Can you afford a six figure claim? The top travel insurance claims revealed

Millions paid out yearly

Travel insurance can protect you from the nightmare of astronomical medical bills in foreign countries. But just how much do travel insurance companies pay out? What are the largest payouts in history? We researched a few different travel insurance companies to see what their highest claims of each year were.

It will not surprise you that the US is one of the biggest culprits for extreme medical costs. In 2012, Medibank travel insurance paid out a nearly 450,000€ claim in a case where a traveler suffered kidney disease while in the states. The claim covered both medical expenses and the complete cost to fly the traveler back to Australia. In addition, the entire family of the affected traveler was covered by the policy in that their travel costs were covered as well in the case of unexpected illness in their family.

Medical evacuation is one of the most costly events

most expensive travel insurance claimsThis claim amount might seem unimaginable. The devastation that the amount would have made on the life of the afflicated had they not purchased travel insurance is mind-boggling. And yet, this was not the highest travel insurance claim in the world. In 2015, Southern Cross Travel insurance paid out a 475,000€ claim in which a traveler was flown back to New Zealand after suffering encephalitis in an African country. No one is planning for encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain caused by viral infections, and yet when such an event occurs the costs are incredible. While this claim was massive, it is not only the medical care that is to blame for the high costs. Medical evacuation is constantly the most expensive claims paid out, almost always exceed 10,000€ in each single claim. The cost to fly you out with trained doctors and medics is always high, and it showcases the need for travel insurance. Without it, it is very difficult to get back to your home country and the expert medical attention of your homeland. When you look at the medical system of Ireland compared to some less developed countries you may be visiting, especially if you are a backpacker, it highlights the necessity of travel insurance.

While the combined cost of payouts were similar in 2013, the largest claim of the year was less, and yet still crippling in terms of the amount. It was a cruise trip which turned dangerous when a traveler had a cardiac arrest while enjoying the ship. The bill? 230,000€.

You can really see the difference in medical costs worldwide when you see that a brain tumour in Greece cost less than 40,000€. One can only imagine the hundreds of thousands, or even millions it would cost to have such a serious affliction in the United states.

While there are one in a million accidents and serious diseases which can rack up hundreds of thousands of euros in costs, the fact remains that even minor injuries and ailments can be in the tens of thousands. Can you afford to trip and fall while in the United States? What about bumping your head and requiring overnight care at a hospital in Australia? While we hate to think about the possibility, the fact remains that we must prepare for any eventuality when travelling. Travel insurance brings peace of mind. For those who are doing high risk sports, do not forget that you may need special travel insurance such as ski insurance.

We hope that this list of some of the most expensive travel insurance claims has showcased the need for travel insurance!

Risky millenials travel without insurance

Is it tough to guess who is most likely to travel without insurance?

Travel insurance is protecting against thousands of pounds worth of medical expense. Visiting some countries, such as the United States with their famously high medical costs can mean travel insurance is difference between bankruptcy and financial security.

So who is taking the risk? It should come as no surprise that younger UK travelers are the most likely to forgo travel insurance. While only 14% of travelers aged 55 and older decided not to buy travel insurance, a massive 40% of travelers aged 18-24 travelled uninsured, according to a study done by ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents. You might think that with age comes wisdom. Shockingly, the age group of 25-34 had a rate of 38% of travelers going abroad uninsured.

Less networth, less health problems

It is easy to understand the mentality. Younger people have less net worth, and declaring bankruptcy is much less scary when you have only a few thousand in assets, or are drowning in student debt. Younger people also have had less serious health scares, leading them to feel invulnerable. The mentality of “it won’t happen to me” is prevalent in the millennial generation.

Family assets at risk

Even if you do not have a large amount of assets or money in your bank account, the small cost of travel insurance is worth it. If you do have high medical bills, it is not just you who is at risk for financial burden. Your family may be on the line, forced to scramble to get together the money for your medical bill because you decided not to buy insurance. Retirements get delayed, college funds raided and dreams quashed by risky behavior. Some countries do not provide medical assistance until payment is readied. This is quite unlike many first world countries that must accept you in the case of emergency. When travelling, do your research. You may be travelling to a locale where you could perish in hospital while the hospital waits to see if you can pay.

Are you covered for everything you want to do?

Ensure you read the fine print of your travel insurance policy. Are you covered for everything you want to do? If you are enganging in higher risk sports and activities, as younger travellers are more likely to do, you may need to look into more specialized insurance such as ski insurance. Are you reading this article while on vacation and scared by the fact that you are not covered? We have a guide on purchasing travel insurance abroad which may be of service to you.


The Best Irish and International Travel Blogs

One of the best ways to learn more about traveling is to gain insight through the experiences of others. While just about anyone can put up a blog and talk about where they’ve been, it takes someone with a special talent to draw in people, provide useful information, inspire others to discover the world, and spark wanderlust in the hearts of their readers. Here, in no particular order, is a list of 15 of the internet’s best blogs.

1. Infinite Ireland
Stephanie and her husband Joe from the blog Infinite Ireland are not only an adorable couple, their website is enormously helpful for those planning a trip to Ireland. After falling in love with the country on their honeymoon in 2006, they’ve returned so many times that they’ve become experts on planning a trip there. Stephanie provides insider tips on everything from how to visit the most scenic sites in the country to choosing the right travel insurance before heading off on your journey. Infinite Ireland’s “Planning:101” page covers just about every question one could think of before traveling to Ireland, and the blog also details the couple’s own getaways to Ireland. If you’ve never been to Ireland before and are in the planning stages of your trip, this is one blog you won’t want to miss.

2. The Gap Year Guru
The famed “gap year” — a time when university students take a break to travel the world and discover themselves — is what this blog is all about. Jess Glynn not only details her own gap year adventures, she gives tips to young people on how to plan a excursion during college. She and her boyfriend, Arua Tupinambas, collaborate on the blog and are a great example to twenty-somethings looking to get the most out of their gap year experience.

3. 12hrs
Those who love exploring unique boutiques, delving into fashions from around the world, and admiring museums and art galleries abroad will adore the  blog 12hrs. Not only does it provide the scoop on traveling from a fashion-forward standpoint, the blog’s co-founders Anna Peuckert and Soren Jepsen do so in a novel way: through providing 12 hour itineraries of things to do in various countries. The aim is to provide readers blueprints to have a week’s worth of touring packed into one 12-hour stretch. 12hrs is perfect for the tourist who is short on time and wants to pack a short trip with loads of fun.

4. Fluent in 3 Months
Irish blogger Benny Lewis is a language guru who is also very well traveled. He purposely moves to a new country every three months not only to gain new experiences but to prove to the world that it’s possible to quickly learn languages. The best selling author’s blog provides insight into how he’s manages to adjust to the languages and cultures of so many different places — there’s no telling where he’ll be from one quarter to the next, but it’s so much fun reading about his adventures. If you want to know how to master just about any language while living anywhere in the world, Benny’s blog is a must-see.

5. Adventure Journal
Outdoor enthusiasts and hardcore adventure seekers take notice: there’s a blog that you should be reading for inspiration before your next getaway. Adventure Journal is all about planning and enjoying the most intense experiences that the world has to offer. Want to know where you can find the toughest hikes or the most daring ski trails? Adventure Journal has you covered. This blog also provides very helpful guides about the type of equipment you should bring along, and the photo journals on the site are incredibly beautiful.

6. Next Stop Who Knows
Carlo and Florence definitely know a thing or two about traveling — they’ve been to 38 countries on 6 continents and are still hitting the road. This Irish couple’s blog, Next Stop Who Knows, documents their adventures and their quest to explore as much of the world as they can while making a living as trekkers. Along with the details of their trips you’ll find interviews with other bloggers, gear and tour reviews, and hotel profiles from all over the globe. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to become a micro-prenuer and live life on your own terms while becoming a citizen of the world, Next Stop Who Knows will provide plenty of inspiration.

7. Classe Touriste
It’s fairly easy to find information about trips to popular destinations and resorts, but what about the more remote places like Antarctica? Classe Tourist, run by Debbie Pappyn and David De Vleeschauwer, shows you how to reach the far corners of the earth through their magnificent photo blogs. Whether you want to go to a far away place or simply love photography, you’ll enjoy reading through Classe Touriste.

8. Squidgy Moments
Most know Kathleen O Rourke as the Irish blogger begind the popular lifestyle and beauty blog Squidgy Moments, but did you know she also writes extensively about travel? She’s been to many places around Ireland and in other parts of the world, and her writing is a true delight to read. Best of all, Kathleen’s photos are stunning and provide the perfect accompaniments to her written tales. Be warned that reading the Vlogs on Squidgy Moments will give you a serious pang of wanderlust.

9. The Daily Self 
Travel, beauty, and food is what The Daily Self is all about. This blog, which is the brainchild of Nadia El Ferdaoussi, has garnered so much acclaim that she’s been published in numerous Irish newspapers and magazines. Not only is the writing top notch, Nadia’s photographs provide amazing, candid views of her trips to different destinations. In addition to reading about the fun that Nadia has trotting the globe, The Daily Self provides relevant information to those who love traveling including very thorough packing lists.

10. Vibrant Ireland
If you want to visit Ireland and other parts of Europe, head to Susan Fitzgerald’s blog Vibrant Ireland. Nowhere else will you find such great information about where to find the best food, accommodation, shopping, and sightseeing in Ireland — Susan’s blog truly is an online guide. She also provides insight about Ireland’s customs, culture, geography, and the area’s native plants. As if her wonderful writing wasn’t enough, Susan also knows how to take gorgeous photos that will have you wanting to explore Ireland straight away.

11. Eat This Poemeatthispoem
Bibliophiles and foodies have their own agendas while traveling, and the blog Eat This Poem caters to that crowd. If your favorite part of seeing the world is experiencing the literature, quaint bookstores, cafes, and cuisine that’s unique to a country, you’ll find this blog to be a real treat. Nicola Gulotta, the woman behind the blog, highlights writers, bookstores, and eateries across the globe, and all of the information is geared towards the book lover who has a thing for great literature and good eats.

12. Eat Sleep Chic
Eat Sleep Chic is a guide to traveling fabulously for those of us who want to live big on a reasonable budget. Stephanie Buckley, the blog’s founder, gives readers beauty, fashion, and posts that are full of useful information and tips for those looking to plan a getaway. While she highlights her various trips from around the world, Stephanie’s primary focus is giving her readers detailed information about Ireland. Even Irish natives can learn something new about exploring the country after reading her posts.

13. Eat Your World 
Food is a huge part of enjoying your trip abroad and can not only tell you about the people and culture of a place, but it’s history as well. Scott Rosen and Laura Siciliano-Rosen show you how to enjoy every morsel of your travels through their blog Eat Your World. From the well known to the obscure, they seek out foodie finds from different destinations and provide delicious details about their traveling adventures. If food is one of your top travel priorities, you should definitely read Eat Your World.

14. Nowhere Magazine
In the days of old, travel writing was more like reading an epic adventure. The details didn’t read like tedious or straight-to-the-point reviews, you got a complete story of the author’s journey to a specific location. Such writing not only lit a fire in readers’ imaginations but gave valuable insight about different places around the world. If this is the kind of writing that interests you, Nowhere Magazine should be on your must read list. The blog’s founder, Porter Fox, and his staff are true masters of the art of literary travel writing. Each long form narrative is inspiring and perfectly captures their time spent exploring the world.

15. The Life Of Stuff
Edwina Elizabeth is the genius behind the blog The Life of Stuff and it’s awesome “Five Fabulous Reasons” section. This particular series of posts tells you why you should explore specific locations around the world. Edwina is from Ireland and has plenty of content about traveling within the country, but she has also gone to countries on other continents and posts great stories, tips, and photos on the blog.


Travel Infographic

In this infographic we go through the top 10 most popular tourist destinations in the world. We name the countries Infographics-1and the some of the biggest attractions within them.

10 most popular countries

Number 1: France
No surprises here. Given it’s location and how much this country has to offer. France is a fabulous destination whether you’re looking for a city break, sun, luxury, ski holiday. It offers beautiful attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum and much more.

Number 2: USA
The new world. Where you can expect good hospitality and food. It is so large with so much to see, a lifetime wouldn’t be a enough to see all of this great country.

Number 3: Spain
Need a tan? Don’t let this country fool you. It is more than Europe’s beach. It has beautiful cities like Barcelona,Valencia and Madrid at it’s disposal.

Number 4: China
China is changing quickly. It has developed a lot over the previous two decades. Landing in cities like Beijing or Shanghai is no longer like stepping into the past. Still has some historic places to offer like The Great Wall Of China and also some very scenic regions.

Number 5: Italy
Style, food and wine. Italians take pride in themselves and their country. Lots of fabulous regions to visit in this country. Some help on how to make your visit a holiday of a lifetime.

If you are thinking about travelling and need travel insurance. Make sure to check us out. We take the stress out of finding you cover and leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

Number 6: Turkey
A surprise entry on the list. It is however a popular destination for European’s, Russian’s and Arab countries. So it has made it on the list at No.6. Turkey offers beaches and historic cities like Istanbul. Some region in this country are unstable at the moment so best you do your research before travelling. Here are some frequently asked questions.

Number 7: Germany
Mostly renowned for it’s beer. Germany is a fantastic destination for city breaks.  It has hip cities like Hamburg and Berlin. Where you can visit to shop, party or just relax.

Number 8: United Kingdom
Weather prevailing. The UK can be a nice place to visit. Offers busy London to the more scenic lake district.

Number 9: Russia
There has not been a more affordable time to visit Russia in a recent times. It has a warm climate in the summer. So best to save your travel plans til then.

Number 10: Mexico
The US’s Spain. It also has historic sites left by the Mayans and Aztecs.


Do you have questions about eligibility or the different insurance plans that we offer? Here are some of our most frequently asked questions.

– Who is eligible for coverage?

In order to be eligible for coverage, you must be a permanent resident of Ireland. Non-residents travelling to Ireland, immigrants or foreign students must purchase visitor plans.
– Will my age affect my coverage eligibility?
No. The only thing we would suggest is that those who are over 65 purchase the Over 65’s plan. If you are younger than 65, you do not need to worry about age-oriented plans.

– What do I do if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

Most plans will cover you for pre-existing medical conditions. Normally, this condition needs to be stable for a certain time period in order for you to be covered. Contact us for more information and to make sure you will be covered.

– Is there anything I should know about completing the health questionnaire?

The health questionnaire is designed to help us understand your individual needs and help you pick the right coverage. When answering the questions:
– Make sure you take your time and don’t forget anything important.
– Read each question carefully so that you do not put any incorrect answers (this can lead to the denial of your claim).
– Have any prescriptions and medications nearby so that you can give accurate information about them.
– Review your answers first before submitting.
– If you feel unsure about something, contact your physician.

– Which insurance cover is right for me?

Depending on a number of factors including where in the world you are travelling, how frequently you will be travelling, and your health conditions, you could require specific plans. Please read the details of each insurance plan in order to determine which best suits you.

– When should I purchase travel cover?

You need to purchase coverage before you depart. It is always wise to purchase coverage at the same time you book your flight. This gives you time to make any changes you might need and will allow you to be prepared early on.

– How do I extend my coverage?

If you will be staying longer than you expected, you are able to extend your holiday coverage.

For those who have purchased Single Trip cover, you can extend your policy as long as you are doing it before the expiry date and have not had any emergency medical condition. If it is not possible to extend your policy, you can purchase a new one.

For those who have purchased Annual Multi Trip Travel cover, you may purchase a top-up policy for any additional days you will be travelling. This must be done before the expiry date on your original policy.

For more information about extending coverage, please contact your provider.

– How much will I pay for cover?

That depends on the type of insurance and any added coverage you will be purchasing. We will help you find the cheapest travel insurance.

If you have any other questions or concerns, we will do everything in our power to answer them for you.