Cheap travel insurance has a reputation of being quite a dull area to work in. While it does have its dull routine moments, just like any other job, these are made up for by the occasional inspired funny travel insurance stories you hear. It’s hard to say how many of them are either exaggerated, hugely embellished or just plain made up, but I still found a few of these travel insurance stories made me laugh while I was researching this article, and that’s good enough for me.
Here’s 13 funny travel insurance stories. While 13 is traditionally an unlucky number, a fair few on this list will consider themselves very lucky to be covered by understanding travel insurance companies! The remaining ones who were turned down will no doubt have learned an invaluable life lesson!
- Cheeky Monkeys Cause Havoc
According to this tale (tail?), a group of cheeky monkeys conspired to ruin a couple’s romantic trip to Malaysia. Due to the heat, the couple left the window of their chalet open during the day while they went out, but regretted their decision when they returned to discover their clothes and belongings all over the surrounding resort and neighbouring rainforest. The couple’s insurance company were thankfully understanding and ensured they did not need to keep re-wearing the same clothes for the remainder of their trip!
You know Bombay Mix? The spicy Indian snack food. One traveller claimed to have lost £600 worth of the stuff on his way back from holiday, and tried to claim on his travel insurance. With Bombay Mix costing less than £1 per 250g bag, a conservative estimate is that the man would need to be carrying over 80 kilograms of the snack to have racked up £600 expenses! Quite hard to misplace, you’d have thought, and the travel insurance company agreed, refusing to pay the claim.
One traveller lost his wallet down a drain, while exploring Natanya in Israel. However, rather than filing a police report and contacting his travel insurance providers, the brave individual tried to fish his wallet out of the drain – only to be stung by a poisonous scorpion which had made the area its home! The man’s treatment (and presumably his missing wallet) was covered by his travel insurance.
Winning the dubious honour of the most unlucky on the list, this family’s camping trip went awry when a parachutist from the nearby airbase missed his target and landed squarely on the family tent. The camping equipment was ruined, and to add insult to injury, they were not covered for accidental damage so had to foot the bill themselves.
- The joke’s on the burglar?
A fairly routine claim for a stolen cosmetics bag took an amusing twist when it was revealed that the victim had transferred her medical-strength haemorrhoid cream into an empty moisturiser tub earlier in the holiday. While French police remained on the lookout for a suspiciously smooth-faced thief, the woman’s travel insurance company paid up for the missing make-up, perfume and lotions.
- Wrong airport, wrong country!
A man who claimed for a holiday cancellation when he was refused entry to a flight was turned down, when it emerged his flight wasn’t from Manchester in the North West of England, but Manchester, New Hampshire in the United States.
- Some claims just aren’t worth the excess!
Here’s a tip for you – if you have an excess you need to pay on a claim of £50, make sure your stolen possessions are worth at the very least £50.01! One traveller who had his bag snatched on holiday had his claim turned down, when it was established the complete inventory of contents was: 1x bottle of water, 1 x newspaper and 1 x packet of mints. No wonder his cheap travel insurance claim was rejected.
- Criminals aren’t the only animals to ruin your trip
If you’re holidaying in the Black Forest, you may want to make sure you lock up properly when you leave the house. One family came back to their chalet to discover their home had been invaded by one hungry goat, which had proceeded to much his way through their wallets, passports and sandwiches. Their claim for new passports and wallets were rejected on the grounds of negligence in leaving the chalet wide open.
If you’re planning on relaxing under a tree in Sri Lanka, it’s worth checking your spot carefully, as one traveller found after being concussed by a falling coconut. The injury knocked her out, which may sound unlikely until you consider that the average fresh coconut weights 2 kilograms, and their trees grow up to 30 metres high. A coconut travelling at 53 miles per hour is no joke, and it’s unsurprising that the traveller was reimbursed the £400 medical bills.
On the other hand, others apparently cannot function without their coconuts: a couple returned from Mauritius to discover their local produce missing. Claiming for two lost coconuts may seem like a reasonable idea on paper, but with each one costing less than a pound to replace, and an initial excess on any claim made of £50, it’s no wonder the travel insurance providers turned this one down.
Occasionally you hear of a claim for something that’s just completely baffling, and it was as such for Direct Line, who allegedly received a claim for a “guitar made out of a pumpkin”.
- A burning desire for a drink
At the ironically labelled ‘Fire Bar’ in Greece, one reveller paid the price for ‘needing a drink’ when she remained at the bar waiting to be served despite a loud buzzer and the rapid departure of others clamouring for a pint. Unsurprisingly, the buzzer turned out to be a fire alarm – a fact which she finally appreciated when the flames engulfed the area. She escaped the scene with third degree burns and £300 of medical expenses to pay – which her travel insurance company covered.
Finally more of a fact than a funny travel insurance story, but its believed that there have been more claims for stolen £1000 Rolex Oysters watches than have been manufactured. It seems some people have been creative with their travel insurance claims…
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Journey’s Travel. Their commercial travel insurance website, Insuremore, offer cheap travel insurance with free cover against acts of terrorism and a quick and easy online claims feature.