Travellers heading overseas are being warned their travel insurance may not cover natural disasters or diseases that strike.
Comparison size Mozo contacted 49 travel insurers and found the Mount Agung volcano, which disrupted thousands of flights last year, remains a ‘known event’ and therefore is not covered by most policies.
This means any traveller who is headed to Bali and finds themselves stranded by volcanic eruptions cannot claim on their insurance.
InsurerandGo Australia said that insurance purchased after 22 November 2017 does not cover any claims related to the Mount Agung volcano, except for medical. Anyone wanting natural disaster coverage will often need to pay more on their insurance.
“Travellers need to be extremely vigilant with ‘known events’ when purchasing travel insurance and make sure they know where they stand before taking off,” Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said.
“Don’t assume because an issue has fallen out of your Facebook feed you no longer have to worry about it.”
Nadia Christian, 30, from Sydney is travelling to Bali on Saturday for the week of Easter.
She told Business Insider Australia she typically doesn’t get travel insurance, but bought it this time in case things went wrong, her valuables were stolen or her flights were delayed.
“I’m hoping there’s no disaster for this trip,” she said. “I’ve heard before that they’re supposed to pay for the flight delays but it’s difficult to get that processed.”
Missing or delayed flights are one of the most commonly claimed areas of travel insurance.
Mozo told Business Insider Australia current known events include the Anak Krakatau volcano in Indonesia, the Nebraska floods, the aftermath of the cyclone in Mozambique and cyclone Veronica in Australia.
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Many insurers aren’t required to name an event to consider it ‘known’, with many events, if they have received widespread media coverage they fall into that category.
The latest measles outbreak, with the WHO reporting cases up 300 per cent worldwide through the first three months of 2019, may fall under ‘known events’.
Canstar’s group executive for financial services Steve Mickenbecker told Business Insider Australia many insurers would not cover in case of a pandemic.
“If you’ve got a known problem like [the Bali volcano] you’d not be covered,” he said. “But you also have to watch your preexisting conditions, [The insurers] can be pretty tough in a lot of cases”.
Many insurers consider food allergies or preexisting psychological conditions as preexisting conditions, which can make insurance significantly more expensive.
“Some insurers will not insure you at all if you have had a psychological event even if it dates back some ways,” he said.
And for those planning to ride a motorcycle, make sure you’re covered. Plenty of Australian end up in hospitals all through south-east Asia due to motorcycle accidents.
“Make sure you’re not doing anything you won’t be covered for,” Mickenbecker said. “Bungie jumping or skiing will be excluded.”
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