In case you’ve been missed the news, Mount Agung in Bali is spitting and boiling as though she’s about to blow and surely enough this threat of eruption has a fair few travellers concerned about their upcoming holiday plans.

We can’t blame them considering how Bali’s Mt Rinjani grounded air services in previous years, preventing some people from commencing their holidays while others were lucky enough to have theirs extended (remember #StuckInBali).

So before everyone starts cancelling holidays or planning their early paradise escape here are a few things you might like to consider:

 

Are tourists in danger?

Bali Indonesia

If there’s ever any concern for Aussies abroad, the first place to check for advice is DFAT.

Currently, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is advising Australians in Bali to monitor local media reports and follow instructions from local authorities.

The government-run body has not changed its overall advice for the destination, saying Aussie should “exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali”.

DFAT’s relaxed response isn’t too much of a surprise because according to ABC News, there’s a fair bit of distance between the volcano and popular tourist spots.

Additionally, a nine kilometres exclusion zone has been established around the mountain where lava could flow, this exclusion zone includes the temporary suspension of camping, hiking or any other outdoor activities.

 

What’s happening with flights?

Virgin Australia

For the moment flights to and from Australia and Lombok are running relatively close to schedule.

Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry said Bali’s international airport is currently free of any volcanic, which would be the main cause of any potential air disruptions.

Virgin Australia said in an online statement that it is closely monitoring activity at Mt Agung andis operating flights as scheduled, however there may be some delays.

The airline has activated a back-up plan whereby some Bali bound flights are making fuel stops in Darwin to ensure they’ll be able to return to Australia safely should the volcano erupt en-route.

Jetstar also said in an online statement that it is monitoring the situation and will continue to operate flights as scheduled until future notice.

“Our pilots and meteorologists will continue to monitor the latest information from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and we will contact customers individually if there are any changes to our services,” the carrier said.

 

Will travel insurance cover travellers if the volcano erupts?

insurance feature

Natalie Ball, Director, from Comparetravelinsurance.com.au says travellers will only be covered for an “unknown event” aka a situation not previously reported on in the media.

“A ‘known’ event refers to one that is not unforeseen or has been widely broadcast across mainstream media. For instance, once an event has been announced in the media, travellers would not be covered for any losses incurred,” she explained.

“Whilst the volcano hasn’t yet erupted, in anticipation of flight disruptions caused by resultant ash cloud, insurers have been quick off the mark to point out that this is a known risk.

“Insurers will typically set cut-off dates whereby cover for a specific event would be put on hold and only resumed after a period of restricted cover.”

But you’re in luck if you booked and bought travel insurance before 15 September.

“You’re in luck if you bought travel insurance before Friday 15 September as you would most likely be covered for any trip disruptions or cancellations related to this event,” she said.

 

Travellers should watch out for

travel insurance

Ball says that a thorough understanding of your policy is key to peace of mind.

“While we strongly recommend obtaining travel insurance no matter where you’re headed to, you should always read your policy to understand any relevant exclusions that could blow your cover.”

For example, Columbus Direct (underwritten by certain underwriters of Lloyds) will not cover for natural disasters surrounding volcanic activity at all.  And No worries (also underwritten by certain underwriters of Lloyds) only covers natural disasters in Australia.

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