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A Costly Lesson in Insurance Limitations

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Last month, 27-year-old New Zealander, Sean Kenzie was in a serious motorbike accident while visiting Thailand. He was hit by a van, suffering two punctured lungs, a split liver, and broken ribs.  Kenzie had to undergo immediate surgery to save his life, quickly racking up a $13,000 medical bill.

Before leaving home, Kenzie purchased a travel insurance policy from his travel agent, who reportedly explained that the policy offered full medical coverage.  Unfortunately, Kenzie was not told that the policy excluded coverage for motorbike accidents; such coverage was available for an upgrade, but he was unaware of this.  The main mode of transportation in Thailand is motorbikes, so Kenzie and his family were shocked to find out that the insurance policy did not cover motorbike accidents.

Kenzie’s family is now engaged in a fundraising effort to raise sufficient funds to transport him back to New Zealand and to cover the costs of additional surgeries and medical care.

This is an unfortunate and costly lesson. Remember that most medical insurance policies are not effective in foreign countries, so purchasing a travel insurance policy with emergency medical coverage is wise. However, it is imperative to understand any coverage restrictions. Be sure to read a policy carefully and ask questions to make sure you are purchasing the benefits you need. makes all policy information available on their website and customer service agents are happy to help travelers find policies that best fit their needs.