We all know travel insurance can cover us for things like medical emergencies and lost luggage.
But there’s a range of truly bizarre travel mishaps we can actually claim on insurance — and people actually have.
Some situations were so unexpected or seemingly uncommon Australians might be losing out by assuming they wouldn’t be covered, InsureandGo spokesman Jonathan Etkind said.
“Most Aussies are not clear on all the expenses they can claim through their travel insurance in the case of an unexpected incident,” he said.
“We believe that some travellers may not be aware of certain benefits provided by their travel insurer, which may lead to customers presuming they are not covered for certain events and therefore not contacting their insurer or making a claim.”
InsureandGo has shared some of the unexpected interruptions to their travel plans travellers have claimed a payout for.
RIDICULOUS SPORTS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
Zorbing, husky sledding and ostrich riding are not only actual activities, but they are activities you can claim for if you get injured while participating.
There’s actually a lot of weird sports overseas travellers can get a payout for if a mishap occurs.
InsureandGo said in February, it received a claim from a woman who had her phone damaged while she was riding an elephant in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
“We understand that every traveller has a unique set of hobbies and interests, so we aim to make our policies reflect this by covering a diverse range of holiday activities, including some unusual ones like husky sledding and mud buddying,” Mr Etkind said.
“Having said this, we stress the importance of travellers reading the PDS (product disclosure statement) to ensure their policy covers the specific activities they want to take part in.”
YOUR CRUISE SHIP MISSES ITS PORT
If the captain bungles the cruise itinerary and misses a port of call, you can get money.
InsureandGo says it will pay $50 to $100 per port missed, up to $1000.
If you missed the cruise — say, for example, because of an accident on the way to the ship, InsureandGo will cover pre-booked costs, such as land tours you can’t go on.
YOUR SICK OR INJURED MATE
We all know insurance can cover us for falling sick or getting injured, but it turns out if your holiday is cut short because your travelling companion gets sick or injured, you can be covered too.
Your travel insurance policy should reimburse you for any travel bookings you couldn’t use.
JURY DUTY, HOME INVASION, GETTING SACKED
Here’s a good reason for taking out insurance as soon as you make travel plans rather than right before you leave.
Your home getting burgled, being made redundant at work and being called for jury duty are legitimate excuses for cancelling a holiday. You can claim for all three.
So the earlier you take out insurance, the more covered you’ll be before you even start packing.
BEING SENT TO YOUR ROOM ON A CRUISE
Cruise passengers who get sick and are relegated to their cabins may be able to get their insurer to cover any expenses. InsureandGo says it can pay sick cruise passengers $75 for each 24 hours spent confined to their cabin, up to $2500.
In great news for frustrated travellers, if you’re on your way to a wedding, funeral, conference or sporting event and your transport is delayed or cancelled — which would cause you to miss it — travel insurance can help.
“For instance, as an InsureandGo customer, if your planned method of transport to any of these important occasions is delayed, or cancelled during your journey, and the resulting delay would mean you miss the occasion, they will step in and pay additional travel costs to try to get you to your event on time,” InsureandGo says.
TINY MEDICAL COSTS
We often hear about insurance claims for major medical emergencies to cover bills well into the six digits. And for many travellers, their excess doesn’t make it worthwhile to claim for small expenses.
But InsureandGo says travellers often don’t realise they can remove their standard excess entirely, letting them make claims for smaller things like visiting a doctor or buying medicine for an unforeseen illness abroad, even for a $20 bill.
Mr Etkind said whatever may happen, it was important travellers read their PDS before buying any policy.
“It will help them decide what, if any, added extras they need, and whether it’s best to purchase a basic or comprehensive policy,” he said.
“Although these documents list exclusions, they also detail the benefits of the policy that allow travellers to claim for a wide range of incidents — including incidents that you wouldn’t assume you’re covered for.”