Medical problems top list of holiday claims: study

Australian travellers urged to be vigilant of health while on holiday.

Medical mishaps more likely

Australian travellers are three times more likely to suffer medical mishaps on holidays than losses, delays or cancellations, says a new travel insurance study.

The study, conducted by InsureandGo, reveals that while cancellations, delays, thefts and loss of luggage can ruin a holiday, it’s our health that we should be warier of while on holiday.

The report showed that injuries and illness are more likely to occur on holiday than other issues, evident by the number of medical claims made for emergency medical, surgery, hospital treatment, ambulance, and repatriation costs since July 2016.

Research shows that in this period, around 63 per cent of travel insurance claims made by Australian travellers were for medical services, but only 23 per cent of claims were for cancellations and delays. One in 12 were claims for lost, stolen or damaged luggage.

The highest number of medical claims were made by travellers in North, Central and South America, with 73 per cent of all applications relating to health. Next was Asia, where two in three claims related to health issues.

Have you suffered a medical mishap while overseas? Did your insurance cover you for it?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Sep 2018
    Cut my foot very badly whilst in France. Went to Emergency Department. Had sutures put in it, saw a GP a week later and was billed nothing at all.
    Old Geezer
    12th Sep 2018
    I have only had delays, lost luggage and other non medical things happen to me.
    12th Sep 2018
    I had appendicitus in Omsk, Siberian Russia about four years ago. I spent a week in hospital and it cost a bottle of Scotch for the surgeon and a bottle of wine for the anaethetist and registrar and a couple of boxes of chololates for the nursing staff. I was not billed because I was a guest of a citizen of Omsk who also happened to have a family member working in that hospital. Full recovery without any complications and I could not complain about the standard of nursing care.

    I amended my journey slightly and continued to St Petersburg and then the wilds of northern Kazakhstan. Given the lack of a hospital charge there was no insurance claim.

    About eight years ago I had a sciatic nerve ephisode in Simferopol. I flew to St Petersburg where I saw the top neurologist in St Petersburg with fourty minutes notice (I happened to be staying with the mother of a friend. The mother (in her 80's) was a professor of medicine and still working. The diagnosis was accurate. The consultation cost about $40 (cash) and I was medivacced to Australia about a week later (time was of my choosing). The insurance company, once it was satisfied that this was a new complaint and unrelated to some back issues, agreed to the medivac and it went well.

    Apart from one trip where my luggage never left Australia I have not had a claim for luggage. On this particular trip, although it was not their fault that the luggage did not leave Australia British Airways was responsible for finding my luggage and their service was appalling with them renigging on an oral undertaking (so unless their is no alternative I never fly with BA) and in the end the insurance company paid only a delay in luggage as it was not lost.
    12th Sep 2018
    I should have added that I usually spend three months a year overseas and have done so for several years and much of that time is in remote or wilderness areas.
    12th Sep 2018
    I would be interested to see the age demographic on the accident and illness claims.

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