Most Unusual Travel Insurance Claims

13 04 2009

baboon-tent-mw

The Nakuru Cat Burglar is remarkable for its resemblance to the baboon. (Nakuru, Kenya)

 

Though I’ve had more tropical diseases than the average petri dish and once had to survive in Iceland for 24 hours without so much as a toothbrush and clean socks, I have been fortunate that I’ve only once had to make a claim on my travel insurance.

 

Travel insurance is one of those things that I faithfully buy but hope never to get my money’s worth from. Over the years I have probably spent enough money to pay for a pretty decent vacation, but so far apart from one visit to a doctor in London (see “How To Get A Head in Africa” 10 July 2008), I’ve never got back a penny – but I have scored a ton of peace-of-mind.

 

The silence at the end of the telephone line when I called the insurance company about my tick suggests it might well still be discussed around the water cooler. But I am glad to know that I am not the only one who has entertained or bemused travel insurance companies. Here are a few others that are likely pinned to a bulletin board beside Terry the Tick:

 

 

        A pensioner, whose false teeth fell out while he vomited over the side of a cruise ship, put in a claim to his travel insurers for new dentures under “lost baggage”.

 

        A young traveller, distracted by the appearance of a group of women in bikinis, broke his nose when he walked into a bus shelter in Athens.

 

        A traveller lost his wallet in a drain in Israel. Instead of filing a police report and making a claim through his insurance, he instead stuck his hand down the drain – only to be stung by a poisonous scorpion. He ended up claiming for both a lost wallet and a hospital visit.

 

        A man who claimed for holiday cancellation when refused boarding was turned down by his insurance company when it emerged his ticket was for a flight from Manchester, New Hampshire…not from Manchester in the North West of England.

 

        Returning from India, a traveller filed a claim with his insurance company for $1100 worth of “Bombay Mix” snack food that he had lost from his luggage enroute. The insurance company performed a few quick calculations and determined that at less than $2 per 250g bag, the man would have had to have misplaced more than 137 kilograms of munchies…and refused to pay.

 

        A couple on vacation in Malaysia returned to their lodge to find that monkeys had climbed in through an open window, stolen their clothes and scattered them throughout the neighbouring jungle.

 

        A family’s camping holiday was ruined when a parachutist from a nearby airbase missed his target and landed squarely on their tent, destroying their equipment. Their insurer rejected their claims as they weren’t insured against accidental damage.

 

And in the category of needing a vacation to recover from a vacation:

 

        A holidaymaker in Sri Lanka needed hospital treatment after a coconut fell on her head while she was reading in the shade below.

 

 

Photo and post by: Simon Vaughan

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2 05 2009
Travel insurance recommendations - Page 2 - FlyerTalk Forums

[…] Originally Posted by falconea Insurance is all about insuring for events that you cannot afford. It’s surprising how few people understand this! My grandfather broke his neck skiing in France in 1989. The final bill – helicopter rescue, hospital treatment in France, sending escort and flying him home to Australia on a stretcher came to more than $200,000. His travel insurance covered the lot. Audrey I wouldn’t drive without auto insurance, and I never travel without travel insurance. On average it costs around $50 a person…or about the cost of one nice meal. Considering all the things that can go wrong, it’s a very tiny investment. I’ve only been in one situation to make a claim: my baggage was lost for three days, and my travel insurance covered a change of clothes and toiletries. I was reimbursed more than the insurance cost, so it was certainly worth it. Of course, you never know when you might be struck by a coconut or a monkey might steal your clothes. […]

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