Hot on the heels of Southern Cross Travel Insurance’s recent list of the most bizarre travel insurance claims it encountered in 2018, Cover-More in Australia has released data showcasing its own oddest claims – as well as the most common.
The fastest rising type of claim in 2018, according to Cover-More’s data, was being denied permission to board a flight, with claims for this issue rising by a staggering 350 per cent compared with last year. The number of claims related to missing a connecting flight doubled this year, while claims for stolen or damaged rental cars rose by 75 per cent, general travel delays rose by five per cent and illness claims rose by 19 per cent.
The insurer also noted some new types of claims, including ‘cabin confinement’, whereby cruise passengers had to stay in their cabins after falling ill; missing ports while on a cruise trip was also a common new type of claim, while many customers also made claims to cover amendments to their holidays mid-trip.
And now for the weird ones
But, of course, what everybody always wants to know is the nature of the strangest claims – and Cover-More had some gems this year. These included an airline passenger whose luggage was delayed, but who only claimed for the cost of a razor, as they were travelling to a nudist camp and therefore did not have any clothes with them.
A holidaymaker in New York, US, meanwhile, was attacked by a squirrel while trying to take a picture of the animal, resulting in a nasty bite that led to a medical bill of US$3,000. Another had to cancel their trip because their puppy fell ill, resulting in a claim of $3,000 in cancellation costs.
Finally, and perhaps most bizarrely, during a visit to the Malua Turtle Feeding Pool in Upolu, a woman was bitten by a turtle mid-feed and pulled into the water; her husband dived in to rescue her, and they ended up having to make claims for smartphones and sunglasses.
“It has been a big year in travel and our trending claim figures show how important it is to have appropriate insurance cover in place when you’re travelling,” said Glenn Broadhurst, Cover-More’s Executive General Manager of Digital and Direct. “It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to things like medical cover, missed connections and holiday cancellations, which can be extremely costly for travellers who aren’t adequately covered for these unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances. No-one wants to be the unlucky traveller stuck without their luggage, dealing with a stolen rental car, struck down by illness or unable to board their flight or make their connection, and in those moments, you can’t place a value on having travel insurance, especially when it can save travellers hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.”