More than 1.8 million Australians choose Cover-More every year – so it’s safe to say we have seen our fair share of weird travel stories. Here are a few testimonials that made us worry about the world around us.

California king hit

A past customer, Dan, had embarked on a four-month trip through the United States, Canada and Europe. Upon arriving at his hostel in San Francisco, he stepped away from his friends for a moment to use the bathroom. There he was confronted by a group on men who attacked him.

Dan’s friends quickly stepped in, stopped the assault, and took him to a local hospital. Doctors determined that Dan had endured a king hit – the most damage-inducing punch that can be thrown – and suffered from a fractured nose, eye socket and cheekbone. Dan required extensive facial surgery and had four plates inserted around his eye and reconstructive surgery on his nose.

Hospital bills piled up – amounting to more than A$135,000. Fortunately, he had purchased travel insurance before leaving home, and Cover-More was able to cover his medical expenses as well as the extra accommodations and changed travel plans necessary for his friends during Dan’s recovery.

“When I booked my flights, they suggested Cover-More for travel insurance. At first, I didn’t really think we’d need travel insurance,” Dan said. “It was a massive relief to have Cover-More supporting me. I have no idea what I would have done if I didn’t have Cover-More. I probably would have had to drop out of uni if I didn’t have Cover-More.”

Read the whole story of Dan’s king hit in San Francisco.

Failed fall

Emma, a past customer, was on a three-month trip backpacking through Europe when she decided to go tandem skydiving in Switzerland. Everything seemed normal, until tragedy struck – in air. During the dive, Emma’s instructor lost consciousness when the ropes for the main chute and safety chute twisted around his neck. The chutes did not inflate properly, and Emma and her instructor hit the ground at full speed.

Paramedics at the scene flew her to a hospital in Bern for emergency treatment. Doctors found that Emma had fractured her back, her L1 vertebrae and her pelvis. There was a possibility Emma would never walk again. She underwent serious spinal surgeries and then was airlifted back to Sydney for rehabilitation. Since Emma had a travel insurance policy, Cover-More was able to cover the nearly A$140,000 in medical fees and transportation costs Emma incurred.

“Flight Centre recommended that I get travel insurance with Cover-More. I knew that I had to get it, but you never think you’re going to use it,” Emma said. “If it wasn’t for Cover-More I don’t know how I would have returned to Australia. They paid for my two surgeries and my hospital stay, as well as the (air ambulance) flight home to Australia. I just feel like the luckiest girl in the world. When you’re told you might never walk again and then you can…I have a whole new perspective on life.”

Read the whole story of Emma’s skydiving accident in Switzerland.

Poison for sale

While travelling through Indonesia with her boyfriend, a British woman name Cheznye had to be rushed from the jungle when she fell seriously ill and could not see. When she arrived at the nearest hospital, doctors put Chezney into an induced coma. Upon discussion what could have brought on such serious symptoms, it was discovered that Chezney and her boyfriend recently purchased a bottle of what they thought was gin from a local liquor store. Only later was it discovered that the gin had been removed and replaced with cheaper home-brewed methanol. If not distilled properly, homemade alcohol can lead to seizures, kidney failure, blindness and death. Five days later, when it became apparent Chezney would not recover, her parents turned off her life support.

Read the whole story of Chezney’s alcohol poisoning.

We don’t tell these stories to scare you, or to trivialize the ordeals these families have gone through. Rather, we tell you them to hammer home the importance of staying safe abroad. Sometimes you cannot control what happens, no matter how many precautions you take. If the unthinkable should arise, though, be covered with travel insurance from Cover-More.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Jason Rogers; cropped from original