From a turtle bite to a falling coconut, here's some of the most unusual travel insurance claims made in 2018
17 February 2019| Last updated on 18 February 2019
Travel insurance, in most cases, is at the bottom of our priority lists when we are planning our dream vacations.
But let’s face the truth, no matter whether we are a travel veteran or rookie traveler, we all need the same protection when we are miles away from home against a host of risks.
That includes everything from stolen luggage, explosive diarrhoea, to missed flights and hotel cancellations. But apart from these run-of-the-mill claims, voyagers may also be faced with some bizarre and dramatic accidents that go beyond your wildest imagination.
In this feature by reputable insurance brokerage Pacific Prime Dubai, we have compiled a list of unusual travel insurance claims in 2018 and offer some key tips on buying travel insurance.
Unusual travel insurance claims
Travel insurance is created to safeguard you against unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances in your journey, which we may picture as serious injuries, missed connecting flights and holiday cancellations.
While these situations do occur and may cost travellers a great fortune, there are also some quirky mishaps that can ruin your holidays.
Interestingly, quite a large proportion of these cases involve mischievous animals in some form or other so you should look out for them in your next trip:
- A traveler in New York City was bitten by a squirrel, which cost him $3000 worth of medical fees.
- A woman was bitten by a turtle and pulled into the pool and her husband took a tumble headfirst into the water while trying to save her. They claimed for their smartphones and a pair of sunglasses.
- Two holidaymakers in Devon filed a claim for damage to the paintwork of their car after it was licked by a herd of cows.
- A couple in Malaysia claimed for their insurance after their luggage in the lodge was rummaged by a group of monkeys and their clothing scattered all over the neighboring rainforest.
- One pensioner put a claim in for ‘lost baggage’ after his dentures fell into the sea when he was vomiting over the side of a cruise ship.
- Two children in Cornwall buried their parents’ video camera in the sand to prevent it from being stolen. However, they could not remember where.
- A coconut fell out of the tree straight onto the head of a woman, setting her back nearly $1,000 in medical bills.
The most common travel insurance claims
Apart from the above mentioned unusual travel insurance claims, the trending claim figures comparing 2017 and 2018 are also worth looking into. They are the best examples of how important an appropriate insurance policy can be when you’re traveling.
- Being denied from boarding a flight (up by 350%!)
- Missing a connecting flight (up by 100%)
- Stolen or damaged rental cars (up by 75%)
- Travel delays (up by 56%)
- Illness (up by 19%)
Important tips for securing travel insurance
At the end of the day, we have to admit that we are vulnerable to a whole slew of risks in a foreign country, quirky or not, which is why travel insurance is such a wise and worthy investment.
In this section, we will share with you some tips for you to make a more sensible and educated decision when it comes to opting for your travel insurance policy.
Firstly, travel insurance is not only recommended but mandatory in certain countries such as Russia and the UAE so as to ensure that those faced with accidents, such as emergency medical care or death, and repatriation for medical reasons, can address the relevant costs with the support of their insurers.
Secondly, you may require tailored coverage to cover certain types of travel activities. For instance, extreme and riskier sports activities such as skateboarding, drifting, and wakeboarding may not be covered in every policy, so it pays to check the terms and conditions carefully beforehand.
Thirdly, usually, coverage limits of travel insurance are pretty low since the purpose of these plans is to cover short-term medical costs under emergencies. Once your situation turns stabilized, you will be sent home for further medical treatment.
Last but certainly not least, pre-existing conditions are not covered in travel insurance, which means that health conditions developed before you secure the policy will be excluded. In consequence, you may have to foot the relevant medical expenses out of pocket.
So is travel insurance enough for you?
Whether travel insurance is enough for you utterly depends on your individual circumstances. If you are only travelling for a short holiday in a single location, and/or you’re only looking for the most basic and affordable coverage, travel insurance is probably your best bet.
However, if you are a frequent globetrotter or intend to travel for a long period of time, international health insurance is a better option. Covering the policyholder globally, international health insurance offers you the luxury of being able to visit virtually any top medical facility anywhere in the world. One minor point, though, is that it is purely a health plan and thus excludes travel-related accidents such as luggage loss. Hence, for the most comprehensive coverage, you may consider getting international health insurance and travel insurance.