“I tripped over a puppy”: 10 most bizarre travel insurance claims

Cover More - bizarre insurance claims

Following my article on how to deal with ‘holiday hell’, it’s time to look at some of the more bizarre misfortunes that travellers have had to face.

A bus fire, a low-hanging vine that ended in disaster — these are just some of the most peculiar travel claims, according to Cover-More Travel Insurance, a travel insurance and medical assistance provider in the UK.

Glenn Broadhurst, Cover-More’s global direct executive general manager, explained: “While some of these individual cases are unusual, they highlight how unpredictable travelling can be. It’s important your travel insurance policy covers you for the unexpected – even before you’ve left home.

“No laughing matter”

“While some of our most bizarre claims will surprise you, they’re no laughing matter. While each of these strange and unexpected claims was covered by the customer’s Cover-More policy, we recommend UK travellers buy their insurance policy straight after booking their holiday, and ensure they read their policy so they know what they’re covered for.”

Top 10 bizarre customer claims

  1. One UK customer – who is a postman – sneezed so powerfully as he bent down to deliver a letter that he suffered a severe back injury as a result. He had to cancel his holiday as a result of the mishap.
  2. A second customer submitted a claim with the simple description: “Blown over by wind”. Once more details were gathered, it was found the unlucky man fractured his arm when he was blown over by winds of more than 80 miles per hour during a freak storm.
  3. Three customers were on an ANZAC tour in Turkey when their bus caught fire. Thankfully, the driver and passengers were unharmed, but the blaze destroyed the bus and its contents.
  4. Cover-More’s most expensive medical assistance claim was for a traveller who suffered a gangrenous gallbladder in the USA. Cover-More paid GBP 126,000 (USD 158,000) to cover their emergency surgery, treatment in hospital, transport and travel delay costs.
  5. One customer fractured their hip when they slipped and fell down stairs at a bus station in Kyrgyzstan. An air ambulance was required to fly the customer home to the UK for surgery.
  6. Another UK traveller slipped on a swimming pool changing room floor in Thailand and burst their vertebrae. They needed an air ambulance to a hospital in Bangkok for specialist surgery.
  7. Another customer was visiting Honduras when they decided to swing on a low-hanging vine, only to fall off and fracture their back. An air ambulance transported the patient to receive emergency medical care.
  8. One traveller claimed for accidents on two separate trips to South Africa to visit their family. For their first claim, they tripped over a puppy and fractured their arm. Then, last year the same customer was in South Africa and fractured their other arm when they fell down a manhole.
  9. A UK holiday-maker in Spain suffered a first-time surprise asthma attack that needed treatment in hospital.
  10. Cover-More’s final wacky claim can only be described as a bat attack. The customer was volunteering in a bat survey project when one of the bats bit them on the hand.

“If the unexpected – or even bizarre – happens…”

Broadhurst concluded: “First and foremost, we want our customers to be safe and well so they can enjoy the full experience of their holiday. But if the unexpected – or even bizarre – happens our 24/7 emergency assistance team with expert case managers, nurses and doctors will help them find the care they need.”

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