Purchasing travel insurance now won’t provide cover for Bali travellers

28 November 2017

Bali's Mount Agung eruption is concerning thousands of travellers as flights are cancelled and Denpasar international airport is closed.

“We encourage travellers to contact their airline and their insurer before taking any steps to change their travel,” says Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens.

“If you paid for travel insurance before the eruption was known about, you should have cancellation cover. Make contact with the insurer’s emergency service and, if you have to pay extra for changes, keep your receipts.

"But if you bought your travel insurance after it was known the volcano was likely to erupt, you are unlikely to be covered. Certainly, if you buy insurance cover now, knowing about the eruption, you won’t be covered.”

“We are concerned about messages which could be interpreted by consumers as encouraging travellers to Bali to take out travel insurance now,” says Karen. “Of course, travel insurance is essential for overseas travel – and, for the benefit of cancellation cover, this should be purchased when you book and pay for your tickets.”

“If you buy insurance after a natural disaster is widely known about and travel warnings have been issued – insurance won’t do what you want it to do. Travel insurance won’t help you if, when you take out the insurance, you already know you are likely to have to make a claim. The horse has already bolted.”