A simple blister that turned into a $20,000 medical fiasco and a couple attacked by a turtle are some of the most bizarre travel claims of the year, according to insurance company Cover-More.
Cover-More has combed through its claims over 2018 and unearthed some absolute pearlers — as well as the more common problems travellers lodged claims for.
According to its 2018 data, being denied from boarding a flight was the fastest-growing reason for an insurance claim, with instances rising a whopping 350 per cent on the previous year, reports news.com.au.
The number of travellers who had to claim after missing a connection doubled this year, followed by stolen or damaged rental cars (75 per cent increase) and travel delays (56 per cent increase).
Illness came fifth on the list, with an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year, and the number of claims related to cancellations stayed about the same — but with a few weeks to go until the end of December, Cover-More is expecting that to climb.
There were also several new types of claims in 2018 that didn't exist in 2017.
Those included "cabin confinement", which is when cruise passengers were forced to stay in their cabin due to illness, missed ports on cruise journeys, and travel amendments, in which travellers needed cover to make changes to their arrangements mid-trip.
Ticket protection was another new entry in 2018.
"It has been a big year in travel and our trending claim figures show how important it is to have appropriate insurance cover in place when you're travelling," Cover-More executive general manager of digital and direct Glenn Broadhurst said.
"It's better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to things like medical cover, missed connections and holiday cancellations which can be extremely costly for travellers who aren't adequately covered for these unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances.
"No one wants to be the unlucky traveller stuck without their luggage, dealing with a stolen rental car, struck down by illness or unable to board their flight or make their connection, and in those moments, you can't place a value on having travel insurance, especially when it can save travellers hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars."
As promised, among the usual problems were some truly unusual claims by Cover-More policy holders in 2018.
They included a traveller whose luggage was delayed by an airline but who only claimed for the cost of their razor, as they were heading to a nudist camp and hadn't packed any clothes.
A holiday-maker in New York City was attacked by a squirrel they were trying to photograph and was left with a nasty bite that came with a $3000 medical bill.
In another case, an overseas traveller didn't check both ways before crossing the street and hit a cyclist with their suitcase, which knocked them both to the ground.
The injured cyclist went to the police, and because the traveller had already dashed to the airport to catch their flight, they hired a lawyer to handle the police inquiries. The traveller ended up having to pay $3250 to the victim as well as the cost of the lawyer.
And in a really weird incident, a husband and wife in Samoa made a claim after a hairy incident involving a turtle at the Malua Turtle Feeding Pool in Upolu.
The wife was feeding the turtle when it bit her hand and pulled her into the water, and her husband, in an attempt to rescue her, also took a tumble headfirst into the water.
The couple claimed for their smartphones and a pair of sunglasses.
Then there were the claims that seemed trivial but ended up blowing out into a disaster.
A Cover-More traveller was struck with a dreaded blister after exploring a city by foot but when the blister became infected, the man was left with a limp and a medical bill in excess of $20,000.
Another traveller in the US contracted a urinary tract infection, which ended up costing $5000.
And before another client left on their trip, their puppy was bitten by an insect during a walk, and became so sick with an infection the traveller had to cancel their holiday, claiming the $3000 in cancellation costs.