Australian bushfires: How domestic travel insurance can help

Posted: 8 January 2020 11:45 am
News

Ravaged trees

You may be able to claim money back from your travel insurance.

When a natural disaster strikes, even the best laid holiday plans can go awry, and people can find themselves thousands of dollars out of pocket. This has been all too evident with the recent bushfires hitting over the Christmas period and impacting a number of popular tourist destinations. Many travellers have found their plans disrupted due to the crisis.

However, for those of you with travel insurance, there could be a way to get your money back or ways to cover extra expenses.

If your trip was impacted by the fires

Whether you were forced to reschedule, cut short or cancel your trip altogether, you could get cover for your expenses under your travel insurance policy – if you took it out in time. This cut-off date varies from insurer to insurer.

You should also be able to claim money back for certain additional expenses, such as accommodation, flights and car hire, which you may have had to take in order to return home or evacuate an impacted area.

At the time of publication, the following partners have released alerts in relation to the bushfires. If you're unsure about your specific travel insurance policy, contact your insurer directly.

BrandAlert
Budget Direct Insurance LogoNo cover for bushfire-related claims if your policy was bought after 2 January 2020.
Insureandgo Insurance LogoNo cover for bushfire-related claims if your policy was bought after 8:00am (AEST) on 30 December 2019.
Online Travel Insurance LogoNo cover for bushfire-related claims if your policy was bought after 3:00pm (AEST) on 2 January 2020.
Tick-Travel Insurance LogoNo cover for bushfire-related claims if your policy was bought after 8:00am (AEST) on 30 December 2019.
Worldcare Insurance LogoNo cover for bushfire-related claims if your policy was bought after 3:00pm (AEST) on 2 January 2020.

Getting money back without travel insurance

If you didn't take out a domestic insurance policy this time, don't lament just yet – there may still be ways for you to reclaim some of your lost expenses.

Under Australian Consumer Law, if a natural disaster impacts the area you plan to travel to, and you need to postpone or cancel your trip, you may be able to access a partial or full refund. However, each situation is different and businesses are also entitled to retain any reasonable expenses they incurred before cancellation.

While much of the focus remains, rightly so, on those who have suffered major losses as a result of the bushfires, there's no reason you should hesitate to make a claim if your vacation was cancelled or cut short due to the disaster.

Your domestic travel insurance policy is designed to kick in during disasters such as this, so be sure to contact your provider directly to find out how they can help.

Picture: GettyImages

Resources for those impacted by the Australian bushfires

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