Encounters with animals account for majority of travel claims – SCTI

Incidents range from monkeys that grab belongings to dogs reacting defensively

Encounters with animals account for majority of travel claims – SCTI


By Roxanne Libatique

From monkeys to companion animals such as dogs, animal encounters have become a major issue among Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) customers.

SCTI revealed that animal encounters have accounted for most travel insurance claims over the years. On many trips, Australian travellers encounter monkeys that snatch belongings, including sunglasses, smartphones, and cameras. Dogs, often known for their loyalty to humans, can also react defensively, such as biting.

Animal-related claims

The animal-related travel insurance claims made by Australian travellers to SCTI include:

  • accidents (e.g., swerving a vehicle to avoid an animal and being startled by an animal, resulting in damage to an item)
  • bites and scratches, mostly from insects, dogs, cats, squirrels, and monkeys
  • damage to vehicles from animals such as kangaroos
  • property stolen by monkeys
  • injuries such as being stood on by a horse

Over the years, SCTI has paid Australian travellers over $26,000 in claims related to dog bites, over $18,000 for property stolen or damaged by monkeys, and over $16,000 for bites from bugs. The most expensive claim was for $8,560 when a monkey stole a traveller's bag containing hearing aids, phone, and money at Uluwatu in Bali.

“These might seem like surreal situations, but they happen more often than you might think. While amusing on the surface, they underscore the need for robust travel insurance coverage. A monkey stealing your bag containing your designer sunglasses, a bird swooping down and damaging your rental car's windshield – these seemingly minor incidents can quickly add up to significant costs,” said SCTI CEO Jo McCauley. “The unpredictability of animal interactions emphasises the importance of comprehensive travel insurance coverage. It's about safeguarding your well-earned travel experiences against the unforeseen, whether it's a playful pup or a crafty primate.”

Despite facing travel-related risks, one in 10 Australians were found to ditch travel insurance due to the rising cost-of-living crisis.

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