Information about Vanuatu’s Volcano and your travel insurance
The Pacific nation of Vanuatu have ordered thousands of people to leave Ambae Island as a volcano erupted and filled the sky with ash. Safe Travel has labelled Ambae Island as high risk and advised against all non-essential travel. Air Vanuatu have cancelled and rescheduled a number of flights to the region. Please read on to find out more about how your travel plans could be affected. Elsewhere in Vanuatu there are no significant security issues, but normal safety and security measures should be taken to ensure personal safety.
If you entered into a policy before 3pm (NZST) Friday 27th July, 2018:
If you are currently travelling:
It is always our priority to assist our customers where possible and within our ability to do so. So please take a read of our advice;
- Please consider your safety first and follow advice from local authorities.
- If you need medical advice or emergency medical assistance please contact our 24-hour Emergency Assistance team. Speak to the local operator and ask to be put through reverse charge to +61 7 3305 7499.
- If your transport is delayed or cancelled or your accommodation is affected due to this eruption, you may be able to claim for additional travel, accommodation and meal expenses.
- Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply under your policy. For full details, you should refer to the Policy Wording and Certificate of Insurance you received when you purchased your travel insurance.
- Please make yourself aware of the advice issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Safe Travel website www.safetravel.govt.nz for up to date information about this event.
If you have not yet departed:
- If your pre-booked travel arrangements are cancelled, delayed or rescheduled by your travel provider as a result of the volcanic activity and you have a travel insurance policy that provides coverage for delays or cancellation of travel arrangements, you may be able to make a claim for cancellation or rearrangement of your journey (whichever is the lesser cost). Please refer to your Policy Wording for the terms, conditions, limits and exclusions that apply.
- We recommend contacting your travel agent or travel provider regarding the best option in altering your trip. Some travel providers may provide penalty free options to amend travel arrangements and they should be able to provide further details. Contact our Allianz Global Assistance Information Hotline on 0800 800 048 or +64 9 486 0048 if you would like to clarify your policy entitlements.
- Keep up to date on advice from travel providers by visiting their websites directly.
If you entered into a policy after 3pm (NZST) Friday 27th July, 2018:
- Your policy covers you for unforeseeable circumstances. As the volcanic disruption was a well-known event we would expect that this was done with an awareness of the increased activity by the volcanic activity and the possibility of issues arising due to this. For these policies, claims that arise due to volcanic activity associated with this event (for example, flight delays or cancellations) may not be covered.
- Policy coverage and benefits vary based on individual circumstances and therefore we would like to take the opportunity to remind and encourage travellers who purchase travel insurance to always read their travel insurance Policy Wording, so that you know what risks you are covered for.
What next steps should you take?
- You should try to minimise your expenses including rearranging your journey where possible. If you have been using, for example, two-star accommodation on your trip to date, then any replacement accommodation should be of a similar standard.
- Keep all receipts for any additional transport, food or accommodation expenses. If you are claiming cancellation or additional expenses you will need to submit documents showing what your original planned pre-paid arrangements were, along with any receipts and documents showing your new arrangements, and advice from the travel provider indicating the non-refundable portion of the journey.
- If you have any general queries, please contact us on 0800 800 048 or +64 9 486 0048.
- To make a claim visit our website www.claimmanager.co.nz