Tourism

Travel insurance company issues warning after series of animal-related claims

When you think of travel insurance, you think of accidents or lost luggage, right?

Well, Southern Cross Travel Insurance is urging Aussie travellers to consider the local wildlife they may encounter after receiving a series of claims relating to animals. Yep, we’re serious.

Monkeys are particularly common culprits, with Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) paying dozens of claims in recent years due to their antics, with the naughty primates biting or stealing the property of unsuspecting travellers.

In September, someone’s handbag was stolen by a monkey at a temple in South East Asia. The monkey then ran up a tree and held it ransom, and would only make a trade for food. The monkey eventually dropped the bag over the edge of a cliff and into the ocean, resulting in a claim of $857.

Claims for dog bites are also just as prevalent, with incidents occurring as far afield as Asia, Europe and both North and Latin America.

In another claim, a customer’s tent in Africa was raided by baboons, causing loss and damage of possessions. This resulted in a claim of $492. Another previous claim from Africa featured a customer trampled by an aggressive male zebra, which was roaming the grounds of a hotel. The customer was also treated for an illness, with the total claim costing $253.

SCTI Chief Executive, Chris White, says it pays to understand the wildlife you may encounter when travelling overseas.

“Researching your destination will help you enjoy your adventure without it being spoiled by injury, damage or loss at the hands of furry, scaled or fanged creatures,” he said.

“We recommend travellers check whether there are any precautionary treatments they can take before travelling overseas. A vaccine for rabies, for example, can prevent you needing to get several injections while on holiday if you are bitten. Other vaccinations can give you some protection from mosquito-borne illnesses like yellow fever and malaria.”

Other animal-related claims from Southern Cross Travel Insurance customers across Australia and New Zealand from 2018 include:

  • While on the road in Europe, a customer hit a deer, severely damaging their rental car. Claim paid: $1,406
  • In Europe, a large beetle that flew into a customer’s face, causing them to badly hit their head on a nearby railing and damage their phone. The rattled traveller received several stitches at a nearby hospital. Claim paid: $389
  • A monkey stole a customer’s glasses at a temple in South East Asia and started eating them. The customer tried to retrieve the glasses, but the monkey was too aggressive. Claim paid: $336

So, next time you’re overseas, be wary of the wildlife over there. Clearly, you never know what can happen.

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