Bizarre claims lodged with Allianz reveal why we all need travel insurance

A mountaineer cat who has travel insurance.

A good travel insurance policy can transform your holiday. For instance, will this medical disaster be a funny story, or an unfunny bill? Transformation!

The last few years have transformed how Australians think of travel insurance, at the least. Between flight cancellations and the regular nuisance of lost luggage, having a good policy is as essential as having your passport.

“The new travel landscape has made travel insurance a must-have – even for a domestic trip,” says executive head of travel at Allianz Partners Australia, Damien Arthur. 

“COVID, and its impact on travel, has given Australian travellers a sharper awareness of what can go wrong on their holiday, and an increased appetite to understand the minute detail of their policy.” 

So in the spirit of thoroughly reading the PDS – and remembering to purchase a policy in the first place – Allianz shared with Mozo some of the weirdest claims it received on its travel insurance.

Weird medical emergencies

Collage of a person cannonballing into polka dot water with leaping fish.

We’ve all enjoyed TikToks of drunk* partygoers in Ibiza stacking it down the stairs – but what about monkey bites in Bali? Flesh-eating fish in Thailand? Rogue antelope spearing people through the gut in South Africa? (Yep, all of these happened, according to Allianz).

Injury and illness are a part of life, but unless you want to foot the bill yourself, you may want to consider having travel insurance.

RELATED: Safest travel destinations in 2022

“Australians falling sick or getting injured overseas is commonplace, as are the expensive medical bills associated,” says Allianz. 

“It’s not unusual for medical bills to run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, with one case their year already incurring over $1.1 million in medical expenses.”

Some of the most common medical overseas emergencies include broken bones, infection, and gastroenteritis, which can strike anyone anywhere. Acute mountain sickness in Nepal? A little less so – but that claim was undoubtedly unforgettable for one of Allianz’s nurses.

*For the record, it’s usually the case that accidents or injuries that happen while you’re under the influence won’t receive coverage. Party responsibly.

Luggage taking its own holiday

A yellow suitcase on holiday at a beach.

One American traveller made a 96-hour trip back to Germany to retrieve his luggage after a mishap left it stranded at Dusseldorf Airport, and airline staff proved unhelpful. Once there, he had to dig through giant rooms of “terrible smelling” baggage. 

But believe it or not, he’s lucky. Whole businesses have evolved around reselling lost or abandoned luggage, so unless you’re ready for your bags to go on permanent holiday without you, it’s good to have a plan b. 

“When checking out travel insurance policies, consider the baggage you’re bringing,” says Allianz. 

“If you’re travelling with cheap gear, you probably won’t need the highest level of cover. However, if you are travelling with expensive clothing or equipment, you may want more cover than provided with the standard item limits.”

It’s all about finding the right level of coverage for your needs. Not sure how much is enough? You can start by asking yourself these five travel insurance questions.

Then there's the boring stuff

Wacky claims can be loads of fun to read. Unfortunately, the boring stuff like cancelled flights due to COVID staff shortages tends to happen most often. 

Recent Allianz data reveals that domestic cancellation claims increased 279% between April and June 2022 compared to the same period in 2019. Similarly, lost luggage claims peaked around the Easter family holiday period. The spike correlates to a rise in domestic air travel: more flights, more ways to go wrong.

Exclusions, limits, and conditions apply

Collage of a person beckoning for you to join them on their holiday covered by travel insurance.

Finding the best travel insurance is about comparing what’s out there. Some policies will include generous medical cover, while others will be more activity-specific, like snow sport or cruise insurance

Either way, if you want to avoid making a travel insurance mistake, look at a few to see what suits you.

Compare international travel insurance policies below.

Compare international travel insurance policies

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Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
Last updated 21 July 2024 Important disclosures
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Travel Insurance
    covid medical cover
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    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
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    covid cancellation cover
    No
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
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    Enjoy unlimited medical cover and 24/7 emergency assistance services when you travel. Get unlimited cover for cancellation fees and prepaid travel expenses. Cover for luggage and travel documents. $5,000,000 personal liability cover.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
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    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
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    Choose $10,000 to Unlimited

    Backed by the NIB, one of Australia’s largest travel insurance providers, Travel Insurance Saver brings you peace of mind on your travels. Compare three tiers of insurance cover, featuring benefits like 24 hour emergency assistance, emergency medical cover, luggage cover, cancellation cover and more.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    International Comprehensive Single
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
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    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Choose $2,500 to Unlimited

    Enjoy the security of single trip cover on your next holiday with Southern Cross Travel Insurance. Get 24 hour emergency assistance, cover for cancelling or changing your journey before you leave, protection for lost, stolen or damaged goods as well as cover to replace lost or stolen cash, banks or travel documents. Be in to win 1 of 5 $1,000 cash prizes! T&Cs Apply. Offer ends 30 September 2023.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Top
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    Unlimited

    Be covered for international overseas and medical expenses. Emergency medical assistance 24 hours/365 days a year. Cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits. Cover for luggage and personal money. Dependents covered free of charge (conditions apply). Limited COVID cover available. Cancellation cover for COVID claims limited to $3,500.

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