Unexpected illnesses, scooter and skiing accidents, and a slip in the shower have been responsible for some of the most expensive international travel claims made by Australians this year, according to a major insurer.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance says the biggest claim it received was for $135,375 from a 65-year-old man who had a heart condition and fluid on the lungs while on holiday in Greece.
He was hospitalised for about three weeks, then had to fly back to Australia on a business-class flight.
The second most expensive claim of $109,725 was also related to an incident in Greece, in which a 95-year-old man contracted pneumonia and spent three weeks in hospital.
He ultimately had to fly back to Australia on a business-class flight with two nurses.
SCTI chief executive Jo McCauley said people were keen to go overseas again after two years of Covid-19 lockdowns and domestic travel, but still needed to be prepared.
“Research we conducted earlier this year showed 92 per cent of Aussies are planning to travel in the next two years,” she said.
“Understandably, Aussie travellers have been preoccupied with what would happen if they catch Covid-19 while travelling.
“While Covid-19 still remains a reality, our largest claims relate to the same types of accidents and medical events we were witnessing prior to the pandemic.”
Claims linked to Covid-19 made up 14 per cent of the total received by SCTI, mostly due to cancellations and changes to a journey. The average claim payment was $2537.
Top 10 most expensive international travel insurance claims paid:
- A 65-year-old man who had a heart condition and fluid on the lungs in Greece – $135,375.
- A 95-year-old man had to return early from Greece with two registered nurses after he contracted pneumonia – $109,725.
- A 22-year-old suffered a collapsed lung and fractured rib in a scooter accident in Indonesia – $79,277.
- An 85-year-old had to return early from Greece after fracturing a hip in a fall while getting out of a car – $46,075.
- A 28-year-old was hospitalised with a heart condition in America – $44,175.
- A 64-year-old woman fractured her ankle by slipping in the shower in Switzerland – $37,525.
- A 17-year-old returned early from America after a fracture while skiing – $36,575.
- A 46-year-old needed emergency treatment after a tear formed in a blood vessel in the heart while in Canada – $34,675.
- An 88-year-old returned early from Portugal after falling off an e-bike – $33,725.
- An 85-year-old returned home early from Indonesia after suffering a heart attack – $33,934.