Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has revealed the most expensive travel insurance claims that it dealt with from New Zealand travellers in 2017. The largest claim for the year was from a traveller who suffered a heart attack while travelling in Europe, and required a long stay in hospital and an air ambulance flight home. The final cost stood at NZ$682,000, making it one of the most expensive claims that SCTI has had to pay in nearly four decades of operation.
Another claim, involving an air ambulance flight from Antarctica to South America for a traveller suffering from pneumonia, cost $176,500, while another traveller racked up bills of $110,000 after falling down a flight of stairs in the Pacific Islands.
Nearly half of the top 10 claims noted by SCTI in 2017 involved trips to the US – as Chris White, Chief Executive of SCTI, said, some US hospitals require a hefty deposit before they will even start treatment: “This is one of the key areas where having travel insurance is important. [An] emergency assistance team can provide payment guarantees to hospitals, keep immediate family advised of the situation and co-ordinate emergency medical evacuations.”