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Unusual animal-related travel insurance claims

There’s a reason it’s called monkey business

Encounters with local wildlife are one of the joys of travelling. But sometimes these meetings come at a cost, particularly when it comes to primates. 



Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) has paid numerous claims in recent years that have come about due to the antics of monkeys. 


One such claim was made after a monkey at a temple in Southeast Asia stole a traveller’s handbag, held it for ransom up a tree, and eventually dropped the bag off a cliff into the ocean. That claim amounted to $857. 


In a separate incident at a SE Asian temple, a monkey stole a tourist’s glasses and began to eat them! A claim of $336 was made after the monkey defended his loot too vigorously.  


Another monkey-related incident, which resulted in a $492 claim, involved a baboon in Africa, who raided a traveller’s tent, causing loss and damage to possessions.


But primates are hardly the only animals to get up to monkey business. Most notably, dog bites are also often reported from across the globe, including in Asia, Europe, North and Latin America.   



Some of the other more unusual incidents in 2018 included: 

  • A claim (for $253) out of Africa, that involved a zebra who trampled a customer on the grounds of a hotel.
  • A claim (for $1,406) made by a traveller who severely damaged their rental car after hitting a deer in Europe
  • A claim (for $389) that came about after a large beetle flew into an SCTI customer’s face in Europe, “causing them to badly hit their head on a nearby railing and damage their phone”.


“Researching your destination will help you enjoy your adventure without it being spoiled by injury, damage or loss at the hands of furry, scaled or fanged creatures,” SCTI CEO Chris White said.


“We recommend travellers check whether there are any precautionary treatments they can take before travelling overseas. 


“A vaccine for rabies, for example, can prevent you needing to get several injections while on holiday if you are bitten. 


“Other vaccinations can give you some protection from mosquito-borne illnesses like yellow fever and malaria.”


Have you ever experienced any troubles with animals on your travels?


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 10 December 2018

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