If you are an international traveler, it is almost always a good idea to have travel insurance. You never know what sorts of things could come up to derail or postpone your trip, and you don’t want to be stuck paying more for a trip you didn’t get to go on.
Often, when you are purchasing trip protection for a trip, you can pick and choose what types of things you want covered, such as health emergencies or natural disasters. The latter type of coverage was especially useful for travelers this November, when Bali’s Mount Agung erupted, causing the Ngurah Rai International Airport to evacuate and close. Over 50,000 people were stranded in Bali, and those who didn’t have travel insurance may have had a hard time getting the money back for their canceled flights. Those who did, though, were able to get their money back because unforeseen volcanic eruptions are covered under just about every plan that has coverage for natural disasters.
Comparing various travel insurance companies and plans online before buying can help you to be sure that you have this type of coverage, but according to recent reports, this might not be enough. If you are planning a trip to Bali, or a trip in which one of your flights involves a stop-over in the Ngurah Rai International Airport, the risk is very high that you might have to deal with a canceled or delayed flight.
While it is technically still safe to visit Bali, scientists are predicting that the volcano is very likely to erupt again. Its eruptions include enormous amounts of ash and pyroclastic flow, the same type of gaseous emission that is responsible for entombing the entire city of Pompeii in 79 A.D.. While this is undoubtedly dangerous for any and all people within a 10km radius of the volcano, it is also dangerous for planes flying into or over the area. The rising ash and the destabilized atmosphere can make visibility almost non-existent, and the fact that the Ngurah Rai International Airport is within the radius of the volcano’s potential destruction means that the plane would have no place to land even if it could find its way there.
While this sounds like it would still be classified as a natural disaster, some travel insurance companies are already putting out word that this event (should it occur), would be considered something that the public was warned about beforehand, and thus not covered by this type of plan. In fact, some companies are saying that for some travelers, the only way this event would be covered by your trip protection would be if you had a “Cancel for any reason” upgrade. Since the event has already been predicted, it does not count as an unpredictable natural disaster.
Because of this, it is important for you to compare plans that have the “cancel for any reason” option, otherwise your trip to Bali could end up costing you a lot more than you wanted to pay for it.