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Bali volcano finally erupts

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Bali Tourism Board

But what does this mean for travel insurance?

After months of seeming to be on the brink of a major eruption, Mount Agung volcano on Bali in Indonesia is finally spewing out ash and steam.

The volcano sent smoke plumes as high as 800 metres above its summit on Tuesday. More than 140,000 people fled their homes around the crater last month.

Bali’s Denpasar airport is still open and flights in and out of Bali have not been affected since the eruption began last night, news.com.au reports.

But it could be bad news for any tourists going there who lack travel insurance, as they may find themselves without cover for any possible upcoming volcano-related drama.

Some insurance companies have already imposed a cut-off time for eruption coverage.
That will be a headache for the approximately 250,000 Australians, for example, who are expected to visit Bali between now and the end of January.

Changing status
Insurers have changed their policies on coverage for volcano-related claims several times in recent months as the alert status rose to critical in September but then eased to the second-highest level in October. Now there is a new, stricter policy again.

However, insurance companies are still recommending that travellers to Bali take insurance for the trip, to cover for non-volcano medical costs, theft, loss of belongings and other issues. But it may be hard to find a policy that covers, say, delays to flights caused by volcanic ash.

In the meantime, locals and tourists are being urged to stay calm and not panic.

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