Media releases

December 19, 2012

Top 10 travel claims

Medibank has released figures for 2012's top ten largest travel claims that have a combined payout of $1,077,515.

Topping the list, Medibank paid nearly $469,000 on behalf of a traveller who suffered a potentially fatal kidney disease while in the United States. The traveller's Medibank Travel Insurance paid for the overseas medical expenses and the cost to repatriate the whole family back to Australia.

"Of our top ten travel insurance claims, half were for injury and half were for illness," says Medibank Group Executive - Private Health Insurance, Laz Cotsios. "While these figures unfortunately represent misfortune and hospital stays for our policy holder they do illustrate the importance of having insurance for travel of any kind."

Second on the list was a $152,500 claim for a member who fractured their pelvis and back and also suffered a head injury in an accident in Peru. The third and fourth largest claims were for just over $106,000 and $75,000 for medical treatment for an infection of the brain in the United Arab Emirates, and a fractured leg in a sporting accident in Fiji respectively.

"Interestingly, the top ten claims were spread over a broad age range, evidence that you never know what sort of health emergency you could have while travelling. And as these claims demonstrate, care and treatment can be very expensive."

The top ten claims included costs for things such as surgery, hospital accommodation and emergency medical evacuations to Australia.

"Whether you're travelling overseas for business or pleasure, the last thing you'd imagine needing would be serious healthcare," says Laz.

"Luckily, these people all had travel insurance which reduced the financial burden of these costly procedures and enabled the patients to focus on getting home and getting better."

Travel insurance is not just for illness or injury but also for things like stolen, lost or damaged items, damage or theft of a hire vehicle and flight delays due to severe weather or natural disasters. But, as more people travel, the population ages and technology advances, so the cost of healthcare increases. Health emergencies, therefore, represent Medibank's highest travel claims.

In order to make travel insurance more affordable, Medibank was the first organisation in Australia to use a self-assessment tool which allows members to be underwritten for pre-existing medical conditions.

Laz summarises, "Medibank travel insurance is as flexible as you are likely to require and we'd be delighted to discuss your needs with you. Make sure you consider packing Medibank travel insurance for your next trip overseas."

  1. Medibank's 10 most expensive travel claims 2012:
  2. Pauci-immune Glomepulonephritis (US) $469,000
  3. Fractured pelvis & back, head injury (Peru) $152,500
  4. Meningoencephalitis (United Arab Emirates) $106,000
  5. Fractured leg (Fiji) $75,000
  6. Respiratory Bacterial Infection (Monaco) $74,500
  7. Back Fracture (El Salvador) $50,300
  8. Injured leg (Philippines) $44,300
  9. Brain Tumour (Greece) $40,400
  10. Meningitis (China) $32,600
  11. Fractured Humerus (upper arm bone) (Austria) $32,100
    Total $1,077,515*
    *Figures above rounded to de-identify

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