who did not want to be named while the pair try to recoup more of the $28,000 trip, warned people that small-print clauses in their travel insurance might exclude trips cancelled because of government restrictions.

She said she had heard people on the radio believed they were covered.

"But it is actually the complete opposite — they are not covered."

Waiting for news on the trip they had saved hard for had been "all consuming" and made it difficult to focus at work before it was eventually called off, she said.

She has now been left disappointed and angry that she was not offered the choice to rearrange dates.

The Insurance Council of New Zealand urged people to speak to their insurer to check what they were covered for.

A media spokesman said some people who took out insurance before January might have cover, but that epidemics and pandemics were often exceptions.

However, some companies were offering restricted cover options.


They're not the only ones. Travel insurance Co. said "no cover for any covid-19-related events (travel/accom/medical/etc)" so we can't travel with effectively no insurance so had to cancel, losing > 25% on international flights. We were not covered for that either as Travel Insurance Co. also said "self-cancellation so no refund. This was prior to airlines offering credit towards later flights.

Ok, let's get some truth and perspective here. Globally, between 300,000 and 600,000 people die of flu each year, Here in New Zealand, annually, 400-500 people die of the flu. Common flu is VERY contagious, as we all well know. The first to fall are the elderly and those with underlining health problems.
This so called new virus Covid-19, has claimed the lives of some 4500 people globally, since January. What is going on here? Am I missing something, or are we being thrown into a recession and job losses by poor decisions and media hype?
The annual loss of some 300,000 lives due to the flu equates to some 50,000 people dying of the flu every 2 months. GLOBALLY.
This whole thing is smelling of the '2YK' scare......and look what that cost the economies through poor decisions, media hype and scare mongering. Years end 1999 ticked over, 2000 arrived, and we all just carried on, but many made money out of it. Just as they did regarding the Meth contamination scare.
Just wash your hands and get on with it people, stop perpetuating hype and fright. Illness and death is a fact of life, so is manipulation of populations........and economies. Or am I out of line thinking this way?

The over reaction to what is actually another flu is astounding. Think Sars, 2003, think pneumonia, think about how these viruses are spread. This is not the first, nor will it be the last flu like virus. Yet due to an unpresedented over reaction, this one is set to send us into a global recession. If we reacted this way to every flu like virus, the global economy world be crippled every month. The experts in health are saying keep 'KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON". So why are political leaders not heeding that advice? And WHY does the global media fail to report on what the Covid-19 actually is? Can someone, somewhere, PLEASE put this this into perspective and assure the global public that actually they will most likely be fine. Right now, most people are recovering from Covid-19. Just wash your jolly hands and practice some basic personal hygiene. Which based on history, is really well overdue anyway! This is NOT the end of the world people.......soon, the folly will be evident, but too late for those who have lost thier jobs and their savings. Let's see some BALANCED media reporting please.

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