The danger is real

Posted Date: 20 April 2015
The danger is real

We know first-hand that the danger out there is real. We see it in the claims that our customers submit, and because we’re there to support you when the unexpected happens, we get an unadulterated view of many of the things that can go wrong on a holiday.

From falling ill to having to cancel a trip, from dangerous encounters with animals to high-speed theft (see our case study below), we’ve seen it all. We cover travellers of all kinds with our award-winning TravelCare policy.

Last year over 250,000 people travelled with a Southern Cross Travel Insurance policy, providing some valuable insights into the dangers present while overseas.

Of course, we love travel – for the incredibly enriching experiences it gives us and for the way it opens our minds to new ways of seeing the world. But what we love even more is safe travel. We believe an important part of becoming a safe traveller is familiarising yourself with our PDS including Policy Wording. You’ll understand what is and isn’t covered and be able to make better decisions while still enjoying a fun trip. We’ve also pulled together some data from the past year to illustrate why you need to take care when travelling.

Our top medical claims

Our figures show that medical claims were by far the largest category of claims, making up 69% of the total amount. Because health and wellbeing while on holiday is so important, we offer UNLIMITED medical coverage for both individuals and families on single and multi-journey policies with no added premium.

Our highest claim last year was over $400,000 due to a New Zealand traveller requiring extensive surgery for cancer in the USA. The next two highest claims of 2014, also New Zealand travellers, came to $365,000 and $285,000 also in the United States.

It’s worth noting that none of our top three claims involved any kind of outrageous surroundings, extreme sports or other kinds of high-risk activities. When we step out of our comfort zone into foreign environments that we’re unfamiliar with we’re more likely to accidentally injure ourselves or place additional stress on our bodies.

Thankfully, when you choose TravelCare you gain access to our Worldwide Emergency Assistance network – one of the largest networks of medical resources in the world, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other injuries

Skiing and snowboarding accidents are frequent. The most common occurrences are a fractured leg or pelvis and head injuries causing concussions and haematomas. Depending on the severity of the injury and the location, the cost of treatment can range from $200 to $60,000, or more. Without TravelCare you might have to foot this bill yourself, or worse, risk lower quality medical treatment.

One of our Australian travellers was skiing in the USA last year when they suffered a fractured leg, which required surgical fixation at a cost of $61,000.

But it’s not just accidents caused by human mistakes that can result in a travel insurance claim. Unexpected encounters with animals are also often featured on our list of top claims. Their unpredictable nature and the constant convergence of wild habitats and tourism mean that you should be mindful of the danger present in locations where animals roam freely. In recent years, we’ve had a $100,000 claim for a customer who was knocked down by a dog in Switzerland, and we’ve also seen unfortunate encounters with elephants, seals stealing fishing rods, and dogs biting in Thailand.

Unlike many of our competitors we now offer no excess on medical claims, part of the SCTI difference.

A theft case study

The most common claim after medical is theft. Whether it’s pickpockets on the subway or inflight scams, theft is something that everyone is vulnerable to.

One customer even managed to capture video footage of her bag being snatched in a high speed drive-by snatch and grab job. Watch the video below:

Like a scene out of a movie (albeit a low budget one), we can see our travellers riding in a tuktuk in Bangkok when a motorbike comes past carrying two people. The one steering the bike swerves in while the second criminal snatches the bag before both take off at great speed. Unbelievably, a camera phone was rolling the whole time.

The tuktuk driver begins to give chase, increasing its speed to a dangerous pace, at which point our safe travellers ask him to slow down, saying it’s not worth it because they have kids.

Following the incident the husband and wife notified their hotel and reported the case to two local police stations for an official report. They also cancelled their credit cards, but thankfully did not have their   in the handbag.

The police report was important for submitting their claim using our simple online claims process.

Footage from this case study really demonstrates that the unexpected can happen at any time, even when you’re simply enjoying a night-time ride through a popular tourist destination such as Bangkok.

Don’t get caught out without having great travel insurance and 24/7 support from SCTI.

We've got you covered at no extra cost*

Unlike many other well-known insurers, we don’t make our customers pay a surcharge for coverage on a variety of activities that you might wish to enjoy on your well-deserved overseas break. These include:
- Scuba diving (with an artificial breathing apparatus provided you hold an open water diving certificate or are diving with a qualified instructor)
- Skiing and snowboarding in designated commercial ski areas
- Riding a motorbike or moped of 200cc or less (while wearing a helmet and provided you hold the relevant drivers licence)
- Parachuting, paragliding, parasailing and hang gliding (with a licensed operator)
- Bungy jumping (with a licensed operator)
- Horse riding
- Fishing
- Kayaking
- White water rafting (with a licensed operator)

You can be a confident and safe traveller knowing that SCTI understands that the danger is real, and we’re here to help you where it can occur.

* Terms and conditions apply, for further information view our PDS including Policy Wording.

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