Medical matters

Travel insurance

Australian insurer QBE has urged holidaymakers to be sure they take out comprehensive travel insurance for their trips, after analysis of its own claims found that 40 per cent of them were made under the medical benefits section of their policy. The company noted that this accounted for 58 per cent more than the volume of claims made under the travel delay section, and more than double the number of claims associated with lost or stolen baggage. Lost or stolen mobile phones accounted for 10 per cent of the total number of claims made, while claims for cameras and other electronic accessories made up four per cent. Commenting on the analysis, Nicole Smith, head of QBE Assist, said: “We literally only live once, so instead of using the slogan to justify taking risks, use it instead as a reminder of what’s at stake – whether that be long-term damage to your health or bank account.”

Data released by the insurer also highlighted the importance of medical cover with high financial limits, with one motorcycle accident in Thailand costing A$252,000 to settle after the claimant was severely injured. Other examples included were a $33,000-claim for an allergic reaction to seafood that a client suffered while in the US, and a $10,000-bill for gastroenteritis for a tourist in Germany.