What you need to know if the Bali volcano threatens your holiday

A little like exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions, pre-existing geological activity won’t be covered either. In the case of Bali’s Mount Agung, you need to have bought your insurance before the current threat of eruption and disruption.

Large insurer QBE has even announced a cut-off on claims relating to the volcano for policies purchased after 2pm on September 21.

For other readers, that means it’s too late to buy insurance for Agung-related issues (but remember credit card insurance is usually triggered when you make the necessary trip spend – if this is relevant to you, check). Naturally, it’s not too late for unrelated issues, like accident or injury while overseas.

However, if you’re confident you tick these two boxes, Susan, you should be covered for any trip cancellation costs if volcanic activity prevents you taking your trip in December. But cancel by choice, in advance, and you may forfeit deposits or incur flight change fees.

Interestingly, if anything happened once you’d already left Australia, it’s possible you would get free nights and meals in Bali (less the excess). Of course, you’d need the work leave to cover them.

Just be sure to keep your (itemised) receipts and book further accommodation to the same standard as the original. Most policies will use the word “reasonable” or some such to describe what will be covered.

Always ensure the airline itself has your phone number in case of flight cancellations or delays, and not just a travel agent. Also confirm the status of any Bali flight before setting out for it.

Finally, remember the volcano itself is 72 kilometres from Kuta. And hopefully your holiday is sorted!

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is a money educator and consumer advocate: You can write to her for help solving your money problem, or with a consumer question, at

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