Aviation

Insurance panic as ash cloud lingers

With experts warning the eruption of Mount Barujari could last at least several days, insurance companies are fielding a burst of enquiries from concerned consumers whose travel plans have been impacted by the ash cloud.

Comparison site Comparetravelinsurance.com.au confirmed that if travel insurance was purchased before November 2, then it is likely cover will be in place.

However, it pointed out that policies bought after November 2 and, in some cases, after a certain cut-off time on November 3 EST are unlikely to cover the ash cloud.

“Generally, the larger more reputable insurers clearly state the policy purchase cut-off periods and outline exactly what is and is not covered within the warnings on their website,” director Natalie Ball said.

But she stressed that the cut-off date was only one of the considerations for travellers.

“It is important to remember that not all policies cover travel delays or cancellation,” she said.

“A basic travel insurance policy is generally medical only coverage and are priced accordingly.  However, standard mid-range or comprehensive policies will provide cover for unforeseen risks.”

Assistance provider Allianz Global Assistance offered some basic tips for those affected by the ash cloud. Travellers should contact their airline as soon as possible to find out if they offer flights or date changes free of charge. Any additional expenses incurred as a result of the eruption should be of the “same nature and class” as those originally purchased, and all receipts should be kept.

Meanwhile, Jetstar confirmed it would waive flight change fees for any customers with a valid booking to Bali between November 3 and 6 who wished to change their holiday destination.

Virgin Australia told affected customers they could change the date of their flights within 30 days without fee, receive a full credit, or change their booking to a different destination within 30 days although fare differences may apply.

INSURER BRANDS POLICY PURCHASE CUT-OFF DATE
ACE American Express, Citibank, Priceline November 3rd 2015
Allianz 1Cover, Amex, Fastcover, Virgin Money, Webjet 5:00pm November 3rd 2015
Auto & General Insurance Company Limited Budget Direct, First for Women 3rd November 2015
Cerberus Special Risks TID, Sure Save, NIB, Worldnomads 11:59pm 2nd November 2015
Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC Covermore, Medibank Private 3rd November 2015
Mitsui Sumitomo Insure and Go 3rd November 2015
Southern Cross Benefits Limited Southern Cross Travel Insurance 12:00pm 3rd November 2015

This Comparetravelinsurance.com.au table outlines the cut-off date for a number of Australian travel insurers.

 

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