Travel Horror Stories and How Travel Protection Could Help

If you’re a traveler, you likely have travel horror stories. They’re like merit badges; you can collect one for everything from First Aid to Cooking. You may think your travel horror stories are unique, but the ugly truth is that there are few things that a travel insurance claims person hasn’t heard at least once in their tenure.

Some stories are truly horrific like an avalanche of misfortune that gathers momentum as it races down the mountain towards your rental car, but the fact is that the horror is most often in the combination of mishaps, not the uniqueness of the mishaps themselves.

In fact, travel horror stories are almost always some combination of the same set of elements:

Travel insurance can really help you with these situations. It’s not going to chase the spiders away, but it can help you find medical attention if you’re bitten by one during your trip and cover the costs. Similarly, no one is going to pop out of the jungle and hand you a new passport, but having a travel protection plan can make it easier for you to get a replacement and could even cover certain costs if your travel is delayed for a covered reason.

Let’s look at these horror-causers one by one and talk about how travel insurance can help.


"It all began with “a strike that ended up lasting 7 days, impacting over half a million passengers and canceling over a million airline tickets. During this strike, any Lufthansa flight connecting through Germany (which is basically all of them) was canceled. I kept getting re-booked only to be re-canceled…" read more

There’s no better trip-wrecker than your flight, cruise, train or whatever vehicle is transporting you to your destination just not doing its job when you need it to.

If there’s a common carrier delay or cancellation (such as an airline or cruise) that causes you to cancel, interrupt or delay your trip, Generali plans include coverages that may help when there’s a covered reason such as weather or mechanical failure.

In this case, the person was overseas already when her return flight was canceled and she couldn’t book a new return flight home because of an unexpected airline strike. Travel Delay coverage may have helped in this situation by reimbursing the traveler for reasonable meals, telephone calls, additional parking charges, pet kennel fees, local transportation and even lodging during the travel delay.*

If a covered reason forces you to cancel, interrupt or heavily modify your trip, Generali travel insurance can help by reimbursing you for prepaid travel expenses that were lost, and by helping you catch up to your trip.

Halloween Travel Ideas: Spooky Vacation Spots Around the World


“While on my 20-month career break, I passed through Mendoza, Argentina. During my week there, I did what everyone recommends you do: rented a bike to travel between vineyards. It was a really fun experience — until I hit a gravel patch and took a tumble…” read more

A torn meniscus is no fun, but it can be managed and lived through. A torn meniscus on a five-day walking tour of Argentina’s vineyards? That’s a no-go.

If you’re injured in an accident while traveling, or if an accident forces you to significantly alter your trip, Generali travel insurance may help with that.

Okay, but what does that mean exactly?

It means that if you get injured during your trip and need to seek medical treatment, Generali plans can reimburse your medical bills up to the policy limit, and help you make alternative arrangements if the accident forces you to interrupt your trip. Our travel medical professionals will work to get you the medical transportation you need -- especially useful if that vineyard is nowhere near a hospital.


“The nausea started a few minutes after summiting the tallest mountain in Sierra Leone. Then the fever kicked in. As I slipped and slid down the steep path behind the local guide, all I could think about was reaching the village where my luggage – and an emergency malaria test kit and treatment – would be waiting…” read more

When traveling to new places we can be especially vulnerable to illnesses, especially those our bodies have never encountered before. In this example, the traveler was likely thinking he might need travel insurance in case he takes a wrong step hiking through the Sierra Leone mountains, but a tiny bug was the culprit in this horror story.

If they had Generali travel insurance, they could have called Generali’s 24/7 Travel Assistance team where medical experts would guide them to take the right steps to get testing and treatment. Since he was “at least a day away from medical care,” Generali could arrange and pay for medical evacuation to the nearest hospital and continue to monitor the situation until he recovered.

Trip Interruption coverage could also reimburse trip costs for the unused portion of the trip and help the traveler get back home if he couldn’t continue the trip.

If you’re traveling somewhere far from home, especially a day away from medical care, like in this example, a solid travel protection plan can be a light in the darkness.

Also read: Need to Go to the Hospital on a Trip Abroad? Here's What to Do

Non-human life forms

“While traveling this year in Asia, my husband Chris got bit by a grouchy old dog while we were visiting a Buddhist Temple. We were in Phuket, Thailand and the threat of rabies is very real over there. Fearing the worst, we knew our day had just changed a lot…” read more

These kinds of travel horror stories involve a close encounter of the animal kind. From jellyfish to rattlesnakes, to mosquitoes, or simply the every-day dog, each environment you can travel to has some sort of potentially dangerous animal lurking around, and likely more than one – especially Australia.

The example case is a time when the medical benefits of a travel protection plan can really help save the day. If they had a Generali travel protection plan, a call to 24/7 Travel Assistance would help ensure the traveler is getting the care they need in a foreign medical system they aren’t familiar with.

It turns out they needed a series of rabies shots over the course of a month, so Generali’s medical experts could help coordinate care between the hospital in Thailand and his medical provider at home. The plan covers necessary medical procedures during their trip and once the traveler has returned home up to a year.

Sometimes a run in with a non-human lifeform can result in a sickness or injury which in return could require the need for medical care and may even cause a trip to be interrupted or delayed. Travel insurance can help with that.

Also read: The Top Travel Emergencies and How To Deal With Them

Weather and natural disasters

“We were an hour from our hotel when a blizzard popped up. I drove through a vortex of snow, barely able to see the road. We couldn’t continue to the hotel we’d booked and were forced to stop for the night. Luckily, we got the last room at a hotel…” read more

Speaking of snow, the increasing unpredictability of the world’s weather means that we could have just about any sort of weather anywhere at any time. We see hurricanes hitting more often with more ferocity, wildfires scorching national parks, and floods sweeping away entire towns.

You can expect the number of weather-related travel horror stories to increase, and with them, the importance of weather-related travel insurance coverages.

Travel insurance can cover you in case you have to cancel or interrupt your trip because your destination or your home have become uninhabitable due to unexpected adverse weather or natural disaster.

Travel insurance can also reimburse you for weather-related travel delays, and the travel assistance that comes with Generali travel insurance plans can help you make alternate travel arrangements to help you keep traveling.

See: How Likely is it that a Hurricane Will Hit the U.S.?

Lost and stolen items

“I was on my way back into town around 5:00 am, walking along an empty street, a group of young people came up to me out nowhere. I immediately had a bad feeling. They quickly surrounded me; one of them pulled a knife out and demanded that I give them my money…”  read more

Thieves and scams are everywhere you travel, and you are human, which means you’re sometimes a little careless and forgetful. That’s not a great combination, unfortunately.

If your valuables are lost or stolen when you travel, travel insurance can help. It can’t help restore the cash you’ve lost, but it can help you arrange for replacing tickets and travel documents, and pay for the fees associated with replacing them.

In the case of the robbery at knifepoint, the traveler ended up having his camera and a train ticket stolen. If he had a travel insurance plan, he could have been reimbursed for the camera and fees for replacing the ticket.

If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged, travel insurance can help you repair or replace the luggage and many of the items inside.*

Also, if sensitive documents or credit cards are stolen, Generali’s plans include Identity Theft Resolution Services that can help, even if you don’t realize you’ve been scammed until you get home. This service is available for 180 days, beginning on your departure date.

Horror stories are a part of travel, and there’s not much you can do about that. Fortunately, travel insurance from Generali can make the horror stories less horrible.

Get a quote today.

*See plan documents for full coverage details.


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