Travel Insurance Claims. The best of the worst

Don't believe in travel insurance? Here are some of the experiences of travellers we've helped

Brain aneurysm

I'm young & never imagined I'd end up in hospital with a life-threatening condition. With no warning, while travelling in Switzerland, I had a brain aneurysm, which is an abnormal ballooning of an artery and, when it bursts, it can result in stroke.

It was a terrifying experience.

I was in hospital with specialist care and surgery for ten days followed by weeks recovery in Zurich before I could come home. World Nomads really looked after me and flew my parents over to be with me while I recovered.

How we helped: Specialist Medical Care and Flights costing over $70,000. Australian in Switzerland.

Dengue Fever

I was in the middle of a trip to Bolivia when I got this massive headache and my body felt like it was freezing even though it was hot outside. I began to shiver uncontrollably, and my chattering teeth almost caused me to bite my tongue off. I went to the local hospital where they easily identified that I had Dengue Fever and a temperature of 40-41 Celsius.

How we helped: Hospital treatment and flights home. Australian in Bolivia.

Broken Penis

I was just about to have sex with my girlfriend and, without going into graphic detail, my frenulum split near the base. I needed a frenulectomy to give my frenulum enough slack to heal.

How we helped: Ouch! No comment ... but this is true (we swear). Canadian in Bed.

Gastro

While travelling in India I had to make an unexpected detour to hospital. It all started with an upset stomach, for which I was prescribed antibiotics. Three weeks later, I was in Mumbai, still feeling really unwell, so I walked into a hospital for help. The next day I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis.

How we helped: Four nights in hospital with IV antibiotics, medical tests and prescription antibiotics. New Zealand traveller in India.

Double scam

Never trust French men who try to flatter you. My friend and I were sitting in a café grabbing a bite to eat. My friend left the table to go to the bathroom and a man came up to me and stroked my face, saying something to the effect of: "Beautiful girl, let me see your eyes." I turned my face away from him and told him to go away - and he did, but not before grabbing my bag, which had been sitting beside me. Inside was my mobile, camera, a bikini and make-up — but there was still more drama to come.

When my friend came back to the table, we left the café in the hope of seeing in which direction the thief had gone. Outside, two other men approached us, claiming they had witnessed my bag being stolen and they offered to call the police. I was grateful for their help until one of them grabbed my brand new glasses off my face. I snatched them back and told him not to touch my glasses, or me. He said, "Sorry, sorry miss; I just wanted to see your eyes." Can you believe it?

I put my glasses in the pocket of my jeans while one of the men phoned the police. After the call, the men said goodbye and left us. I went to put my glasses back on but they were gone — obviously stolen from my pocket. We suspect all three men had been working together.

How we helped: Paid Claim $1,221 for stolen items. Australian in France.

Mountain bike accident

I was out mountain biking in the elements… when a tree got in my way. On impact, the handle bars of my bike twisted, bluntly jutting into my ribs before I went flying. I was in a lot of pain but there was no external bruising. I figured that even if I had broken a rib, there was nothing much anyone could do, so I didn’t seek medical attention. Two weeks later, though, I was still in just as much pain as when the accident had happened — and my internal organs felt painful, too. When I started having muscle spasms near my ribs I started to worry that something might be wrong, so I went to a nearby hospital. After initial concern that I had damaged my spleen, I was told I had multiple fractures in my ribs.

How we helped: Hospital medical care including CAT scan and chest X-ray. Canadian in the USA

Fire Blast

I was lucky to survive a fire blast in Egypt, where I was admitted to hospital in a town close to Dahab, with neck, face and leg injuries. I was diagnosed with a fracture dislocation in the right shoulder and arm, lacerations all over my body and a broken finger. They also carried out exploratory surgery on my abdomen, before transferring me to Cairo for further examination and treatment.

How we helped: Air ambulance, specialist surgery, flights and accommodation for immediate family to fly to Cairo to be with her costing over US$80,000. Australian in Egypt.

Family comes first

I was supposed to go on a two month trip to visit 10 countries throughout Africa. My first stop was Uganda, and on my 4th day there I got a call from my mother to tell me that my step father had collapsed from a heart attack and doctors predicted he only had 2 weeks to live.

How we helped: Flight expenses, trip interruption costs to cover Gorilla tour and non-refundable accommodation. New Zealand traveller in Uganda.

Slippery when wet

While showering one day on vacation, I slipped and fell from the bathtub. Although at first the pain was minor, after a few days passed the pain was so bad I was unable to move my back. I checked into the hospital, had x-rays taken, met with a physiotherapist and underwent treatment.

How we helped: consultation, pathology, x-rays and physiotherapy. American in Australia.

Falling unconscious

I was jogging along a footpath, about four metres from a main highway and then… well, God only knows what happened. I woke up, face down, with my leg all twisted. I was in immense pain. I don't remember being hit by a vehicle or a person — I have no idea how it happened. I called for help but most people just ignored me.

Finally a Red Cross ambulance arrived and took me to Emergency at a nearby hospital: this was the beginning of a long road to recovery. You do not want to be stuck in hospital in Costa Rica.

How we helped: Emergency medical treatment, including ambulance. Hospital care, X-rays, a temporary cast, air ambulance transfer to USA for surgery costing over US$150,000. American in Costa Rica.

All claims are assessed individually depending on the circumstances and the coverage purchased by the traveller. What is covered in one plan, may not be covered in all plans. Please review your policy description of coverage carefully for details on what's covered and what isn't.