You know travel insurance helps you prepare for the unexpected. But what about the really unexpected? Weird things can happen when travelling our wild and wonderful world. But will your travel insurance protect you when they do?

My friends are an adventurous bunch and they’ve travelled much of the world. Here are some stories about how travel insurance covered their unexpected afflictions!

Foot worms

After a major downpour in a small Guatemalan town, a friend and I thought nothing of sloshing though the mud in sandals. A few days later, in a Belizean jungle lodge, my friend woke up with the soles of her feet itching—I woke up to her complaining.

Under the light, we were horrified to see tiny worms wiggling beneath her skin. A local doctor prescribed a foul-tasting natural remedy made of twigs and herbs. But after nights of agony, with no respite, we headed to the local medical clinic. Here the doctor prescribed some pills: the strong kind. Luckily, they worked. And guess what? Travel insurance covered the doctor’s fees and prescription costs!

Photo cred: Vivian D Nguyen


Another friend had the unfortunate experience of contracting meningitis in India. She was confined to a local hospital, where her travel insurance expired after only two days of treatment. Not only did her travel insurance pay for the remaining two weeks in hospital; it also paid for the flight she had to miss to Europe, due to her sickness. With the money she saved on hospital bills and a flight, she was able to take another big trip the following year!

Photo cred: Jakfoto Productions


Another friend was happy to arrive in Tucson after a 27-hour drive from Vancouver. But after parking his car and heading to a local restaurant to refuel, he found himself paralyzed with pain. He went to the nearest ER, where he was diagnosed with sciatica and given pain killers. It turns out that all of those hours of sitting had played a number on his back! After returning to Vancouver, he filed a claim and his hospital visit and medication were all covered by travel insurance.

Want get that claim paid? Here are a few tips!

Keep records of your incidents, big and small, and remember to keep all receipts leading up to and following the big event.

Be aware of alcohol. Often on vacations, travellers let loose and have a couple drinks. Most travel insurance policies won’t cover you if you are under the influence or participating in illegal activities.

For more claims tips, check out Claims Tips for Travellers.

Questions or strange travel stories of your own? Please share below!

Happy travels,


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