You are just going through the final steps of booking your dream vacation in an exotic location halfway around the world, but you suddenly feel that something is not right. There is a flashing button on your computer screen saying something about “travel insurance”. You immediately start thinking: how and why can something possibly go wrong on a two-week vacation? Why is this little, flashy button trying to get you to buy something that you might not need at all?
Without even realizing it, your mind starts to think about every disaster scenario imaginable. What could go horribly wrong during a vacation? Getting your luggage stolen, losing flight connections or getting sick are some of the most common risks most travelers can think about. These may be the most common things that can go wrong, but there are also some incredibly peculiar and unexpected insurance claims coming from some travelers.
Obviously, being attacked by monkeys in Spain or having your tent smashed by a parachutist is indeed rare, and most vacations do go as planned. However, heading towards the tropical paradise of your dreams without any insurance is a bad idea. Many travel insurance policies are very cheap and can cover almost any claim, even some of the strangest ones. Let’s see some of them:
1. A British tourist, while enjoying his trip in Athens on foot, walked into a bus sheltered and broke his nose. Fortunately, his medical bills, hospitalization fees, and reconstructive surgeries were all paid for by his travel insurer. When asked what actually happened, he explained that a group of women wearing bikinis was walking down the sidewalk and the bus shelter was difficult to see.
2. Gibraltar, a small rock formation in Southern Spain, is famous for being the only area in Europe where tourists can see monkeys in their natural habitat. The Gibraltar macaques, as they are called, are often regarded as a nuisance for tourists, but almost all incidents were harmless to humans. A French couple, however, complained that they were literally attacked by a fierce family of macaques and felt as if they were under a siege. The monkeys stole all their food, their drinks and tore some of their clothes, including their backpacks. Although there were no witnesses to this assault, a police inquiry was done and the travel insurer paid in full for all the lost goods.
3. As everyone already knows, wearing a helmet is mandatory on construction sites or around heavy machinery, but you definitely don’t expect to have to wear one while sunbathing on a tropical beach. A female tourist from the United States became famous when a coconut fell on her head from a height of more than 30 feet while she was reading a book. The Sri Lankan doctors, where it all happened, decided to keep her hospitalized for three days, all costs being supported by the travel insurer.
4. Camping in the wild can sometimes go really…. wild. A couple who was out camping in the British countryside had their tent smashed by a parachutist. An investigation revealed that the campers had unknowingly set up their tent just a stone’s throw away from an active military base. Luckily, both the parachutist and the tourists were safe, but their whole camping equipment was destroyed. Their travel insurer paid back their damaged goods.
5. Skiing is a wonderful winter sport, but only if there’s plenty of snow to go around. After arriving at the ski resort, a British ski enthusiast noticed that the weather was unusually warm for December and there wasn’t enough snow on the slopes. Immediately after returning home, she claimed for the cost of the new skis, which she had bought before going on the trip. Unfortunately, her claims were rejected.
If you’re planning a trip and are unsure if you should proceed with travel insurance, you can always call an insurance agent, such as the ones at Insurance Land, to request some guidance and information before making your final decision.
Flaviu Mircea is a traveler and freelance writer who writes and shares his tips and experiences for a smooth and successful trip. If you would like to learn more about Flaviu, you can check out his Google+ profile here.