Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has revealed some Aussie travellers are finding themselves left with hefty medical bills after needing to seek medical care abroad.
In 2016, SCTI paid out over $1,300,000 for one claim, making it the highest ever paid claim in Australia in the company’s history. A customer needed to be evacuated from Southeast Asia by air ambulance for medical treatment.
Craig Morrison, SCTI CEO, says any requirement for medical care overseas and repatriation back home can quickly add up and highlights that those who travel without insurance are extremely vulnerable.
“The reality is that unfortunate incidents can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of how cautious a traveller you are. The cost of travel insurance is really just a tiny fraction of the costs that can result from these incidents.”
For example, Morrison says that some hospitals in the USA will request a deposit of up to as much as $10,000 before they will even start providing treatment.
“This is one of the key areas where having travel insurance is really important, as we can try to help eliminate the need to pay this deposit. If you end up in a US hospital and are asked to pay, you should immediately call our emergency assistance team who will negotiate with the hospital on your behalf.”
SCTI has released their top 10 medical claims made by Aussie travellers in 2016:
|Claim amount||Country||What happened|
|$1,328,000||Southeast Asia||Insured suffered an illness|
|$122,000||North America||Insured fell over|
|$114,000||Southeast Asia||Insured suffered an illness|
|$105,000||North America||Insured had a mountain bike accident|
|$98,000||Southeast Asia||Insured had a bicycle accident|
|$72,000||Africa||Insured had a motor vehicle accident|
|$70,000||North America||Insured suffered an illness|
|$67,000||East Asia||Insured fell off bunk bed|
|$67,000||Europe||Insured fell over|
|$66,000||East Asia||Insured suffered an illness|