A Victorian woman says medical bills have left her virtually penniless after an accident during an overseas holiday.
Steph Kaiser, from Geelong, is now warning others to carefully read the fine print on their travel insurance policies.
In the waters off Thailand, Steph’s jet ski was T-boned at 60 km/h by another jet ski.
She was knocked into the water and doesn’t remember much after that – except that the water was “full of blood.”
The trainee nurse, actor, model and Miss Universe contestant’s leg was broken in two places.
She had spinal injuries and her kneecap and pelvis were fractured.
Steph’s travel insurance stopped paying out after her hospital stay and a flight home for surgery, but the medical bills are still rolling in.
“If I had known they weren’t going to cover ongoing costs I probably would have gone for a different package,” she said.
Now on a daily cocktail of drugs to dull her pain, the 24-year-old admits she didn’t read her policy closely enough.
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“You definitely need to read what you’re buying and what it covers,” she said.
Australians love to travel, but every year about 1700 Aussies end up in overseas hospitals due to illness or accidents.
Many find out the hard way that they don’t have adequate insurance to cover their expenses.
Steph has had to sell her car to fund her medical bills and her injuries have disrupted her nursing and modelling careers.
Comparison website finder.com.au found that many travel insurance policies automatically excluded cover for activities like jet skiing, bungee jumping, paragliding, even motorbike riding.
“If you’re going to be doing those kinds of activities you need to do more research in terms of picking the right policy,” Finder’s Graham Cooke said.