Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Insurance claims going to the dogs

While travellers make more monkey claims, dogs are doing damage at home and abroad

Monkeys caused the greatest number of animal-related travel claims, says Southern Cross Travel Insurance.
Monkeys caused the greatest number of animal-related travel claims, says Southern Cross Travel Insurance.

The "Beware of Dog" warning took on a whole new meaning for one tourist whose insurance company forked out $100,000 when they suffered broken bones after being knocked over by man's best friend.

The person, who was travelling in Europe, topped a list of the most expensive animal-related travel insurance claims of 2013 for Southern Cross Travel Insurance.

And it seems back in New Zealand things are also going to the dogs, with ACC reporting more than 18,000 dog-related claims last year and this year, at a cost of $5.9 million.

The high number of injuries included, but was not specific to, dog bites or attacks, and also included accidents such as tripping over a dog.

The most expensive animal-related ACC claims came from injuries associated with horses, at a cost of $6,591,250, but the Crown organisation said it was important to note that there was a higher number of horses than many other animals in New Zealand, so injury numbers were proportional.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance said by far its greatest number of animal-related travel claims were caused by monkeys, including claims for property stolen by our simian cousins - cellphones picked from pockets and pinched prescription glasses.

One plucky primate even reached through the barred window of a third-floor hotel room and stole a mobile phone and a toiletries bag.

One person who was bitten by a monkey while exploring in Southeast Asia required a $4000 rabies shot.

In New Zealand, injury-causing animals included mice (98 ACC claims), fish (176 claims), magpies (4), rabbits (152) and alpacas (29).

Animal-related travel insurance claims:
• Broken bones after person knocked over by dog - $100k plus.
• Rabies shot after monkey bite - $4000.
• Claims including cellphones, bags, glasses and a knife stolen by monkeys.
• Claim for shoes chewed by rats.

Number of animal-related injuryclaims to ACC
Dog 18,551, horse 8177, cat 5282, cattle 4284, sheep 3246, pigs 284, Fish 176, deer 167, rabbits 152, goats 139, mice 98, alpacas 29, magpies 4.

- NZ Herald

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