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A Week Of Bali Horror Stories Confirm Tourists Need Comprehensive Insurance

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A week of horror stories in Bali comes as an all too timely reminder to travelers to ensure that they have fully compressive medical and travel insurance before they jet off to paradise.

Tourists and travelers must also read their insurance policies, including all the fine print, to make sure they are covered for every eventuality. 

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Five tourists in four separate incidences will be departing the island with horror stories from their time in Bali, and each comes as a word of warning to fellow travelers to get travel and health insurance and check every last detail of the policy before setting off the island. 

An Australian tourist is in a stable but critical condition in hospital in Bali, having been involved in a hit-and-run collision on the Padang-Padang Bridge in the surf resort of Uluwatu.

Sam Hourigan, a well-known free diver, was hit by a motorcycle driving on the wrong side of the road with no lights.

As Hourigan lay injured and unconscious on the bridge, a second motorcycle then ran over him, resulting in serious injuries, including a ruptured spleen, broken ribs, and substantial internal bleeding. 

He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, and doctors removed his spleen in a life-saving procedure.

He is now in intensive care and facing a medical bill of over AUD 50,000. Despite taking out an insurance policy, the providers informed Houriagn that this type of incident was not covered by his policy. 

Hourigan’s partner, Kristen Czyszek, published an update online about the condition of her boyfriend. She wrote, ‘Sam now has no spleen or appendix, and one of his biggest joys in life is freediving which may be taken away forever…He knows he is lucky to be alive, but his heart is broken. 

She added, “Nothing can prepare you for the amount of grief, shock, anger, and sadness seeing the one you love fighting for their life. Everyone that knows him will say he is one of the most generous people with the biggest heart.”

“The medical bills are at $50,000, which his insurance will not cover because of a minor technical exclusion. Any help from the community would mean the world to Sam, me, and all who know him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

In an unrelated incident, Australian tourist Rebecca Ode has also been rushed to the intensive care unit at a Bali hospital for major brain and eye reconstructive surgery after she was discovered semi-conscious on a road on the outlying island of Nusa Lembongan.

While Ode is now described as being stable, she remains in the ICU and may lose both of her eyes as a result of a traumatic head injury. 

Ode’s brother-in-law, Jesse Wilton, spoke to the press to explain, “We have no idea how the injury happened… there was no alcohol… and the extent of her injuries is quite traumatic…She has hemorrhaging on the brain and has a fractured cheek and jaw almost beyond repair…She will lose one eye, if not two, and has titanium plates in collar bones.”

In addition to upfront medical bills, Ode’s family is now contending with the potential for MediVac flights and additional care once she is home.

Wilton explained, “Once home, Bec is likely to have a long journey of rehabilitation. We are estimating it will be close to $250,000 just to get back to Australia.”


56-year-old Catherine Curtis will be returning to Australia with a broken leg following a traumatic turn of events on the side of Mount Batur during a recent trip to Bali.

Having successfully summited the sacred peak, Curtis tripped and fell during the descent, breaking her leg in two places.

While she did have a travel and medical insurance policy that covered the cost of her care, without such a policy, she’d have been faced with a medical bill of over AUD 23,000.


Two young British tourists can think themselves incredibly lucky after they were saved by Bali’s Search and Rescue teams on Thursday, 4th July.

The two brothers, known by their initials AF and MF, attempted to hike Mount Agung without a guide.

While they successfully scaled the summit, they became lost during the descent, and it took Search and Rescue teams hours to locate their whereabouts.


The saga meant that they also missed their flight off the island. While the pair were found alive and uninjured, the situation could have resulted in a very different conclusion; every year, at least a dozen tourists end up injured or killed on the slopes of Mount Agung, with the risk factor increased significantly if hiking without a guide, which is against the rules.

Tourists hiking Mount Batur and/or Mount Agung must hire a local guide and ensure that their travel insurance policy covers mountain hiking.

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Monday 8th of July 2024

I was injured in a hit and run in Bali. Broke my leg really badly. But because I did everything right (got proper insurance, wore a helmet, had the proper license) my insurance covered it. Even then I still had some problems with them! They’ll try anything to not pay you what they owe. Please make sure you do everything right so they can will pay the bill if something happens.


Sunday 7th of July 2024

Insurance is a joke they always try and find a way to get out of paying. Maybe it's better for countries to offer non profit Insurance for travelers that cover everything. No fine print. No last min sorry nothing is covered when you need it cause the main goal is not to help you it's to make money.


Saturday 6th of July 2024

So the message is get travel insurance even though they won't pay up when it's needed


Saturday 6th of July 2024

Would be nice to know what the minor technical exclusion was that Sam's insurance didn't cover. If it was "minor" I would presume it wasn't the normal of not wearing a helmet, drinking alcohol or not being licensed to ride a bike. Knowing would give people a heads up on what they should look for on their PDF.


Sunday 7th of July 2024

@Dianna, indeed when 6 million visitors a year, you get some weirdos and accidents do happen, i come to Bali about 40 years, and always careful, be insured and look after yrself, Drinking and Driving a big problem, no Police control, so be aware, Most Aussies Drink to much, a big worry


Sunday 7th of July 2024

@Dianna, you make a good point. What ‘minor issue’ would remove cover if hit by a bike when walking?


Sunday 7th of July 2024

@Dianna, agreed !

Steve b

Sunday 7th of July 2024

@Dianna, I was wondering why it took them so long to say it was a sepeda motor when they didn't know before sounds dodgy, earlier reports they didn't know the cause and speculated it was an attack


Saturday 6th of July 2024

If a tourist is coming to your country and is met with accident because of your local people mistake and negligence, than victim should be covered by your government or your country is just POOR and it might also arise that these accidents were met on PURPOSE to Empty Tourist Pocket and Suck Money. Do not PAY such country's government a Dime