The cost of the unexpected

Posted Date: 25 August 2015
Unexpected travel costs

Problems while travelling can happen anywhere and can stem from things as simple as a moment of forgetfulness through to a sudden medical emergency. If you’ve ever wondered what types of claims we receive and how much they cost, take a look at these examples. They may surprise you.

South America

A backpack was stolen while a stranger distracted a couple by arguing over a taxi. (We see claims for this type of event quite often!) All their valuables were in that backpack – camera and accessories, traveller tripod, laptop, phone chargers, hard drives and even their bus tickets. Total claim, over $6,900.

Early in the morning, two travellers were looking for accommodation. One friend waited while the other went down the road to check a location. While waiting, two men approached and demanded the backpack. Understandably afraid, the backpack was handed over. It contained items such as camera and accessories, clothing, shoes, headphones, video camera, toiletries, sleeping bag, and mobile phone. Total claim, over $9,800.

North America

A traveller fainted whilst on holiday and received a head injury after hitting the floor. She suffered from nausea, head pain, and vertigo and had to seek emergency medical treatment. The medical report described the condition as minor trauma. Total claim, over $25,000.

A traveller suffered from severe stomach pains and was advised to go straight to the emergency medical centre. They underwent several tests to find the cause of the pain, including a CT scan, before finally being diagnosed with gastroenteritis. Total claim, over $8,600.

A traveller awoke in the night feeling breathless and congested so called a taxi to the closest hospital. They received a chest x-ray and was subsequently diagnosed with pneumonia and bronchitis. They were prescribed antibiotics, discharged after four hours and advised to rest at the hotel. Total claim, over $9,500.

A group of travellers were at the beach and had left their vehicle, containing all their personal belongings, in a nearby car park. A rock was thrown through the passenger window to gain access and all of their items were taken, including backpacks, cameras, sunglasses, shoes, clothing and cash. Total claim, over $18,000.


A traveller was staying in a hostel and had locked up their personal belongings in a secure locker. When they were out for the day, they returned to find that the locker had been forced open and all their items had been taken, including a laptop, camera, sunglasses and iPad. Total claim, over $12,000.

A traveller was at a nightclub and was seated with a group of friends. When they decided to leave the club they were unable to locate their bag. The following day they called around to see if any friends had picked it up from the club, as well as calling the club to see whether it had been handed in. The bag, which contained a wallet, mobile phone, ipod, sunglasses and hearing aid, was never recovered. Total claim, over $11,300.

Before their trip to Europe had even started, a customer was diagnosed with a serious illness that meant they had to cancel their holiday. Total claim, over $16,000.


A woman tripped and injured her spine. She required medical treatment and repatriation to Australia. Her claim included missed tours and flights home. Total claim, $4,900.

What these claims show us is that the unexpected can happen while you’re travelling and even before you leave. We can‘t prevent bad things happening, but we can help you financially, when events that are out of your control happen. So please always buy your insurance early – preferably as soon as you confirm your flights – and remember to specify any high value items, that way you get the full value of having a TravelCare policy with Southern Cross Travel Insurance.

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