Comprehensive Travel Insurance and Fraudulent Claims

The world and its people are constantly on the move. Greater access to transportation options has opened up the idea and the reality of travelling for many people. As our travelling habits grow and evolve, so do the good and bad elements of the experience.
Once it was fairly rare to bother with taking out comprehensive travel insurance for your trip, whereas now it is a standard part of the booking practice. As this has become a more common expense for travellers, the industry has had to become more vigilant against fraudulent claims which, in the end, raise the rates for all of us. Some fraudsters are fairly clever with their false claims – some are not.

A Growing Industry

As comprehensive travel insurance has become more of a necessity rather than a luxury for travellers, the industry has had to respond with greater coverage in anticipation of any variety of incidents. So much can go wrong when people leave the reliable comfort of their own home and venture out into the exciting unknown. The purpose of travel insurance is to allay these fears and not let the ‘what ifs’ stop people from exploring the world. However, foreign surroundings can raise the likelihood of bizarre incidents, and some people chose to take advantage of this probability.

The Weird and Wonderful

Even some legitimate claims made against travellers’ comprehensive travel insurance can sound completely made up! One claim, recently submitted, was for medical expenses incurred after a rather nasty falling-coconut-induced head injury. Another claim came from a disgruntled skier whose holiday was ruined by the complete lack of snow at her destination – amazingly, the insurance paid out!

Other claims have originated from unfortunate encounters with wild animals, miscalculating fitness levels, or impulse decisions which led to plain old poor judgement. The travel insurance industry has had to keep up as claims become more and more farfetched while also keeping an open mind, as very little is completely beyond the realm of possibility.

With the rise in claims (both genuine and fraudulent), travel insurance companies have had to become literal investigators, sometimes travelling to the country where a claim originated from, and/or having to gather witness statements to back up claims. Comprehensive travel insurance tries very hard to honour the ‘comprehensive’ element of the service they offer.

Not So Smart

People who make fraudulent travel insurance claims seem to underestimate the amount of proof that is needed to back up their claim. Previously a travel insurance claim could simply be made, submitted and believed via a conversation or written statement to your insurance agent.

A common claim is for the coverage of lost or stolen items. Travellers these days bring more expensive electronic equipment, such as digital cameras, phones or laptops on holiday with them, as well as other valuable belongings, like jewellery. Fortunately our digital age is on the side of the insurance investigators who will ask for proof or purchase, photographic evidence of ownership, and even possibly witnesses to the incident where the item was lost.

For example, after claiming that a very expensive ring was lost while on holiday, a claimant was asked to produce photographic evidence of ownership of this ring. Once the photo was submitted it did not take too much investigative talent to spot the time/date stamp on the photo, which only served to prove that the claimant did indeed still have the ring in her possession after she had submitted her claim. Nice try!

Safety Net

It is understandable that travellers might not want to spend extra money on insurance that they might never use. However, the peace of mind that comprehensive travel insurance pays for is simply priceless. Those who attempt to ‘work the system’ rarely achieve their goals and only end up raising rates for the rest of us. Fraudulent insurance claims are a still a crime, and crime never pays (literally).

Author Plate

Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in annual, family, single trip and all other kinds of comprehensive travel insurance. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.

Wetsuits and Wildlife: Diving Around the World

Thanks to ever-improving technology we know more about the underwater world than ever before. Beautifully filmed fish flit across our screens in stunning Sunday evening documentaries. However, if watching from the sofa isn’t your jam, pack your wetsuit and take out dive insurance because it’s time to uncover what the seas and oceans have to offer – first hand.
Chills and Thrills in Norway

When people imagine a diving holiday they usually picture turquoise, sun-warmed seas, but true explorers know that cold seas have just as much to offer.

Imagine: a sleek black shape passes beneath you, flashes of white catch your eye and you glimpse that iconic, pointed fin. A thrill of terror runs through you – it’s a killer whale. Known to prey on seals, dolphins, and sometimes even adult whales, thankfully these beasts are not interested in humans. What would you do to swim alongside the undisputed kings of the sea? If the answer is “anything”, grab a decent wetsuit and head to the freezing coasts of Norway – the hunting ground of hundreds of killer whales.

Ma Tai Anyone?

If plunging into icy water isn’t for you then head to the warmer coast of Hawaii. Here you’ll find an equally fascinating example of marine life – the spectacular manta ray!

The distinctive shape of these rays is well known to any nature lover. However, until you get up close and personal, it’s hard to comprehend their size. At Garden Eel Cove, Hawaii you get a chance to do just that. At dusk, a strong light box is placed in the water, attracting plankton and providing an all-you-can-eat buffet for hungry manta rays. So close you could touch them, you’ll experience manta rays in a unique way. And you’ll have time for a celebratory cocktail afterwards!

Hissy Fits in Brazil

Whether we are terrified of them or have three as pets, slithering and silent snakes are endlessly fascinating.

Safe to say, this holiday suggestion is probably not for those who struggle to watch the snake-scenes in Harry Potter without closing their eyes. However, if you’re the fearless type I cannot recommended this Brazilian trip enough. The beautiful green anaconda can be found lurking in the wetlands of the Bonito region and, trust me, is the stuff of nightmares. The ginormous anaconda can grow to a length of 20ft! Wouldn’t you like to touch one?

What Big Teeth You’ve Got Mr Wolf!

Staying with serpentine creatures, the Wolf Eel makes its home in the seas of British Columbia. This funny-looking, wolf fish can easily grow to 10ft but see if you can spot a young one – they are a striking orange colour.

The name Wolf Eel should be taken seriously: these ocean dwellers have sharp teeth and have been known to give humans painful bites! However, they are rarely aggressive and you’ll soon find yourself feeling oddly fond of these ugly fellows.

If, like me, you want to experience as much of the world as possible, don’t forget to take out appropriate insurance to keep you covered wherever you go. Let’s Go Insure’s dive insurance is ideal for the trips when you’ll be spending more time under the waves than relaxing on a sun lounger!

Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveller and insurance expert with the team at Let’s Go Insure. Ethan’s passion is to inspire his clients to go just that little bit further, deeper and higher on their travels and his expertise in providing the ideal insurance cover allows them to do just that. If you’re looking for the best dive insurance Let’s Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer a range of competitive insurance without compromising on cover.