Travel insurance might sound like a bland topic of discussion. However, it can save you a lot of money if you wind up hurting yourself or needing emergency treatment abroad. Many foreign hospitals will not accept your US health insurance. That’s why people invest in travel insurance. It can save you a whole lot of money in the long run and makes your overseas trip a lot less stressful. Holidays should be fun and exciting. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting sick or injured abroad. You should be making the most of your vacation. That’s really the whole purpose of travel insurance. It gives you peace of mind.

We’ve all heard of travel insurance claims like cancelled flights and lost baggage before. But there are some unusual scenarios involving travel insurance that we’re just dying to share with you. Travel insurance can actually cover some pretty wacky things that you wouldn’t believe. As a matter of fact, there are probably a lot of surprising things you never knew about travel insurance. And you’re about to find out what they are.

Let’s take a look at 20 surprising facts about travel insurance that will change your whole perspective on this usually dull topic.

20 Jungle madness is a travel insurance matter

If you ever find yourself zip lining through the canopy of Costa Rica when your breaks fail suddenly and you find yourself flying face front into a tree, don’t worry. Your travel insurance will cover it. Most policies should anyway. This actually happened to one tourist in Costa Rica. When she claimed her policy cover, all of her medical expenses were paid. How cool is that? You never know what kind of situation you’ll find yourself in during your travels. For that reason, it’s good to have good travel insurance that covers any expenses if you get hurt on holiday.

19 Don’t worry if a monkey steals your luggage

Travel insurance has you covered for cases like that. You might think we’re joking but this really happened to holidaymakers. A couple visiting Bali had their bags snatched from their hands by a monkey. Some of the Balinese children tried to help by attempting to lure the monkey back with food.

The monkey ended up throwing their bag over the cliff top.

These are the kind of situations too unreal to believe.

Thankfully their insurance company believed them because they paid for the couples claim for luggage and personal effects. It’s worth knowing just in case you come across a cheeky monkey yourself.

18 There are three categories of travel insurance

Travel insurance isn’t just one set thing. There are actually three categories of travel insurance and it’s useful to know the difference. Trip investment is the first one. This covers trip interruption or cancellation. Personal health is the second category. This covers accidents and injuries, filling in the gaps of your normal health insurance. And then there’s personal belongings insurance. This covers baggage loss and sometimes car rental damage. It is good to have all of these three categories, but the first two are by far the most important to have. Check that your personal health coverage including repatriation and medical evacuation.

17 And there are three ways you can get it

Travel insurance is sold in three different ways. You can get it through cruise lines, travel agencies and also through websites. If you choose the cruise option, check that the cruise is only brokering the deal. The insurance itself should come from an outside company. Travel agencies usually offer additional features when you order from them, like higher spending limits and better health coverage. If you look online, you will find a range of websites that provide travel insurance. However, you should do plenty of research to make sure you buy insurance from a reputable and reliable company. It’s always a good idea to check.

16 Snake bites are covered

One tourist who visited South Africa’s Kruger National Park got bitten by a cobra snake – they’re one of the most venomous snakes in the world by the way. The Mozambique cobra snake carries something called cytotoxic venom which destroys blood cells and tissues. In other words, you wouldn’t want to ever find yourself in the same situation as this guy.

The good news is, all his medical claims were covered. Even better news, the guy survived. Nobody wants to find themselves in the same situation on holiday. It’s a fast way to add some gloom to your vacation, isn’t it?

15 Travel insurance isn’t so expensive

Some people skip the travel insurance because they’re worried about the price. The good news is, travel insurance isn’t always as expensive as you think. It depends of course on where you purchase your travel insurance. On average, it’s usually five and eight percent of your trip. If it’s much more than that, you should question who you are buying it from. It should not be much more than eight percent of the trip. If you travel often, it would be good to look into a policy where you can get travel insurance for a year at a good price.

14 Ricocheting glass is no laughing matter

Some of these circumstances are unbelievable on here. But at least these peoples travel insurance is working in their favour. How many people, for instance, would imagine themselves in the same situation as this tourist in Italy? She was only packing her car with glass bottles. One of the bottles slipped onto the cement and the glass from the bottle ended up ricocheting up and hitting her lips. We’re not sure how hurt she was but her medical expenses were covered.

So if you ever find yourself in any glass bottle ricocheting situations abroad, at least travel insurance will cover your medical bills.

13 Lost engagement rings are covered

A tourist in The Whitsundays went shark diving. But that wasn’t the dangerous park. The dangerous part about this story was when she removed her wetsuit and her engagement ring fell off into the deep blue sea. Most of us would never expect that something like that would be paid for. Believe it or not, her claim for the lost engagement ring was all covered. Sadly, the ring itself could be not be recovered. But it is good to know that if you were to lose something expensive, travel insurance would usually cover it. It’s just a pity travel insurance can’t recover that ring.

12 You can claim on your damaged technological devices

A female tourist did during her trip to Rome. Whilst there, she plugged her camera into an adapter charging in the hostel dormitory. Then she plugged in her hair straightener. Unfortunately, it was too much for the power board to deal with and it ended up cutting the power off the entire hostel.

The woman’s camera was damaged due to the power surge but her claim was paid. You never really know what kind of situations you’re going to find yourself in on your travels. That’s why it makes perfect sense to invest in good travel insurance. It covers many, many things.

11 It will save you big medical costs

We know you probably already knew this but we wanted to give you a better idea of the kind of expenses you could end up paying without travel insurance. There are many reasons to buy a policy, but this one is definitely the biggest and the most important.

As you know, falling sick or getting injured overseas can be expensive. In the USA, daily hospital costs can rack up to $10,000. But if you need emergency transport home, you could find yourself paying anywhere up to $100,000. Who has that kind of money on hand? Things can get costly without insurance.

10 Cuba won’t let you in without health insurance

Some countries won’t let you in without travel insurance. One of those countries is Cuba. This rule applies to all people travelling to Cuba. If you cannot provide proof of coverage to immigration, you will be obliged to purchase insurance from a local Cuban insurance provider. Most of the time there will be an office set up in the airport’s immigration area. And if you don’t want to do that, then you’ll just have to turn around and head back home. If you can, sort your travel insurance out beforehand. The travel insurance policies in Cuba are more likely to be more expensive and more complicated.

9 Here are some other countries to watch out for

Like we said, many countries require travel insurance in order for you to enter their country. It’s always better to be well prepared so you don’t have to deal with all the hassle when you arrive at your destination. In addition to Cuba, other countries including Turkey, the U.S., France, Antarctica, Qatar and the UAE will only allow you to enter if you have insurance. For travellers, it is always important to read about a country’s requirements prior to visiting. It will save you a lot of stress further down the road when you face the immigration office at the airport.

8 You can insure your puppy

Some people already have pet insurance in their home country. But if you want to keep your pooch safe while travelling, it’s also a smart idea to get pet travel insurance. Pet travel insurance is similar to human travel insurance. It covers any emergency care your pets may need while travelling. Having travel insurance for your pet gives you peace of mind because you’ll know they get the care they need when abroad. Different companies request different prices, so there’s not really an average price. It’s best to get in touch with the companies that sound good and ask for a quote.

7 20 percent of travel insurance claims are fraudulent

More and more people are attempting to fraud the travel insurance system. In fact, according to studies, more than 20 percent of claims are actually fraudulent. Fake documents and repeated claims are becoming increasingly common types of fraud. Usually these involve travel, vehicles and personal accident. There have been numerous cases of people filing the same claim multiple times after taking out several travel insurance policies. Another common claim is for fictitious thefts. Some people have even filed police reports, just to benefit from their travel insurance compensation. In the last three years, there’s been a 30 percent rise in cases of fraud.

6 There’s a special kind of insurance for adventure holidays

If you are going on an adventure holiday, the risk of getting injured is of course a lot higher than if you were to go on a lazy beach holiday. And there’s a special sports travel insurance that covers you just in case the worst happens. Fingers crossed it doesn’t! It’s only useful for people who want to participate in extreme sports, like skiing, snowboarding, and sky surfing for example. Although ordinary travel insurance should cover you if you get injured, it’s a good idea to look into the various policies to see which works best for you. This is the safer bet.

5 You can get medication dispatched

People who are dependent on special medications will benefit greatly from buying travel insurance. If they are unavailable locally, your insurance provider will dispatch them to you. It’s especially useful if you are dependent on medications because it can be dangerous if you don’t take your medicine on time. Nonetheless, it’s good to check with the insurance policy to make sure the company covers it. Some companies, for instance, may only cover the medicine if you are hospitalized. Others may only organize the general dispatch of your medicine which you will have to pay for. Always check the specifics beforehand.

4 If Liam Neeson can't rescue you, you'll be covered by insurance

Nobody wants to even entertain the thought of getting taken and held for ransom on holiday. As depressing and scary as it may sound, these things can happen. They happen rarely of course but they do happen and it’s better to be over-prepared than under.

The amount of money your provider will hand over depends on your travel insurance plan tier. There are lots of different plans and packages you can choose from. That’s why people go over the specific policies before purchasing to check what they’re covered for. But don’t worry, the chances of getting snatched and having Liam Neeson needing to save you while abroad are very, very low.

3 Translating an important conversation

Sure, language apps and dictionaries can help you get through whilst abroad. But they can only get you so far. If you find yourself in a scenario where nobody speaks English, you’re going to be in a bit of a pickle aren’t you? Nobody wants to be in a foreign hospital where nobody understands a word you’re saying. That’s why some travel insurance plans make sure you’ll get a translator in the case of emergency where you need one.

A lot of people forget about this factor, but if you don’t understand what someone is saying, things can get even more complicated.

2 Tattoo allergies are covered

Many people get a tattoo when they travel abroad. Most of the time, it’s to make memories of their travels. Unfortunately, the tattoo making doesn’t always go quite to plan. One traveller got inked during his time in Canada and ended up suffering a severe reaction to the tattoo ointment he was prescribed. It resulted in an invasive rash.

Anyway, thanks to him paying his travel insurance, all his medical fees were paid for. So it wasn’t actually the tattoo itself that caused the allergic reaction but the ointment. Either way, it’s useful to know all the different things travel insurance covers.

1 $2 billion was the total spent on travel insurance in 2010

There are many people who don’t purchase travel insurance when they travel abroad. It depends on the individual and their needs. For instance, if you are a person with a chronic illness it would be much more cost effective to buy insurance. Although there are still many people who don’t buy it, there are enough people that do.

In 2010, nearly $2 billion was spent on travel insurance and travel insurance products. More people are seeing the value of having travel insurance. As long as you make sure you purchase from a reputable provider, we think it’s a pretty good idea too.

References: comparetravelinsurance, goodhousekeeping, mappingmegan, gobear, tripsavvy, travelinsurance