Compare Travel InsuranceMedia RoomBali’s Mount Agung blows cover once again

Bali’s Mount Agung blows cover (#or not)

bali ash cloud causes travel insurance confusion
Updated 22 November 2017
Bad News for Aussies heading to Bali who haven't yet taken out travel Insurance

Don't say we didn't warn you!  After months of activity and monitoring, Mount Agung, Bali, Indonesia has erupted (albeit a small eruption).  We hope you heeded our advice and took cover when you had the chance.

Back in September, when an eruption was deemed to be large and imminent, insurance companies imposed cut-off times for coverage for travel service disruptions resulting from Mount Agung.  For the majority of insurers, this exclusion remained in place.

However after a month of waiting and no blow, volcanic activity began to significantly decreased. On 30 October the Indonesian government downgraded the alert status for Mount Agung to the second highest level, which saw some travel insurers lift their exclusion for Mount Agung.

Now that the volcano has actually erupted, the insurers that lifted their ban have imposed a new one.
The table below provides the new cut-off dates imposed by insurers that previously lifted their ban.

Travel Insurance Brand

Underwriter

New Cut-off Date

1Cover, DUinsure, iTrek, Kango Cover,
Simply Travel Insurance, Zoom Travel Insurance
Certain underwriters at Lloyd's   Midday 22 November 2017
Insure and GoTick Travel Insurance Mitsui Somotomo  Midnight  21 November 2017
TID (Travel Insurance Direct) and Nib Travel Insurance Certain underwriters at Lloyd's   8:05pm 21 November 2017

Please note: We are not aware of any travel insurer that is currently offering cover for disrupted travel services due to Mount Agung or any resultant ash cloud.

If you purchased a policy prior to insurer deadlines, or within their windows of opportunity, don't sweat it, you're covered.  If you haven't purchased a policy yet, although you're not covered for Mount Agung, we suggest that you take out travel insurance. You'd be covered for non-volcano medical costs like being injured in a scooter accident, theft or loss of belongings, and more.


So what's the deal with flights?

Bali's international airport remains open and no schdeuled flights in or out of Bali have been affected so far.  The mountain has spewed steam and ash with a plume rising approximately 700 metres from the volcano.  The wind is blowing the cloud away from the island and airport.

The airlines continue to monitor Bali flight paths and if any volcanic ash makes it way into Bali airspace planes may be grounded and flights disruptions experienced.


Updated 6 November 2017
Cover for Mount Agung Bali is Available

So who is covering mount agung ASH CLOUD?
Please note that this information is current at the time of writing. We continue to monitor the situation and any changes in cover from the various travel insurance brands. We will update this page when new information becomes available.
 

Travel Insurance Brand

Underwriter

 Date Exclusion Lifted

1Cover, DUinsure, iTrek, Kango Cover,
Simply Travel Insurance, Zoom Travel Insurance
Certain underwriters at Lloyd's   9:00am 6 November 2017
Travel with Jane Hollard Insurance Company   9:00am 31 October 2017
Insure and GoTick Travel Insurance Mitsui Somotomo   3:20pm 31 October 2017
TID (Travel Insurance Direct) and Nib Travel Insurance Certain underwriters at Lloyd's   3:00pm 30 October 2017

Please note that whilst the exclusion for these providers has been lifted.  Some limitations may apply.  For all new policies purchased, cover is available.  However for existing policies purchased prior to 6 November, previous bans in place may still apply. 

Updated: 5 November 2017

don't blow your chance at getting cover for mount agung

As the Christmas holiday season fast approaches, comparetravelinsurance.com.au has experienced an influx of queries on cover for Bali. This comes on the back of the threat level of Mount Agung being lowered by Indonesian authorities from level 4, to level 3 on Sunday 29 October 2017.  

The exclusion zone for the volcano has been reduced and tremors significantly decreased over the past few weeks.

Importantly for Bali bound travellers, cover for this beast of a mountain is now available. Some insurers have begun to reinstate cover for new travel insurance policies sold, some have lifted their restriction on both new and past policies purchased, while others are sitting tight as they continue to monitor the situation.
 
Natalie Ball, Director of Comparetravelinsurance.com.au says:
 
“This is fantastic news for Aussies heading to Bali in the upcoming holiday season as they can now get cover once again.  Resultant ash cloud from an eruption has the potential to keep planes grounded for weeks, so now is certainly the time to take cover”.
 
“From 23 September until now, Bali bound travelers were unable to obtain cover for travel delays or cancellations relating to Mount Agung due to the likelihood of an eruption no longer being unforeseen". 

The mounted fears took it's toll on the holiday island's tourism with a reported 70,000 tourists cancelling their plans to travel to Bali in October.
 

insurers lifting the exclusion

On 30 October, Travel Insurance Direct announced that they were providing cover in the event of any new eruption or volcanic activity regardless of when customers purchased a policy.

Tick Travel Insurance’s exclusion was lifted on the 31st  October. This means they would cover for any new event for policies purchased after this date.
 
InsureandGo is now covering travellers who purchased travel insurance with their natural disaster add-on.

Effective from 6 November, 1Cover and new player in the market Zoom Travel Insurance have lifted their ban, meaning that anyone that purchases a new policy would now be covered for Mount Agung.
 
Ball says  “In the lead up to one of the busiest travel periods of the year, insurers will be keen to keep their customers.  It will be interesting to see if any other insurers follow suit in the next few days.  Insurers are, in effect, bookmakers on this."

With expert volcanologists adding that eruptions are unpredictable, no one really knows whether or not this beast of a mountain is going to blow.

Volcanologist Janine Krippner, who has been monitoring the situation from the U.S. has praised the work conducted by the Indonesian volcanology monitoring team on twitter. ” I'd again like to express my respect for the great job that the Indonesian volcanology monitoring team has done with #Agung.”  Krippner said  "The problem with Agung is we can't tell if this is actually, certainly going to erupt. This volcano hasn't stopped. Whether that will continue to go and actually produce an eruption, I'm throwing my hands up in the air with that one."
 
Ball concludes “Our advice to our customers is to always purchase travel insurance sooner rather than later! As soon as you’ve booked your flights and accommodation, travel insurance should be the next thing on your list to ensure that you are covered for scenarios exactly like this. For policies in place prior to a natural disaster becoming a known event, you’d be covered".

Australians travelling in and around Bali are encouraged to follow Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)current travel advice for Bali and Mount Agung.  It is always a good idea to register your details with Smarttraveller too.


COVER BLOWS FOR MOUNT AGUNG

Date published: 20 September 2017
Last updated: 22 September 2017

It’s the season for it, and you can almost time it to the day, Aussie’s annual panic for last minute travel insurance.  Rumblings from Indonesia’s Mount Agung is causing chaos for disorganised travellers.

Indonesia has raised the alert level for the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali following an increase in seismic activity on Monday, leading authorities to issue a high alert and evacuate areas within 7.5 kilometres.

To date, no flights to and from Bali have been affected. However, Kasbani, the 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."

For droves of travellers heading to Bali for the upcoming school holidays next week, fears mount as an eruption threatens to cause havoc for upcoming holiday makers.

Natalie Ball, Director, Comparetravelinsurance.com.au says:

“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.
 
Comparetravelinsurance.com.au reveals the cover cut-off periods for Australia’s leading insurers. 

 “You’re in luck if you bought travel insurance before Friday 15th September as you would most likely be covered for any trip disruptions or cancellations related to this event.” Says Ball.

Insurers cut off dates

Travel Insurance Brand

Underwriter

Policy purchase
cut-off date (AEST)

1Cover, DU insure, Kango Cover,
Simply Travel Insurance,
Certain underwriters at Lloyds 10:00am 16 September 2017
Go Insurance Certain underwriters at Lloyds 10:00am 17 September 2017
Zoom Travel Insurance Certain underwriters at Lloyds 10:00am 18 September 2017
Covermore Zurich Australia Insurance Ltd  2:00pm 18 September 2017
Australia PostVirgin Money
WorldcareWebjet
Allianz Australia Limited  7:00am 19 September 2017
Insure and GoTick Travel Insurance Mitsui Somotomo  11:59pm 20 September 2017
Budget Direct, 1st for Women Auto & General  12:00pm 20 September 2017
Fast Cover, Real Insurance, Woolworths,  Hollard Insurance Company   4:00pm 20 September 2017
 TID (Travel Insurance Direct) Certain underwriters at Lloyds   4:00pm 20 September 2017
Easy Travel Insurance, Travel Insurance Saver QBE   2:00pm 21 September 2017
Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) Southern Cross Benefits Ltd  10:00am 22 September 2017
Travellers who purchased travel insurance before these cut-offs would be eligible for cover in relation to Mount Agung
 

what do these dates mean for my cover?

If you took out cover before the dates listed in the table, you may have provision to claim for cancellation and out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of travel service disruptions caused by Mount Agung.

If you purchased a policy with your insurer after the date specified in the table above, the travel insurance brand won't pay claims related to Mount Agung as this is when the insurer has classed the event as known.

However, this doesn't mean you won't be able to claim for any unrelated natural disasters. For example, if there was a different mountain eruption in Bali such as Mount Ruang or Mount Rinjani, and flights were grounded due to resultant ash cloud, you would be covered.


Exclusions that could blow your cover

Ball says that a thorough understanding of your policy is key to peace of mind.

“While we strongly recommend obtaining travel insurance no matter where you’re headed to, you should always read your policy to understand any relevant exclusions that could blow your cover.”

For example, Columbus Direct (underwritten by certain underwriters of Lloyds) will not cover for natural disasters surrounding volcanic activity at all.  And No Worries (also underwritten by certain underwriters of Lloyds) only covers natural disasters in Australia.
 

Importance of comprehensive cover

Looming flight disruptions could mean Bali travellers find themselves stuck in Bali for longer than planned, or stranded at home unable to begin their holiday.
 
Travellers should consider the level of cover they purchase to ensure they are covered for transport and accommodation expenses should they experience delays or cancellation of travel plans due to because natural disasters such as a volcanic eruption.
 
Ball says, “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.”
 
“The price variation between a basic and comprehensive family policy for a week to Bali can be as little as $20 dollars. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.”
 
Travellers who do find themselves with disrupted travel plans without the appropriate level of cover should seek compensation from their airline.

Ball concludes:
 
“Whilst travel delays and disruptions can be a frustrating part of travel, travellers should remember that any flight embargos due to ash clouds will be in place for the traveller’s own safety...after all there are worse places to be stuck than Bali!”
 
And remember, don't let natural disasters blow your cover. Travel insurance ensures your trip is still a blast!”
 

See our comprehensive guide on travel insurance and natural disasters for more information.

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