Top 10 most expensive travel insurance claims in 2022

Travel insurance can often be forgotten about until something unexpected or undesirable happens, but for some people, the cost of not being covered could be life-changing. Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has released its data on the 10 most expensive international travel claims from Australian travellers in 2022, with some claims reaching more than $100,000.

This year’s list includes everything from unexpected illnesses to accidents while exploring on a trip, and even an unlucky slip in the shower.

Read: Can you keep the cost of travel insurance down as you age?

The most expensive international travel insurance claim was a whopping $135,375, paid to a 65-year-old traveller who had a heart condition and developed fluid in the lungs while on holiday in Greece. The man was hospitalised for around three weeks and had to fly home on a business class flight when he was fit to fly, making for a disappointing holiday experience. Presumably, this would have been a shock for anyone, but having a good travel insurance plan in place would have cushioned the (financial) blow.

The second most expensive claim was a $109,725 claim made to a 95-year-old man who contracted pneumonia while overseas in Greece. After three weeks in hospital, he also had to travel back to Australia on a business class flight with two registered nurse escorts. Next, was a $79,277 claim paid to a 22-year-old who suffered a collapsed lung and fractured rib after a scooter accident in Indonesia – further proving that travel insurance is essential no matter your age.

The rest of the list includes:

  • An 85-year-old returned early from Greece after fracturing a hip when he fell while getting out of a car (claim paid: $46,075).
  • A 28-year-old with a heart condition was admitted to the hospital while on holiday in America (claim paid: $44,175).
  • A 64-year-old woman fractured her ankle after slipping in the shower while on holiday in Switzerland (claim paid: $37,525).
  • A 17-year-old returned early from America after sustaining a serious fracture while skiing (claim paid: $36,575).
  • A 46-year-old sought emergency treatment after a tear formed in a blood vessel in the heart while on holiday in Canada (claim paid: $34,675).
  • An 88-year-old had to return early from Portugal after falling off an e-bike (claim paid: $33,725).
  • An 85-year-old had to return early from Indonesia after suffering a heart attack (claim paid: $33,934).

Read: Travel insurance a must to avoid horror holidays

Travel insurance perspective in the wake of COVID-19

Three in four Australians have become more concerned about their health and safety when travelling in the next two years than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic began – with 80 per cent considering travel insurance a high priority for international travel and 65 per cent seeing domestic travel insurance a high priority.

SCTI CEO Jo McCauley has reminded Australian travellers to prepare for the unexpected when travelling domestically or internationally.

“Following COVID-19, we know there has been an increased appetite for travel. Research we conducted earlier this year showed 92 per cent of Aussies are planning to travel in the next two years. We’ve also seen people travelling for longer, up by an average of 25 per cent, from 20 days to 25 days,” Ms McCauley said.

“Understandably, Aussie travellers have been preoccupied with what would happen if they caught COVID-19 while travelling. But while COVID-19 still remains a reality, our largest claims relate to the same types of accidents and medical events that we were witnessing prior to the pandemic.”

Read: What you need to know about travel insurance for cruises

What do you think of the costs of these claims? Do you always purchase travel insurance before going on holiday? Let us know why or why not in the comments section below.

Written by Ellie Baxter

Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.

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