Weird Bali problem costing Aussies thousands
INSURANCE claims due to bizarre run-ins with local wildlife in Bali are surprisingly common, a major Australian insurer has revealed.
Cover-More has assessed its travel claims from Indonesia over 2018 and found claims for lost, stolen or damaged belongings topped the list, accounting for 27 per cent of all claims received that year.
But it found many cases of theft in Indonesia involved non-human culprits, particularly in the holiday hotspot of Bali, where aggressive monkeys are often attracted to shiny and light-reflective items like phones and sunglasses.
The insurance company said one of its customers reported having been relaxing by the pool at a Bali resort and having his sunglasses stolen by a monkey - leading to a $535 claim.
In another case last year, a Cover-More customer had his watch stolen after being set upon by a small troop of monkeys at the Monkey Temple in Ubud.
And in another case, a woman had her prescription glasses stolen by a monkey that jumped onto her shoulder while she was walking through the Ubud Monkey Forest.
But Cover-More's analysis of 2018 claims also revealed a worrying trend in cases of theft-by-motorcycle, in which thieves snatch valuables from the hands of victims while driving past on a motorcycle or scooter, usually without stopping.
In one case in Seminyak, a Cover-More customer said he had his bag, containing his laptop and mobile phone, snatched while walking through a market. The commotion also caused his travelling companion to be knocked over by a bike. While his friend wasn't badly injured, the cost of the robbery alone was $3311.
In another case, a traveller was riding tandem on a scooter when a couple on another scooter used knives to cut the bag strap of their backpack.
The thieves took the bag, which contained a gold chain, mobile phone and iPad, totalling $2700, and took off in the traffic.
In a third case, a customer made a $2690 claim to cover stolen cash, a camera, mobile phone, sunglasses and cosmetics after her bag was snatched by a man on a scooter who drove past her as she walked to her villa in Kuta.
Travellers needed to remember while insurance policies can cover theft, they will not cover cases in which items have been left unattended, Glenn Broadhurst, Cover-More Travel Insurance Global Direct executive general manager said.
"If you are unfortunately the victim of a theft or attack, report it to the local police and call our 24/7 emergency assistance team so that our expert case managers, nurses and doctors can support you," he said.
"It's also crucial to know that most policies won't cover items stolen while left unattended in public - so don't do things like leave your mobile phone on the towel while you go for a swim at the beach, for example."
HOW TO STAY SAFE FROM THEFT
• Pay attention to your surroundings and keep bags closed and carried securely. Consider carrying valuables like cash, credit cards and passports in a money belt underneath your clothes.
• Keep really valuable or sentimental items, like wedding rings and expensive watches, at home - you won't need them on holiday.
• Never leave possessions unattended in public places. Not only is it inviting theft, but most insurers won't cover theft in those cases.
• Ask your hotel concierge, hostel reception, tour guide or local tourism information for any areas or streets that may be considered dangerous and should be avoided.
• Report theft to local police. When you make a claim you need to provide a police report as evidence, so report it to a relevant local authority as soon as you can, and keep a copy of all documentation you include in your claim.
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