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Insurers resume Bali ash cloud cover in time for Christmas


Insurers resume Bali ash cloud cover in time for Christmas has announced that several travel insurers have lifted the ban on Bali ash cloud cover for eruptions from Mt Rinjani (Mount Baru Jari) on the island of Lombok in Indonesia. As the volcanic ash crisis dissipates, cover for volcanic activity in Bali has resumed as normal. For droves of travellers heading to Bali over the holiday season, the news could not have come at a better time.

Natalie Ball, Director, says:

“We have been inundated with queries relating to Bali ash cloud cover from families heading to Bali this festive season. Our advice is for travellers to pay attention to the details of their policies as not all insurers cover volcanic eruptions. Look out for travel warnings on the insurers’ websites and take heed of cut-off periods or exclusions such as natural disasters that may apply.”

As of the 5th of December insurers underwritten by QBE such as Travel Insurance Cover will cover cancellation and delays as a result of a volcanic eruption. An eruption from Mt Rinjani would be considered new and unforeseeable and therefore a covered event.

Insurers underwritten by Cerberus Special Risks, such as TID have also resumed cover for any further volcanic eruptions (including those from Mt Rinjani) as of the 10th of December.

The above insurers have reiterated that only policies purchased prior to a new disruption (and outside of any previous ban or travel warning in place) would provide travellers with full cancel and delay benefits.

The majority of insurers on the market are yet to lift their embargo for an eruption from Mt Rinjani. However, travellers can purchase cover from a growing selection of insurers. Providers such as 1Cover and Southern Cross Travel Insurance provide cover for new ‘unexpected’ volcanic eruptions. At this stage, this would not include a repeat eruption from Mt Rinjani.

According to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin, the ash cloud caused by Mt Rinjani has now cleared and flights may resume as normal. A slight caveat to bear in mind is if a new eruption were to occur as a consequence of the recent volcanic eruption, cover may be declined. Any connection established between the two events would be determined by expert vulcanologists and government bodies.

The table below outlines the volcano cover status for a number of New Zealand travel insurers:

UNDERWRITERBRANDSCover for unforeseen volcanic eruptions in Bali
AllianzAA Travel Insurance, 1Cover, DUinsure, HOT, NZ Travel Insurance, Webjet, WorldcareYes
Cerberus Special RisksTIDCover for new unforeseen volcanic eruptions in addition to repeat eruptions on Mt Rinjani
CignaCountdown InsuranceCover for new unforeseen volcanic eruptions in addition to repeat eruptions on Mt Rinjani
Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLCCovermoreYes
Southern Cross Benefits LimitedSouthern Cross Travel InsuranceYes
TowerTower Travel Insurance, NZ PostCover for new unforeseen volcanic eruptions in addition to repeat eruptions on Mt Rinjani
QBETravel Insurance Cover, Easy Travel InsuranceCover for new unforeseen volcanic eruptions in addition to repeat eruptions on Mt Rinjani

Ball adds: “Although providers have now begun to resume cover for Bali ash cloud, it’s important to understand the current conditions that apply to your policy. Remember that cover will only apply if you purchase your policy before the event occurs. Always pay close attention to any cut-off periods or exclusions that may apply to your insurance and understand the definition of a known event.”

By definition 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 broadcast widely in the media, it would likely not be covered for any losses incurred. Insurers will typically set cut-off dates whereby cover for a specific event would be put on hold and have clear warnings on their site.

Ball concludes: “As a general rule, lower priced, basic policies would not provide cover for cancellation or travel delays. It is imperative that customers know the type of cover they require. When in doubt, buy comprehensive travel insurance sooner rather than later to make sure you’re covered if you need to cancel your trip.”


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