There’s a lot that can go right on a holiday, but when something does go wrong, having the right support — and the right travel insurance cover — can make a huge difference. 


Source: Getty


Most holidays go off without a hitch, but sometimes even the best-laid plans can take an unexpected turn. When the unexpected happens, having a travel insurance specialist by your side to provide assistance can make a huge difference.  

At Cover-More, we’re here 24/7 to support our travellers — and last year we helped a lot of Australian travellers navigate situations they never expected to be in, while also helping to cover the associated costs covered by their policies.

Here, we reveal 13 real-life — and somewhat expensive! — travel claims stories that our travellers experienced in 2023. From scenic walks that ended in broken bones to luggage that never joined their owners on holiday, these true travel incidents and high claim amounts showcase the importance of appropriate travel insurance cover. Because without it, you could be left to pay the bills yourself.  


13 real-life travel insurance stories that resulted in expensive claim pay-outs

#1. The cruise ship trip that caused a fracture       
Total travel claim pay-out = ~ $150,000

What damage can a simple stumble cause? Well, it turns out it can cause a lot of damage – both physically and financially. One of our Cover-More travellers with Cruise Cover included in their policy  was on a cruise holiday in the US when they tripped on board the ship. Sadly, the stumble resulted in a fractured ankle (and hefty bills), derailing their trip plans.    

#2. The casual walk that ended in a trip-ending fall      
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$60,000

Most people tend to clock a lot of steps while on holiday – including one of our travellers who was out enjoying the sites by foot while in Greece. However, their peaceful walk didn’t go as smoothly as they’re hoped… As they were walking, their ankle went into a ditch, causing them to fall down the 1.5m cliff-like edge of the road. They landed on their side, breaking their femur in the process, causing their Europe trip to come to an abrupt (and painful) end. 


Source: Getty

#3. The ski trip that ended in ankle surgery       
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$50,000

For snow lovers, there’s nothing quite like skiing or snowboarding down a mountain on a crisp, sunny day. But with winter sports come the added risk of incidents, and one of our travellers knows this all too well… A skiing accident on the Canadian ski fields left our traveller with a fractured ankle that not only ended their trip, but also left them unable to work their physically demanding job upon returning home. They included our optional Snow Sports cover in their policy, which meant we were able to help them cover the costs of the snow accident as well as help them access medical assistance.  



Discover our Snow Sports cover before your next trip.      
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#4. The horrific incident that resulted in a cancelled trip      
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$40,000

No one wants to cancel a long-awaited holiday, but when the unthinkable happens to a loved one, you’ll likely want to be at home. One of our travellers had to cancel a trip to Canada unexpectedly after a non-travelling family member was involved in a motorbike incident and they were required to remain in Australia to help their family. 

#5. The loose stones that ended in an airlift to hospital      
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$18,000

Hiking through the Scottish Highlands is popular activity for many visitors to the UK, and most travellers come home with fond memories of fresh air and beautiful landscapes. Unfortunately, one of our traveller’s Scottish Highlands hikes was derailed after they slipped on some loose stones while going down a hill. They fell, damaged their foot and ankle, and were then airlifted to hospital. After some X-rays, they discovered they had broken bones. So, they had surgery in the UK, then returned safely to Australia soon after.  



We provide cover for 80+ adventure activities on all plans. If you’re planning to get active on your next trip, be sure to check if your activity is included in our base plans or if you’ll need one of our optional levels of cover: Adventure Activities and Adventure+ Activities. 


#6. The event that was never attended       
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$27,000

Lots of travellers head overseas to attend events, such as weddings, festivals, and races. Sadly, our travellers missed a thrilling winter car event after their flight to New Zealand were cancelled and they were unable to get on another flight that would allow them to arrive before the event started.


Source: Getty

#7. The snow trip with no snow clothes       
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$4,000

When you’re hitting the slopes, you need the right (read: warm!) attire. Sadly, when some of our Australian travellers headed to France for a snow holiday, none of their luggage arrived with them. And while the luggage was found by the responsible airline and returned to their home city in Australia, the unexpected incident meant they had to purchase replacement snow gear so they could hit the slopes as planned.

#8. The civil unrest that changed travel plans       
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$17,000

Sometimes an unexpected event means you don’t even arrive at your intended destination… This was the case for some of our travellers who planned on visiting Peru. Civil unrest broke out the day before they were due to land in the country, so they ditched their original plans for new, safer ones so they could continue with their holiday. 



When you register your trip in our Cover-More App, we can let you know if there are any risks or events unfolding at your destination that could affect your trip before you leave home and during your trip.      
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#9. The slip-of-the-foot that resulted in a damaged a car      
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$3,000

3-point turns are tough at the best of times, but even tougher on busy, narrow Italian roads... One of our traveller’s feet slipped off the accelerator while they were performing a 3-point turn, which saw the car roll back into another car. Their rental car wasn’t harmed, but they did accidently cause some damage to the front bumper and front bumper grill of another car. 


Source: Getty

#10. The cruise that wasn’t exactly cruisy      
Total travel claim pay-out =  ~$2,000

After docking in Brisbane for longer than expected, one of our traveller’s soon realised another passenger was having an unexpected medical emergency and the ship was staying put to allow emergency services on board to help. Sadly, the delay meant they missed a port as well as their pre-booked adventures that were part of their original cruise itinerary, so they had to change their trip plans.  



Check our Cruise Cover before you take to the seas.      
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#11. The snowboarding incident that caused a bad shoulder injury      
Total travel claim pay-out = ~$16,000

Japan is known for its amazing snow — and snowy mountains are known to sometimes cause injuries. One of our travellers with our optional Snow Sports cover included in their policy was snowboarding in Japan when they injured their shoulder on the slopes. Not only did the accident mean they needed medical attention and surgery but it also meant the avid snowboarder couldn’t continue with their original travel plans of hitting the slopes in Europe after visiting Japan.

#12. The tree fall that disrupted an important train journey      
Total travel claim pay-out = ~$5,000

Sometimes you miss a connection even when you allow more than enough time between changes… A group of our travellers had their journey home to Australia from Europe disrupted when their train to the airport was delayed after a tree fall created electrical issues for the railway network. As a result of this incident, they missed their booked flights back to Australia, which meant new travel arrangements had to be booked to ensure they got home.

#13. The oncoming truck that damaged a hire car       
Total travel claim pay-out = ~$5,000

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how safe a driver you are, an accident can still happen while you’re on the road... One of our Cover-More traveller’s hire car was significantly damaged when an oncoming truck’s hydraulic jack came out and struck their car when going around a bend.


Importance of travel insurance

Most holidays are smooth sailing, but if the unexpected does happen, travel insurance can help. Discover how a Cover-More policy can provide cover for your next trip.


Important: All claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis and subject to the terms and conditions, including limits and exclusions contained in the Combined FSG/PDS. Please consider your financial situation, needs and objectives and read the Combined FSG/PDS before deciding to buy this insurance.