Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


The Highest Travel Insurance Claims of 2012

The Highest Travel Insurance Claims of 2012

Uninsured travellers are placing themselves at risk of medical costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, says travel insurance CEO.

Online travel insurer Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has released its top 10 highest-value claims for 2012. The most expensive claims ranged from $54,000 to $208,000, and were all the result of Kiwi travellers suffering a serious or life-threatening medical problem while abroad.

The highest claim ($208,000) was from a New Zealander who incurred extensive medical bills while holidaying in the USA.

SCTI CEO Craig Morrison said the claim figures demonstrated the huge financial risks that uninsured travellers take.

Research of 4,400 travellers by TNS over the last financial year found that 31% of those surveyed did not take out insurance. Of the uninsured, 43% said they were “happy to risk not being covered” while 25% also said their reasons for not taking out travel insurance included “being covered by the country’s health system.”

Morrison said some people could be lulled into a “false sense of security” by the limited reciprocal healthcare agreements New Zealand holds with Australia and the UK.

“The fact is these agreements do not cover all costs that arise when an accident or emergency medical situation occurs – such as ambulance travel, medical support and flight costs for repatriation to New Zealand, or bringing a family member out to support you. For example, if you broke your arm in Australia and the break required a cast, you would also require a nurse to accompany you on the flight home in case of swelling that necessitated cast removal. This service alone would cost thousands of dollars for an uninsured traveller.”

Southern Cross Worldwide Assistance manages cases that require medical evacuation and emergency transport by air ambulance on a regular basis. They most often facilitate air ambulances to transport seriously ill travellers back to New Zealand from the Pacific Islands, where limited medical care is available - a cost which often exceeds $70,000.

“In July there was a highly publicised case where a Perth-based New Zealander travelling in Thailand incurred over $80,000 in medical and evacuation bills because his Australian travel insurance policy did not provide cover for injuries suffered while riding a scooter,” said Morrison.

“It is essential that travellers are careful to read their insurance policy, and understand what it does and, just as importantly, doesn’t cover them for. For example, many policies provide cover for skiing on designated runs in commercial ski areas, but they may not cover skiing off-piste. So if you decided to head into the back country and then broke your leg, you wouldn’t be covered for costs related to that accident.”

The most expensive medical-related claim received by SCTI in recent years was in 2010 when a traveller to the USA incurred over one million dollars in medical expenses after falling critically ill.

Ten highest claims for medical expenses and evacuation/repatriation costs in 2012

Amount Country where claim originated
1 $208,000 USA
2 $151,000 Mongolia
3 $114,000 Samoa
4 $110,000 Bali
5 $84,000 USA
6 $72,000 USA
7 $59,000 Fiji
8 $57,000 Thailand
9 $56,000 France
10 $54,000 Peru

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Trade: NZ Trade Deficit Widens To A Record In September

Oct. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's monthly trade deficit widened to a record in September as meat exports dropped to their lowest level in more than three years. More>>


Animal Welfare: Cruel Practices Condemned By DairyNZ Chief

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.

Tim says the video released today by Farmwatch shows some footage of transport companies and their workers, as well as some unacceptable behaviour by farmers of dragging calves. More>>


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


International Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news