In March 2015, Brendan* arranged flights to Bali (on 12-17 July); he purchased travel insurance on 8 July. When Brendan’s flights were cancelled due to the Mt Ruang volcanic ash cloud, meaning he was no longer able to continue with his travel plans, he made a claim for his flight cost of: $1,792.20.
However, Brendan’s policy specified the cover was only for “unexpected” events. Brendan said he didn’t know about the volcano, but it had been widely reported in the media, and notices about interrupted and cancelled flights to Bali were on all airline websites. Brendan’s insurer had also published a travel advisory on 2 July, stating any policy purchased after that date could not treat the Mt Ruang volcano as unexpected.
As Brendan purchased his policy 4 days after the advisory, his insurer had grounds to decline the claim. As the Mt Ruang ash cloud was not unexpected, there was no cover for related claims for any policy purchased after 2 July.
It’s important to check for travel advisories from your airline or travel insurer before taking out insurance.
Complaint not upheld.
*Names have been changed.