NIB has announced that travel insurance sales to Australian and New Zealand residents across all its brands, including white-label partners, will be paused from 5 October 2021, with current underwriting arrangements coming to an end.
In a statement to shareholders, NIB noted that international sales, which currently account for over 75 per cent of its total travel insurance sales, are unaffected, and the pause in sales to Australian and Kiwi residents will not have a material financial impact on the group.
NIB managing director Mark Fitzgibbon said NIB Travel has been pursuing new underwriting arrangements across its domestic and international markets to ensure they are cost-effective and support future growth ambitions.
“Refreshing underwriting agreements on a regular basis helps ensure we deliver optimal and sustainable outcomes both commercially and for our customers,” he said.
“The ending of current arrangements is obviously disruptive, but we’ll emerge in better shape as travel and market conditions recover.”
The pause by NIB has no impact on current travellers and all travel insurance coverage already purchased before 5 October 2021. There is also no impact on employees within NIB Travel.
“COVID-19 and prolonged border closures continues to have an impact on all elements of the travel industry,” Fitzgibbon said.
“We plan to resume selling travel insurance to Australian and New Zealand residents as soon as possible to support our customers.”
It’s the second time in as many years that NIB has suspended travel insurance sales, with the COVID-19 pandemic and government-enforced travel restrictions forcing the company to temporarily pull the pin in April 2020.
NIB Travel introduced a COVID-covered product upon its return to selling insurance in Australia at the start of the year, and in April, Fitzgibbon warned the company’s travel insurance business wasn’t likely to bounce back until 2023.
Featured image source: iStock/Nils Versemann