Aussies stuck in Bali urged to check their travel insurance policies

With Australian travellers stranded in Bali since July 8 due to volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt Raung, Java and flights delayed until later this month, Insurance Council CEO Rob Whelan has urged travellers to contact their travel insurer to clarify how their policy may be able to assist.

“Insurance policies cover the traveller for financial losses, not for inconvenience. If policyholders are in doubt about their policy inclusions and exclusions they should call their insurer to discuss their policy, or read their product disclosure statement," he said. 

While airlines are making arrangements for cancelled flights, the cost for travellers staying overseas longer than intended is expensive and could run into the thousands.

Whelan explained, “travellers need to consider the potential impacts of not being able to arrive at their chosen accommodation on the designated date, needing to extend their stay overseas longer than originally planned or being forced to cancel tours or other arrangements.”

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Gerard Brody CEO of Consumer Action Law Centre spoke to Ross and John on 3AW Breakfast and warned that not all insurance policies are created equally. "The problem with travel insurance is that there could be many hidden exclusions or terms and conditions," he said.

Whelan reiterated this sentiment explaining that the disruption caused by the volcano was a timely reminder for Australians to think about having the right insurance cover before they travel.

“Travel insurance policies vary from company to company; some will compensate for out-of-pocket costs incurred in some circumstances but it is important to familiarise yourself with the specific instances in which you are - and are not - covered before you travel.”