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November 26, 2009

Australians' bizarre travel insurance claims

     Melbourne: Some of the most bizarre claims ever made by Australian travellers has now been revealed by insurance companies. One Aussie traveller claimed a monkey stole his wallet while on a holiday, and the insurance company covered his claim after a thorough investigation. On the subject of furry friends, another traveller wanted compensation after alleging that her pets were jetlagged after a long haul journey. Meanwhile, other holidaymakers have tried to cash in on their insurance policies by claiming a failed romance in France led to a broken heart, a music festival caused hearing loss and acid rain deteriorated a hire car's paint job. Strange claims that insurance companies honoured included a tourist whose possessions were stolen by gypsies after they rescued a child mid-air. Another who lost their gold-capped dentures, and one partygoer whose heel fell off their Jimmy Choo shoe. Travel experts from lastminute.com.au and travel.com.au say travel insurance is a must and is as essential as bringing your passport. "Travelling without travel insurance is a risky business, putting travellers in danger of expensive bills for emergency medical treatments, flight cancellations, theft and lost property," News.com.au quoted Mia Carter from lastminute.com.au as saying. "A simple accident can add up to thousands of dollars if you're not covered. "One man fell over on a ferry in Croatia and broke his leg, and complications resulted in him being sent to London and eventually back to Australia to get it fixed. This would have cost him over 82,000 dollars without travel insurance," Carter said. Having travel insurance also paid off for a man whose suitcase, worth 13000 dollars, and passport fell off the back of a boat in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Another traveller had a snowboarding accident where their snowboard went one way, and they went another, causing 66,000 dollars worth of damage, which was covered by their policy. Holidaymakers are advised to check their insurance policy carefully and make sure they purchase the right type of cover for their trip. "Always read through the insurance policy most policies are reasonable and can cover you up to a certain amount of damages," Lisa Ferrari, travel.com.au General Manager Brand, said. Travel insurance can cover flight delays, natural disasters and certain medical expenses. The cost of travel insurance is usually based on the type of cover requested, the age of the insured, the travel destination and the duration of stay.
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