With over 2.7 million Australians travelling overseas in 2015 (13.9% of the population) and 317 natural disasters recorded worldwide, many thousands of travellers have been impacted around the globe.
AGA is urging travellers to be vigilant in preparing for their holidays, ensuring they have researched their destination and are aware of the likeliness of extreme weather, earthquakes or volcanic ash clouds. It is also recommended travellers invest in travel insurance as soon as any money has been outlaid for the trip.
In 2015 alone, AGA paid out over $7 million in natural disaster-related claims. In the five years from 2011 to 2015, the most costly events included the two Bali ash clouds (Mt. Rinjani and Mt. Raung), the volcanic ash cloud in Chile and the European floods. The most common types of claims made were those pertaining to cancellation fees, lost deposits and additional accommodation expenses.
Damien Arthur, Chief Market Manager, Allianz Global Assistance said, “Natural disasters can impact travellers in many ways from cancelled holidays and flights to being stranded in another country. Sadly, consequences can be even more severe, which we’ve seen first hand through tragic events such as the Nepal earthquake that hit last year. In this instance, we were able to set up an AGA crisis unit and deploy doctors and nurses on the ground to assist around the clock.
“Travellers should spend time researching the destination, the time of year they plan to travel and checking government sites such as Smartraveller. Ensuring you have the right level of travel insurance cover is also important.”
Indonesia – An Aussie hotspot
Affordability and close proximity make Indonesia a popular holiday destination for Australians.
- Indonesia sits on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ where volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and unexpected weather events occur often
- The rainy season takes place from November to March where flooding may occur
New Zealand – A friendly neighbour
New Zealand is known for its adventure activities and quality snow. At just over three hours flight from Australia, it’s a popular destination for travellers.
- Weather conditions in NZ can change rapidly and unpredictable weather, snowstorms, flooding and cyclones are typical of the weather cycle