After two years of COVID lockdowns, it is no surprise Aussies are getting their appetite for travel back, with new research showing about 92 per cent of Australians are looking to explore the world again over the next two years.
The research from Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) also found a quarter of people were upping their travel time from 20 to 25 days.
However, SCTI CEO Jo McCauley said that, while it was great we'd been able to get back out into the world and explore again, we still needed to be prepared for the unexpected.
"Following COVID-19, we know there has been an increased appetite for travel," McCauley said.
"Understandably Aussie travellers have been preoccupied with what would happen if they catch COVID-19 while travelling. But, whilst COVID-19 still remains a reality, our largest claims relate to the same types of accidents and medical events that we were witnessing prior to the pandemic."
After crunching numbers, SCTI revealed that, in 2022, none of the top 10 travel insurance claims had anything to do with the coronavirus as many of us might have thought. Overall, COVID-related claims accounted for just 14 per cent of all claims received by SCTI in Australia this year.
Of the total COVID claims received, cancellations accounted for 30 per cent, and changes to journey accounted for 49 per cent, with an average claim payment of $2,537.
Most expensive claims
Here are the top 10 most expensive travel insurance claims from this year, based on SCTI's numbers:
1. Hospitalised on holiday - $135,375
At the top of the list is a 65-year-old traveller who had a heart condition and fluid in the lungs while on holiday in Greece. He was hospitalised for approximately three weeks and had to fly back to Australia on a business-class flight when he was finally fit enough.
2. Pneumonia - $109,725
The second-most-expensive claim also involved Greece, except this time the holidaymaker was a 95-year-old man who contracted pneumonia while travelling to the country and subsequently had to be admitted to hospital for three weeks. Unfortunately, the man's condition didn't improve and he had to fly back to Australia on a business-class flight with two registered nurses as escorts.
3. Scooter crash - $79,277
A 22-year-old man crashed his scooter in Indonesia and suffered significant injuries, which included a collapsed lung, cracked rib and fractured sternum. As a result of his injuries, the man spent six days in intensive care and had to be airlifted from Lombok to a hospital in Perth for further treatment. The whopping cost was covered by SCTI.
4. Fractured hip - $46,075
Greece features once again, with an 85-year-old man who had to return early from his holiday. He had fractured his hip after he fell while getting out of a car.
5. Heart condition - $44,175
A 28-year-old man on holiday in the US had to be admitted to hospital with a heart condition.
6. Fractured ankle - $37,525
A 64-year-old woman on holiday in Switzerland fractured her ankle after she slipped in the shower and was hospitalised while she received medical treatment. SCTI paid for the medical expenses and a flight upgrade on her return home.
7. Ski accident - $36,575
A 17-year-old boy had to cut his holiday in the US short after a skiing accident left him with a serious fracture.
8. Emergency treatment - $34,675
A 46-year-old traveller had to seek emergency treatment while on holiday in Canada. The holidaymaker had to be treated after a tear formed in a blood vessel in the heart.
9. E-bike accident - $33,725
An adventurous 88-year-old had to cut his holiday short after suffering an injury when he fell off an electronic bike.
10. Heart attack - $33,934
Rounding out the top 10 is an 85-year-old who also had to cut his holiday short after he suffered a heart attack in Indonesia.