Disclaimer: The following should be taken as general information only, and does not constitute expert advice. Examples are for illustration purposes only and Sounds Australia does not endorse one insurance product over another.
When travelling globally to perform, there are four types of insurance you need to consider:
1. PUBLIC LIABILITY
When putting any budget together, ensure you have allocated enough for Public Liability Insurance (PLI).
Annual policies are generally the best way to make it an affordable option through your broker, though while many PLI policies will cover performances outside of Australia, some, such as this policy from AON, exclude certain destinations.
In the case of AON, that is one of the most popular: North America (Defined here as Canada and the USA).
For performances in that territory, you would then need to look into getting standalone coverage for that run of shows, or contact the insurance company to find out how you can include that territory into a plan.
While Travel Insurance remains a must purchase for any traveller, and should be part of any tour budget, most insurers have changed – and continue to evolve – their policies, to wholly or partially exclude Covid-19 related incidents from their list of coverage.
While many policies do include up to $200,000 in medical coverage after a Covid-19 positive test, emergency air transport to return you home, and “repatriation due to death”, this is only part of the financial risk of travel in the time of Covid-19.
For instance, should you get Covid-19 while on the road, you may be responsible for covering costs of accommodation for your quarantine period (usually 10 days from the time of a positive test), flight changes that are resulting from a positive test, and Covid-19 tests themselves, which differ in costs due to your location, and the requirements of the airline and travel destination (PCR tests are required for some destinations, while the more affordable rapid tests are fine for others).
Though Travel Insurance may not cover the above, some costs can be risk free thanks to more flexible booking policies. When choosing who to fly with or where to stay, carefully read the cancellation policies of any hotel, flight, train etc. you book.
Many hotels won’t charge you until you arrive, and have a flexible cancellation policy until 24 hours out from arrival. Many airlines have adopted more flexible cancellation/rescheduling policies across the board as well, though now will only provide a refund in the form of flight credit – even if they’ve had to cancel your flight.
In events where you have to reschedule due to a positive Covid-19 test, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay the difference in airfares – which could be significant. The less risk you take with your bookings up front, the better.
Many airlines also now have optional insurance you can add to your ticket specifically for Covid related issues. Some airlines even include COVID-19 Emergency Medical Insurance with every ticket (you can see the details for Qantas’ Covid-19 insurance HERE). Every policy is different though, and any traveller should carefully read all conditions before adding this to your ticket, where optional.
Whatever policy you end up with, when putting together budgets for a tour or a trip, it’s essential you have a contingency plan should anyone test positive for Covid. Ensure you have the budget for a quarantine hotel, and the costs of changing flights.
CHOICE offer a guide to travel insurance, HERE.
Also: Before you book your trip, ensure the country you are travelling to is not listed with the advice “DO NOT TRAVEL” from the Australian government. If this advice is posted, your travel insurance may not cover your trip. You can see the full list of destination advice on Smartraveller.
The need for international health insurance, separate to travel insurance, will depend on where you’re travelling and what you anticipate to be your risks.
The below is taken from Smartraveller:
Most Travel insurance policies will cover the essentials:
- Emergency medical treatment.
- General medical assistance.
- Patient transport to hospital by helicopter or ambulance.
- Medical evacuations back to Australia.
- Injuries and accidents, unless it’s from an excluded activity.
However, most comprehensive travel insurance policies exclude pre-existing physical and mental health conditions. Some insurers will cover you if you pay extra. Commonly excluded are:
- bone and joint conditions
- breathing and lung conditions
- circulatory and blood conditions
- heart conditions
- kidney or liver conditions
- mental health conditions
- viruses and diseases
Insurers generally won’t provide cover if you’re:
- receiving, or waiting to receive, medical treatment for undiagnosed symptoms
- travelling against the advice of a medical practitioner
- travelling to get medical treatment for your condition (medical tourism)
- already diagnosed with a terminal condition
Most travel insurance packages will include a certain amount of coverage for anything you’re travelling with, that may be enough for an electronic artist who is only travelling with a laptop and some limited gear.
However, for bands and more technical productions, it may be necessary for you to take out standalone insurance for your gear, should it get stolen or be damaged while on the road – domestically or internationally.
Many insurance companies do offer music equipment specific policies. Here are some examples: