Aussie facing 'staggering' medical bills after missing minor travel insurance detail

Ehrin Coupe suffered a 'life-altering' surfing accident in Bali on Friday and was rushed into surgery.

An Aussie tourist who suffered a “life-altering” surfing accident in Bali is facing a “staggering” mountain of medical bills after missing a small detail in the fine print of his travel insurance.

Ehrin Coupe — otherwise known as Ezza — was enjoying an early morning paddle at Uluwatu Beach on Friday when a small wave caused “severe injuries to his nose and forehead", his friend Shane Bevan explained on a GoFundMe page created to help the Sunshine Coast resident.

Uluwatu Beach, where Ehrin Coupe, seen wearing sunglasses and a hat on a beach, was injured.
Ehrin Coupe — otherwise known as Ezza — was surfing at Uluwatu Beach on Friday when a wave caused 'severe injuries to his nose and forehead'. Source: Getty/Facebook

Ehrin was taken to Nusa Dua hospital and rushed into a “vital surgery” with an estimated cost of $25,000 later that night. The surfer’s wife Sarah Coupe contacted the North Shore Boardriders on the Sunshine Coast in her husband’s time of need, Shane said, “to raise the necessary funds for his medical treatment, including a crucial $30,00 for a medical evacuation to ensure his safety”.

“The situation is dire, and we need your help,” he added.

Wife says she 'failed' to see fine print detail

In an update at 10pm on Friday night, Sarah confirmed the couple “have comprehensive top level cover travel insurance for 12 months” but said she “failed [to read] in the fine print that each ‘trip’ must be a maximum of 60 days only”.

“I believed we were covered for 12 months,” she posted on Facebook, adding she was “embarrassed” by the simple error. Sarah described her husband’s injuries as “extensive” and thanked those who rushed to his aid when the accident occurred.

Reading insurance terms and conditions is 'crucial'

Natalie Ball, Director of, told Yahoo News Australia it’s “crucial” for Aussie travellers to “understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance before departing for your trip”.

“Unfortunately, travel insurance doesn't cover everything, which is something many travellers learn the hard way,” she said. “While it may be lengthy, the Product Disclosure Statement is available and outlines what is and isn’t covered. It’s essential to pay particular attention to the General Exclusions section and ask your insurer any questions if you’re uncertain.

“There are numerous examples of small print details that catch travellers off guard. For instance, you may not be covered when riding a moped if you don’t have a licence or wear a helmet. Additionally, you may not be covered medically if you need treatment for an existing condition that you didn’t declare. To reduce the risk of nasty surprises, always read the fine print so you can travel with peace of mind.”

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