When lava spews and ash clouds form, your travel plans may be affected.
On this page, we’ll explain what travel insurance for volcanic eruptions is, what it covers and how it could save you money.
Travel insurance that covers volcanic eruptions reimburses some of your financial losses if there’s an eruption that sends your travel plans into a tailspin. This type of cover comes standard in some travel insurance policies. For other policies, you’ll need to purchase it as an add-on.
Volcanic and ash cloud travel insurance generally covers:
A common scenario:
You’re sitting in Australia, and news filters through that a volcano has erupted near your upcoming travel destination. Naturally, you’re a little dismayed and decide to cancel the trip. Are you covered?
If you have travel insurance for volcanic eruptions and there’s a relatively short delay due to volcanic activity, it’s unlikely that you’ll be covered because you can just re-schedule.
However, your insurer should cover you in cases where your flights are cancelled or significantly delayed, your activities and tours are cancelled, or you lose travel deposits and accommodation booking. Your insurer may also cover you if you can’t reschedule.
Volcanoes are unpredictable in most parts of the world, which is why insurance is so important. In recent history, eruptions in Iceland and Bali wreaked havoc on holiday-goers and international travellers.
Disclaimer: Check your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) as policies differ between insurers.
Contact your insurer immediately. They’ll be able to direct you to emergency services, answer your questions and help organise alternative accommodation – if needed.
Your insurer can also help you prepare the necessary documents so that you can claim on your policy.
Travel insurance only covers you for the specific events or incidences outlined in your policy’s PDS. So, if your policy doesn’t mention natural disasters, volcanos or ash clouds, then you’re probably not covered for such events and any claims related to volcanoes may be denied.
The amount you get back (if you claim) will depend on your claim limit and sublimits. A limit is the amount of money your insurer agrees to pay you if something goes wrong – as stipulated in your policy’s PDS.
Some insurers don’t have limits while most offer capped limits. For example, if your flights are cancelled, you may be reimbursed up to $5,000.
Travel insurance normally covers related medical expenses – depending on your policy. When choosing a policy that covers natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, make sure it has all the medical cover you need.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions (PMC), make sure you tell your insurer at the time you purchase a policy; this is particularly true if you have a condition that affects your breathing, such as asthma.
Insurers may automatically cover some PMCs, while others may require a PMC cover add-on. If you fail to inform your insurer about your pre-existing medical conditions, they may reject any related claims.