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Top 10 most expensive travel insurance claims of 2021

·Personal Finance Editor
·4-min read
Australian currency fanned out and a Cassowary.
A man was able to claim damage to his car while on holidays thanks to an accident involving a Cassowary. (Source: Getty)

In a year dominated by closed borders and rolling lockdowns it is no surprise that many Aussies were making insurance claims for cancelled domestic travel.

But, there were also a few weird travel related claims that made the top 10 list when Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) crunched the numbers.

SCTI CEO Jo McCauley said the top 10 most expensive travel claims show that travelling inside Australia can be just as pricey as heading overseas.

“Following the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a heightened sense of what could go wrong on holiday,” McCauley said.

“Interestingly, people commonly purchase insurance because they want to be covered while they’re away on holiday, but our biggest number of claims [shows] that the unexpected can happen beforehand, regardless of whether you’re travelling domestically or abroad.”

Here are the top 10 most expensive travel insurance claims from 2021.

1. Cancelled Surfer’s Paradise trip - $6,043

A Melbourne mum found herself making a claim when her family holiday to Surfer’s Paradise got cut short.

As the mother of two children with autism, the mum needed to return home early when one of her young ones became distressed by the unfamiliar settings.

As this was a pre-existing condition, the mum was paid over $6,000 for the cancelled holiday.

2. Emergency surgery - $4,685

A 15-year old boy was hospitalised in Mackay, central Queensland, with acute appendicitis.

The boy was rushed into emergency surgery, with SCTI paying out $4,685 to cover the family’s cancelled accommodation and costs for flight changes.

3. Tasmania biking tour tumble - $4,536

This cycling enthusiast had his trip cut short when he fell off his bike on the first day of a six-day tour of the Apple Isle in Tasmania.

The 47-year old ended up in hospital for three days and suffered multiple fractures.

His claim of more than $4500 included the cost of his non-refundable tour and his missed accommodation.

4. Bicycle injury - $4,021

A 65-year old woman was unable to even leave for her planned trip after suffering from nerve impingement and muscle inflammation due to a cyclin injury.

She was able to claim $4,021 for her cancelled trip.

Taking out the fourth spot is another cycling injury, but this one happened even before the 65-year-old cyclist was able to leave for her trip.

5. Cancer relapse - $3,339

Tragically, a 59-year-old had to cancel their trip due to being diagnosed with a relapse of cancer.

They claimed $3,339 for the unused holiday.

6. Workplace injury - $3,318

A 24-year old was forced to cancel their holiday after a workplace injury forced them to remain at home.

The young worker was able to claim back the full cost of the trip.

7. Alpine horse incident - $3,256

A 75-year-old man claimed $3,256 after he fell off a horse and fractured his collarbone while on an alpine safari.

The man made the claim for the accommodation he missed out on and the rest of his horse tour.

8. Doting mother - $2,871

A 44-year-old Queensland mum cancelled her trip to Cairns and returned home after hearing her six-year-old had been hospitalised.

She claimed $2,871 for the cancelled trip.

9. Cassowary accident - $2,750

A driver issued a claim after a cassowary sprinted onto the road in the remote Cape Tribulation region in far north Queensland.

This area in the Daintree Rainforest has a large population of the prehistoric-looking animals, which can weigh up to 80kg.

The driver's car was damaged by the hit, and they were able to claim $2,750.

10. Love conquers all - $2,400

An 87-year old man cancelled a planned trip to reunite with his wife after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The man rushed home so he could be there with his wife for her surgery.

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