Travel Accidents and Insurance

In Travel Guides
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I have been travelling around as much as my job lets me – i.e. on my week off or using up the 5 weeks of leave I can take each year based on my roster, and on every single trip I have taken out travel insurance! I personally like to go with covermore insurance, mainly because of the all positive experiences I have had with them.

 

Jellyfish in Malaysia

This was a family holiday to Langkawi in Malaysia. We had ~10 days in Langkawi at a resort-style hotel. The morning of the accident we went to cactus for breakfast (which, I’m not even joking, has the best breakfast I have ever had – get the banana or pineapple pancakes!!!), and then back to the hotel so we could go down to the beach for some sheesha (water pipe – lots of different flavours) and a swim. It was the second last day of our holiday, so were pretty much just winding down, and my mum and my younger sister, Liv, went in the water for a swim, whilst Mel, dad and I relaxed on the sand. Maybe 10 minutes later, we heard a scream, and everyone running down to the water. Obviously, we went down to check out what was going on…turns out it was mum, with jelly fish tentacles wrapped all the way up her legs – she was swimming and got caught up in some. The hotel staff (who funnily enough, had told us on arrival that there are no jelly fish on this beach) immediately put vinegar on her legs, and we got some sticks to try and pull the stingers off.

She was taken straight to hospital, with us all in tow in the cab behind. It took maybe 2hrs of waiting around before we could go in and see her, and she was pretty much delirious and hooked up on various pain medications. She remained in hospital until the next day when we had to fly out. We managed to get her to the airport in a wheelchair and through check in, but when it came time to board, she was in too much pain to board. All our luggage had already been checked in, I needed to get back to Tasmania so I could go to uni, so we made a split decision: Mel and I would go back to Tasmania; and mum, dad and Liv would stay and go back to the hospital.

They ended up staying another week in Langkawi whilst my mum got better. Through this process my dad was in contact with flight centre (who handled our booking) so that flights could be re-organised etc. etc. Long story short, the flight changes, extra accommodation in Langkawi for my dad and sister, and hospital bills were fully covered. So what would have cost thousands of dollars, only ended up costing my parents the couple of hundred dollars that the travel insurance was in the first place.

 

Car crash in USA

The second example I will use only happened a few months ago. This was my epic 5 week USA holiday (one of the best holidays I have had – will talk about this at a later stage!). I spent the first 2 weeks travelling around by myself, then a 2 week topdeck tour (amazing) and then a week by myself again. The first 2 weeks I went from Los Angeles to Bozeman (Montana) to San Francisco, then back to Los Angeles for the start of tour. My main method of transport was going to be a mix between flying and catching buses, but I had to hire a car in Bozeman, so I could drive to Yellowstone National Park. It has been my dream for AGES to go to Yellowstone (I am a geologist, so this was a lot of geo-porn with all the geothermal activity), but wasn’t a fan of driving a car in a different country. I picked the car up from Bozeman airport, and the car hire people offered me extra insurance (the car insurance was covered in my travel insurance), which I took. I didn’t really understand what I was accepting, but I figured I can’t go wrong with having more insurance for only 30 bucks extra. The hire car was a brand new 2015 car..didn’t even have it’s number plates yet! The drive to Yellowstone was maybe 1.5hrs and was fairly uneventful. I did a bus tour in yellowstone for 2 days (definitely spend more than 2 days in Yellowstone, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to) and then headed back to Bozeman via the dinosaur museum. I am a huge fan of dinosaurs, so wasn’t going to miss this, even though it meant driving a bit out of my way and through busier roads.

The museum was everything I dreamed about (so so so many dinosaurs!), so then had to drive to the airport (I was super early, but figured it would give me time to fuel the car up and have a relax at the airport). I pulled out onto the main road and went in the far left lane to turn off towards the airport. My light went green, so I followed the car in front of me…and SMASH! a car going ~50mph hit the passenger side of my car – pushing it across 3 lanes of traffic. All the airbags went off, the passenger door and windshield were completely caved in, the tyre on the passenger side had almost been ripped off…after that initial shock, I looked down and there was blood everywhere….did a quick check and felt my face and had a look around to see how I was – pretty luck considering! The only thing apart from my face and where my seatbelt was, was my right wrist – which was a bit swollen. The fire brigade, ambulance and police rocked up pretty quickly and got me out of the car, cleaned up the mess and took statements. That poor, 2015 car! It looked fine on the drivers side, but walking round to the other side – it was a goner…no coming back from that! Luckily, cause I am so punctual, I still had a few more hours before my flight…and travelling to San Francisco was my number one priority. The ambulance peeps said they didn’t think anything was broken, they strapped my arm up and sent me on my way (minus a car). At the airport I filled out a statement form to say what had happened, gave them my contact details and got on the flight to San Francisco.

After all the adrenalin died down, I realised how much everything hurt. I was going to Yosemite National Park the next day, which I wasn’t going to miss, but the day after that I went to the hospital in San Francisco to get myself checked out. The bills were sent to my house so didn’t pay anything whilst I was there. The next few weeks involved many phone calls and emails about the accident, pretty much the other car was going to sue, saying I ran a red :( All of this information I was forwarding to the car hire guys and to covermore and my travel agent. By the time I got home, there was a lovely hospital bill waiting for me: USD3000….for one x-ray!!! ridiculous! don’t ever get injured in america! Anyway, I forwarded all this to covermore and they paid for it straight away. The car was also covered… I didn’t end up paying a cent (no excess all the way!). If I hadn’t had travel insurance, I would be out of pocket by maybe 30k… The only downside was, that they read the x-ray wrong in America, turns out my wrist was broken, and 7 months later I’m still having issues with it.

 

Well I will sign off now, but please….even if you are going for a 5 day holiday, get travel insurance! I have been mugged at knife point, drugged in Laos and crashed my car in USA…travel insurance every single time! And all with covermore! Worth it!

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