Uninsured Singaporean family home after Bali volcanic eruption

Eruption ruins family’s vacation, costing thousands of dollars and a forcing a four-day journey home

Uninsured Singaporean family home after Bali volcanic eruption

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

A Singaporean family with 18 members – but no travel insurance – has arrived home after being caught in the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali.

Faizal Ali, his brother Shah, and 16 other members of their extended family went to Bali for their first-ever family vacation, all without travel insurance. It was supposed to be a happy trip, but the eruption of Mount Agung threw a volcano-sized wrench in the family’s vacation plans, sending them on a long and arduous journey home.

Their flight back to Singapore had been cancelled due to the eruption, and the airport was closed. With four elderly members and several children, the family was worried that the volcano could erupt again and leave them stranded for even longer.

According to a report by Yahoo News Singapore, the family had to take a 17-hour car and ferry trip from Bali to Subaraya, where they had to wait for three days until they could take a flight back to Singapore. The trip was scheduled for four or five days, but they ended up spending a whole week in Indonesia, disrupting their work schedules back home.

Faizal said that they did not purchase travel insurance as they thought it would just be a short trip. As a result, they overspent their travel budget by around SGD9,000, or around SGD500 per person, due to additional travel and accommodation costs, on top of daily expenses such as food.

“We had to do our own searching for the drivers in Bali, we had to fork out our own money,” said family member Nisa Anuar, who had to take unpaid leave from work due to the extended time away.

The family’s ordeal highlights the importance of travel insurance, especially for family vacations that include elderly or children. Having adequate travel cover can give access to additional assistance services and help mitigate the additional financial burden inflicted by emergencies such as the ones caused by the volcanic eruption or even medical emergencies.

Related stories:
SG insurers may refuse to cover travel to North Korea
Comatose tourist was inadequately insured - report
Singapore to revamp travel agency regulations

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!