Walter van der Wal

Wacky insurance claims

Unusual and funny travel insurance claims from around the world


In the excitement of planning and counting days to the dream holidays, we tend to forget or explicitly reject the possibility that something unexpected/unpleasant can happen. 

Unfortunately, data says otherwise: according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), in 2017 alone, insurance companies received on average one tourist insurance claim every minute! 

Before we move on to some of the most unusual and funny travel insurance claims from around the world, let’s look at the most common ones first.  

The most common travel insurance claims

Some of the most common travel insurance claims and their percentage comparison between 2017 and 2018 present itself as follows:

Claims for being denied from boarding a flight went up by 350%

Claims for missing a connecting flight went up by 100%

Claims for stolen or damaged rental cars also went up by 75% 

Claims for travel delays went up by 56%

Illness and accidents went up by 19%

The above list gives you an idea of how important and useful travel insurance can be! The popular belief about travel insurance is that it covers emergency medical treatments, but in fact, many travel plans cover so much more. 

Canceled or delayed flights, trains, buses can lead to you losing your other pre-booked connecting transportation and hotel, or tour costs. With travel insurance, you can get reimbursed for such expenses, so even if you miss the flight or train and your 5* hotel stay, you still get to enjoy the rest of the stay, knowing that you get your money back. What else can you claim your travel insurance on? 

Unusual and funny travel insurance claims from around the world

Beyond the “usual” travel insurance claims such as emergency medical treatment, or stolen luggage, travelers from around the world sometimes also experienced quite funny and unheard of mishaps. Below is the list of some of them recorded last year: 

An amateur photographer on a trip to New York City was attacked by a squirrel and tending to his nasty bite cost him $3000 in medical bills.

Another time, days before the trip, the client’s pet got so sick that they had to cancel the holiday plans, claiming cancellation costs of $3000 in full.

A group of tourists spending their holidays in a South African hotel right next to the National Park went for a night swim in the hotel’s pool. They didn’t notice a crocodile swimming in it with them, and one of the tourists was left with a face, head and arm injuries.

A coconut fell out of the tree straight onto the head of a woman resting underneath, setting her back nearly $1,000 in medical bills.

One traveller dropped his wallet down a drain in Israel. Bad luck doubled when he tried to retrieve it, as he got stung by a scorpion living in that same drainage. He got reimbursed for both medical expenses and loss of property.

Other stories included a room rampaged by monkeys, a car’s paint damaged by cows, and even a claim for a bride dress caught of fire. At the end of the day, the most unexpected can happen during our holidays, so having travel insurance at hand is always a good idea. 

Tips for securing the right travel insurance  

With so many companies offering travel insurances that vary in multiple aspects, I’d like to mention a couple of things to remember when choosing this type of coverage. Even with such a basic, uncomplicated insurance product such as travel coverage, you must be aware of certain conditions and exclusions to it. 

First of all, know your needs. If you’re planning to take part in any extreme activities such as wakeboarding or free-climbing, you should mention it to the insurer or a broker, as such sports/activities are usually not included in the standard travel policies. They can add such coverage to your plan for a slightly higher premium. 

Another thing to know about is the coverage levels and benefits. Check if your policy covers for things such as medical evacuation, medical repatriation, body repatriation, but also flight delay and cancellation, as well as for lost, stolen or damaged items such as luggage, camera, and money, and up to what limits. 

Other things worth mentioning in regards to travel insurance is that this product doesn’t cover any pre-existing conditions, dental work, or maternity-related check-ups. If, during your travel, you might require any specific care, you should consider extending your coverage or obtaining international health insurance, which is a more comprehensive option. 

Discussing your needs with an broker, such as Pacific Prime Thailand, is your very best option here. If you have any questions about health or travel insurance, feel free to contact me and my team! 




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