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Travel Insurance Won't Necessarily Help If Bali Volcano Erupts

CHOICE issues warnings

Travel Insurance Won't Necessarily Help If Bali Volcano Erupts

Consumer advocacy groups have a warning for Aussies planning a trip to Bali, as Mount Agung continues to threaten eruption. 

It's been more than 50 years since Agung's last eruption, which continued for almost a year. 

Authorities have been watching the volcano closely, and have so far urged tens of thousands of residents to flee the area with warnings of an 'imminent' eruption. 

Tom Godfrey from CHOICE says travellers should refresh their memory when it comes to their travel rights. 

“In Australia, payments for accommodation, transport, meals and phone calls if your flight is delayed or cancelled is at the discretion of the airline but it's always worth asking if you need any assistance."

“If the issue is out of the airline's control, like volcanic ash clouds or an air traffic control problem [like at Sydney Airport this week], airlines will usually try to help you get to your destination but they may not pay for any costs or expenses you may incur as a result of the delay or cancellation"

He says scrambling to buy insurance now isn't the best move. 

“Taking it out now would be the equivalent of taking out car insurance after you’ve had an accident.”

“Now that the status of the Bali volcano is a known event, meaning it’s been published widely in the media and on the Smart Traveller website, it’s too late to take out travel insurance to cover delays for the volcano if you haven’t already got it. If you’re still planning to travel, you still need insurance but know that you may not be covered for some delays.”

CHOICE TRAVEL TIPS: 
• If you are out of pocket because of flight delays or cancellations in Australia, keep your receipts but try to keep your expenditure as low as possible – you may never get the money back
• Airlines will often address claims for reimbursements on a case by case basis so if you're stranded or in need of assistance, approach the counter or call your airline to see if they can offer you assistance
• Check if your travel insurance covers you for flight delays or cancellations - good policies will cover you when something goes wrong
• Keep all receipts to lodge a claim with your insurer if you get stuck

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