Find out how the Bali ash cloud affects your travel insurance and whether you'll be able to make a claim.
#### Mt Rinjani October, 2016 Ash Cloud Update ####
Cover restrictions relating to travel disruptions caused by the Bali ash cloud have begun to be lifted. Please see the table below for more information*.
|QBE||Covered from 9am 4 October, 2016. QBE have lifted its embargo on claims associated with the Mount Rinjani eruption and ash cloud in Bali and no longer consider it an active event.If you purchased your policy after 9am 4 October, 2016, there is no longer any embargo on claims arising from this event.||Easy Travel Insurance and Travel Insurance Saver|
|Lloyd’s||Covered from 6 October, 2016. As of 6 October 2016, the Mt Rinjani Volcanic Ash Cloud is no longer considered an active threat as eruptions have now ceased.This means that any future eruptions will be considered a new event and cover will be available.||1Cover, Cheap Travel Insurance, Columbus Direct, GoInsurance, insure4less, iTrek, NoWorries, Skinsurance.com.au, Travel Insurance Direct and Travel Insuranz.|
|Great Lakes Australia||Covered from 9am (AEST) 6 October, 2016. As there hasn't been any further disruptions caused by Mt Rinjani, it is no longer considered an active event.As of 9am EST 6th October, 2016 any new eruptions and ash clouds will be considered a new event and cover may be available on your policy, subject to the limits of your policy.||Cover-More, RACV and youGo.|
|Allianz||Covered from 9:30am (AEST) Friday 7 October, 2016. Mt Rinjani erupted this year on 28 September 2016 and caused significant delays for travellers. As this eruption has ceased, this event is now deemed to have concluded as of 9:30am (AEST) Friday 7 October, 2016. Any new eruptions and ash cloud from Mount Rinjani will be considered a new event.||Boomers, Duinsure, Fast Cover, Online Travel Insurance, OverSixty, Simply Travel Insurance, STA, Virgin, Webjet and Worldcare.|
The conditions listed here were sourced from various locations and may not have come directly from the insurance brand or its underwriter. Not all brands have updated their sites yet. For the brands where we were unable to find a release from its underwriter but were able to find mention of the embargo on another brands site with the same underwriter, we worked on the assumption that this would be true across all brands with that underwriter.
### End of Update ###
#### Mt Rinjani September, 2016 Ash Cloud Update ####
Some flights leaving to and from Bali have been affected by another eruption from the Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok. Below are updates from some Australian travel insurance brands in relation to when you will and won't have cover for travel disruptions caused by the Bali ash cloud.
While not every travel insurance brand has updated their site in relation to the ash cloud, below are the conditions from the major underwriters in Australia for the brands in the finder.com.au panel.
|Lloyd’s||Before 6pm (AEST) Tuesday 27 September, 2016. If you entered into your policy before 6pm (AEDT) Tuesday 27th September 2016 you will be covered up to the policy limits.||After 6pm (AEST) Tuesday 27 September, 2016. If you entered into a policy after 6pm (AEDT) Tuesday 27th September 2016you will not have cover as the eruption was a known event.||1Cover, Cheap Travel Insurance, Columbus Direct, GoInsurance, insure4less, iTrek, NoWorries, Skinsurance.com.au, Travel Insurance Direct and Travel Insuranz.|
|Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd||Before 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. You will be covered up to the limits of your policy for cancellation, travel delays, etc, if you purchased the policy before 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016.||After 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. If you entered into a policy after 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016, you will not have cover as the eruption was a known event.||Budget Direct and Dodo.|
|Great Lakes Australia||Before Wednesday 28 September, 2016. You will be covered up to the limits of your policy if you purchased the policy before Wednesday 28 September, 2016.||On or after 28 September, 2016. If you entered into a policy on or after Wednesday 28 September, 2016, you will not have cover as the eruption was a known event.||Cover-More, RACV and youGo.|
|Allianz||Before 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. You will be covered up to the limits of your policy for cancellation, travel delays, etc, if you purchased the policy before 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016.||After 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. If you entered into a policy after 7am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016, you will not have cover as the eruption was a known event.||Boomers, Duinsure, Fast Cover, Online Travel Insurance, OverSixty, Simply Travel Insurance, STA, Virgin, Webjet and Worldcare.|
|QBE||Before 10:30am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. You will be covered up to the limits of your policy if you purchased the policy before 10.30am Wednesday 28 September, 2016.||After 10:30am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. If you purchased your policy after 10.30am Wednesday 28 September, 2016, there is no cover for any claims arising from this event.||Easy Travel Insurance and Travel Insurance Saver.|
|Hollard||Before 11am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. You will be covered up to the limits of your policy if you purchased the policy before 11am Wednesday 28 September, 2016.||After 11am (AEST) Wednesday 28 September, 2016. Any policies purchased after 11:00am AEST on Wednesday 28th September, 2016 will not be covered under Natural Disaster for the Ash Cloud in Mt Rinjani, as this is a foreseen event.||Woolworths|
#### End of update ####
Claims information for those who already have policies: Before and after the Mount Rinjani ash cloud
I bought my policy before the cut off date, now what?
Well, that depends on whether or not you're already overseas. Fast Cover had these helpful tips:
If you haven't departed:
- If your trip is going to be impacted by the ash cloud and you already have cover, speak with your insurer to see if your covered for cancellation
- For those without cover, while most policies won’t cover you for cancellations relating to the current ash cloud, travel insurance can still provide cover for unexpected medical expenses, your luggage and other benefits
If you’re already in Bali:
- Speak with your airline and see if they will arrange accommodation until such time that flights resume
- If your airline is unable to arrange your accommodation, speak with your travel insurer
- Speak with your insurer prior to going out of pocket for any accommodation or additional travel expenses
- Get any and all documentation from your airline relating to the cancellation
- Keep receipts and invoices
Fast Cover CEO, Dean Van Es, said that any expenses you incur while delayed must be reasonable if you expect your insurer to pay:
Be aware that travel insurance companies aren’t going to entirely cover your accommodation costs if you decide to spend your extra days in five star accommodation, when you spent the majority of your holiday in a two star motel.
Following the events of the Mt Rinjani ash cloud, we asked Fast Cover CEO, Dean Van Es, if he had any advice for travellers:
- Q. What should travellers do if they are caught out by a natural disaster overseas?
- A. First and foremost, get safe, follow the directions of local authorities and advice in the mass media. Once you’re safe get in contact with our emergency assistance hotline and we’ll help with next steps.
- Q. What advice can you give for travellers that have a trip booked for Bali in the coming months? Is it still worth getting travel insurance?
- A. Get your travel insurance early. We find many travellers will book their flights and accommodation several weeks or months out but wait till the last minute to buy their travel insurance. The recent Bali ash clouds in Bali are a great example, anyone who’d taken out travel insurance before the ash cloud would – depending on the policy purchased – have cover for claims caused by the ash cloud. Once an event has happened it can’t be covered by travel insurance.
- Q. Is there any reimbursement available from airlines?
- A. Many airlines are offering reimbursement, travel vouchers and alternative flights. It varies depending on the airline but definitely check with them.
- Q. Under what circumstances will cover for cancellation be available once more for trips to Bali?
- A. Once the ash cloud has stopped it will be declared over and Cancellation cover for Bali will be resumed. This will be decided based on information provided by the scientists monitoring the volcano.
- Q. What advice can you give to travellers that are eligible to make a claim for cancellation?
- A. How can they best prepare for their claim? If they’ve incurred costs make sure they have all the their receipts. Once we receive all receipts paying claims happens very quickly.
- Q. Would someone who has taken out an Annual policy before it became a known event still be covered for trip cancellation?
- A. Yes.
- Q. Would any cover be provided if your travel companion was meeting you from a different location and was unable to travel due to the Ash Cloud?
- A. Generally no, travel insurance only covers the person named on the policy.
- Q. What types of expenses can cancellation insurance generally cover?
- A. Accommodation, flights, tours and activities.
- Q. What advice can you give to travellers that are going away and need to book travel insurance?
- A. Buy your insurance as soon as you have paid for any part of your trip, this will protect you from future events like the Bali ash cloud.
- Q. When is the ideal time to buy cover?
- A. As you have paid for any part of your trip.
- Q. What are the benefits of paying extra for a comprehensive policy? How much difference is there really?
- A. It depends on which policy you’re talking about as there is a lot of variance. Generally Comprehensive policies have higher limits and provide more benefits. At minimum good comprehensive policy should have unlimited medical, unlimited cancellation, luggage cover, alternative transport cover, travel delays cover plus personal liability cover.
How do I contact my airline?
If you're currently in Bali or are planning on heading to Bali but are unsure of whether or not your flights have been affected, you should contact your airline. Affected travellers should contact their airline for more information on flight schedules. See below for contact details of main airlines with routes to Bali:
- Air Asia: +62 21 2927 0999 (Jakarta) or +62 804 1333 333 (Bali)
- Air New Zealand: +64 9-357 3000 (New Zealand) 13 24 76 (Australia)
- China Eastern: +61 2 9290 1148 (Australia)
- China Southern: 0011 86 400 869 5539 (Overseas hotline)
- Emirates: +61 1300 303 777 (Australia)
- Garuda: +62 804 180 7807, +62 21 2351 9999 (Jakarta), +62 361 936 8258 or +62 361 225 047 (Bali)
- Jetstar: +62 803 852 9779 (Jakarta) or +61 3 9645 5999 (Australia)
- Malaysia Airlines: 0011 60 3-7843 3000 (Outside Malaysia) 1 300 88 3000 (Malaysia)
- Silkair: +61 7 4034 9100 (Australia)
- Singapore Airlines: +61 13 10 11 (Australia)
- Thai Airways: +61 2 9844 0999
- Tiger: +61 2 8073 3421
- Virgin Australia: +61 7 3295 2296 (Australia)