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Harsh Lessons Learned from Bali’s Volcanic Eruption

November 9, 2015 Insurance No Comments Email Email

In a Groundhog Day scenario, thousands of Australian travellers again find themselves stranded in Bali spending more than expected on accommodation and food. Whether these travellers will be able to claim for additional expenses and be reimbursed for cancellations depends on when they purchased their policy and what the policy included.

Mr Dean Van Es, the CEO of Fast Cover, said that hopefully travellers have learned from the eruption of Mt Raung in July that it is important to get travel insurance early.

“Anecdotally I can say we seem to have fewer people calling wanting to confirm their travel insurance will provide cover for cancellations related to the ash cloud or wanting to purchase travel insurance for possible cancellations after the ash cloud became a known event.”

Travel insurance will generally not provide cover for cancellations once an event has become a ‘known event’. The eruption of Mt. Rinjani in Lombok has been a known event since last Tuesday, November 3rd. Mass media coverage and a travel warning on the travel insurance company’s webpage identify known events.

Mr Van Es also stated that “the eruption of Mt Raung in July also provided a lesson for Australian travellers to think more carefully about the travel insurance policy you choose. Not all have the same benefits.”

Basic travel insurance policies or Medical Only travel insurance policies would not provide cover for flight cancellations and the cost of extra nights’ accommodation.

Similarly, complimentary travel insurance from various Australian banks often require the cardholder to meet particular criteria. For example, Westpac and St George’s complimentary travel insurance is active only if you have spent $500 on your trip pre-departure using your eligible card.

So far:

  • A total of 692 international flights have been affected by the eruption at Mt Rinjani and airports are closed at Bali, Lombok and Java.
  • Jakarta airport reopened Thursday afternoon. The situation will be reassessed today.

Dean Van Es, CEO, fastcover.com.au

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