An undersea earthquake has struck Bali, registering a 5.7-magnitude on the Richter scale. The quake follows warnings from Balinese authorities about the possibility of an eruption at active volcano Mount Agung, located 70 kilometers from tourist hotspot Kuta.
Indonesia has raised the alert level for Agung following an increase in seismic activity on Monday, leading authorities to issue a high alert and evacuate areas within 7.5 kilometers.
Amid the warnings and looming natural disasters, Travel Weekly got the word from insurers on what Aussie travellers need to know before booking a trip to Indonesia.
To date, no flights to and from Bali have been affected. However, Pak Kasbani, head of the Centre for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said, “We see that the earthquake frequency is very high, this is worrying when it comes to an eruption.”
Meanwhile, Compare Travel Insurance Director Natalie Ball said, “When will Aussie’s learn? As a volcano threats to erupt in Bali once again it’s clear that Australian travellers are yet to understand the vital importance of buying travel insurance sooner rather than later.”
“We’ve been inundated with customers’ queries relating to cancellation cover for travel to Bali, only after news of the increased volcanic activity broke. We hoped that by now travellers would understand the importance of travel insurance for unforeseen events.”
Ball notes, when it comes to travel insurance cancellation cover you’d only be covered for an unknown event.
A ‘known’ event refers to one that is not unforeseen or has been widely broadcast across mainstream media. For instance, once an event has been announced in the media, travellers would not be covered for any losses incurred.
Whilst the volcano hasn’t yet erupted, in anticipation of flight disruptions caused by resultant ash cloud, insurers have been quick off the mark to point out that this is a known risk.
Insurers will typically set cut-off dates whereby cover for a specific event would be put on hold and only resumed after a period of restricted cover.
“You’re in luck if you bought travel insurance before Friday 15 September as you would most likely be covered for any trip disruptions or cancellations related to this event,” Ball added.
Ball says that a thorough understanding of your policy is key to peace of mind.
“As a general rule, lower priced, basic policies would not provide cover for cancellation or travel delays. When in doubt, buy comprehensive travel insurance sooner rather than later to make sure you’re covered if you need to cancel your trip.”
Insurers cut off dates:
Insurers underwritten by Certain underwriters of Lloyds such as 1Cover, Simply Travel Insurance, Kango Cover, DUinsure will not cover claims for losses if you purchased a policy after 10am (AEST) on Saturday 16 September 2017.
Zoom Travel Insurance, also underwritten by Certain underwriters of Lloyds will not cover those who purchased after 10am (AEST) on 18 September 2017.
Covermore (underwritten by Zurich) customers who purchased after 2pm (AEST) on 18 September 2017 would not be eligible to claim for any out of pocket travel expenses relating to the Mount Agung volcanic activity.
Fastcover (underwritten by Allianz) customers had until 7am (AEST) on Tuesday 19 September 2017.
TID (underwritten by Certain underwriters of Lloyds) will not cover those after 4pm (AEST) on Wednesday 20 September 2017.
Budget Direct & 1st For Women (underwritten by Auto & General) would only cover those who purchased before 12pm on 20 September 2017.
Insure and Go’s (underwritten by Mitsui Somotomo) cut-off was 11.59pm (AEST) on 20 September 2017.
As of 10.12am today on 21 September 2017, Southern Cross Travel Insurance (underwritten by themselves) were still covering, but this is subject to change at any time.
Travellers who purchased travel insurance before these cut-offs would be eligible for cover.