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Animal encounters make for bizarre travel insurance claims

I found this article on the Yahoo travel site....we haven't had any rattlesnake or scorpion injuries with our clients, but have definitely dealt with a number of insurance claims for insect bites! Moral of the story...shake your pants out first people!

Animal encounters make for bizarre travel insurance claims

A near-fatal brush with a rattlesnake, an infected spider bite and multiple scorpion stings top the list of Kiwis’ unusual travel claims resulting from unwanted wildlife encounters.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance has released details of some pretty close calls its customers have had overseas.

One traveller was bitten by a rattlesnake during a camping trip in Wyoming, US, and had to be raced to hospital.

“That was an expensive one,” SCTI chief executive Craig Morrison says. “Rattlesnake anti-venom costs around $20,000 a vial and the typical starting dose for a bite is four to six vials.”

The New Zealander made a full recovery and needed only one day in hospital.

Scorpions hiding in clothing have caused grief for several travellers, with one customer in Peru suffering multiple stings after putting on their trousers, where an arachnid had been hiding.

“We also had someone stung five times in their groin, leg and arm while holidaying in Nepal by a scorpion hiding in their clothes. That required a helicopter evacuation to the nearest hospital for treatment.”

Even quick trips across the ditch can result in emergency assistance. A New Zealand woman was hospitalised with a foot ulcer and cellulitis due to a spider bite.

She also needed an upgrade to business class for the flight home so her foot could be elevated.

Morrison recommends travellers spend some time researching the health requirements and recommended precautions of their chosen destination.

A Southern Cross survey of New Zealand travellers found that 71 percent use the internet to research their destination, but it’s predominantly to find out about tourist attractions, shopping and currency.

“New Zealand is blessed in that it has no poisonous snakes or scorpions and the two venomous insects are non-aggressive spiders – so it’s not necessarily something Kiwis think about before they travel,” Morrison says.
Tips for keeping the bugs away and packing medications:
- Take an insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%) or picaridin (up to 15%)
- Always shake out shoes and clothing before putting them on
- Make a list of your medications and what conditions they treat. Include generic and brand names in case you need to buy more overseas – your pharmacist can help with this
-- Prescription medicines should be packed in carry-on luggage and in their original bottles if possible
- Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or relative, or send it to your personal email account so you can recall it if needed.

Source: Yahoo -



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