Background. On 12 October 2002, terrorist bombs detonated in the Kuta entertainment district of Bali, Indonesia, a popular tourist destination for Australian travellers. This study was designed to investigate travel insurance claims reported by travellers from Australia requiring emergency assistance and/or aeromedical evacuation, as well as to examine the role of travel insurance and emergency assistance companies, following the Bali bombing. Methods. In 2003, all claims reported, following the Bali bombing attack on 12 October 2002, to a major Australian travel insurance company were examined for those claims that described the use of the insurer's emergency assistance contractor by travellers in Bali following the bombing. Results. Thirteen insured travellers used the emergency assistance service following the Bali bombing. Six travellers cancelled their trip to Bali. Five travellers, who were already abroad cancelled their trip to Bali and one was given evacuation assistance. One traveller required aeromedical evacuation by scheduled aircraft with glass injuries resulting from the bomb blast, and there was also assistance provided to significant others following the death of one insured traveller as a direct consequence of the bombing. Two travellers sought only claiming and policy advice and no claim was made. The mean refund, where a travel insurance claim was made, was AUD1185.09 (SD=AUD3047.31). Conclusions. This study highlights the importance of travellers taking out appropriate travel insurance, which provides for emergency assistance. Travel insurance agencies do play some role after emergencies such as the Bali bombing. This assistance involves predominantly dealing with cancellation of travellers' intended visits to the affected area, but does also involve some assistance to travellers evacuating from the crisis, including some who require aeromedical evacuation. Travellers should be advised to seek travel health advice well before departure overseas and to ensure that they are aware of travel advisories for their destination. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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