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WA man racks an unexpected $223,000 overseas bill


A 71-year-old man from Western Australia set off with his wife for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday – only to end up with the biggest claim his insurance company, InsureandGo, saw in 2017.

Jeffrey Yates's 50th wedding anniversary trip with his wife didn't turn out as expected when a series of illnesses struck him while in Italy, racking him a massive $223,255 claim.

“I contracted legionnaires’ disease and pneumonia, which led to me discovering that I had emphysema on the trip,” Yates told “Within three days they’d dropped us off in Naples to see a specialist hospital, which led to 16 days in intensive care. This was followed by an extended stay in hospital. All up, I was out of action for 47 days. After all was said and done, the total came to well over $220,000… It was an extremely difficult situation.”

Yates said his experience demonstrates why travel insurance should be seriously considered when going overseas, as travellers never know what could happen.

While the pair always takes out travel insurance, it was more for his wife who has ongoing health issues, and Yates said he didn't expect that he would also need it.

“It’s not something you think about, especially given how quickly those transportation and hospital bills can add up,” Yates told the news agency. “Of course, we were disappointed that such a long-awaited trip had been cut short, but we are grateful that it wasn’t worse and that we weren’t left out of pocket.”

Yates's health is still constantly being monitored, including breathing issues for which he still requires oxygen, the report said.


Written by Mina Martin for Insurance Business Magazine