It turns out that Mark Richardson was not the only Australian who found himself in need of assistance in a Bali hospital this week. Last week, Queensland surfer Ehrin Coupe suffered a severe surfing accident at Uluwatu. Now, due to a technicality in his traveler’s insurance, Coupe and his wife are attempting to raise enough money to cover his ballooning medical bills.
“Our dear friend Ehrin Coupe, lovingly known as Ezza, faced a life-altering moment last Friday,” wrote family friend Shane Bevan on the Gofundme for Coupe. “While riding the waves at Uluwatu, a two-foot wave caused a severe surfing accident, resulting in injuries to his nose and forehead.”
As Bevan goes on to describe on the page, Ehrin had emergency surgery in Bali on Saturday morning, at the cost of $19,091. Subsequent medical evacuation to Brisbane, Australia cost $6,079. Now Coupe is in Australia under the care of a plastic surgeon in Brisbane, who will assess the full extent of his injuries upon removing his bandages Wednesday. “The costs of his rehabilitation are unknown at this stage and as Ehrin is unable to work. We are seeking to raise additional funds on top of his medical expenses to support his recovery,” wrote Bevin.
As to how the costs for his treatment ended up becoming so massive, Coupe’s wife Sarah wrote on social media, “Yes we have comprehensive top level coverage travel insurance for 12 months. However I failed in the fine print that each ‘trip’ must be maximum 60 days only. I believed we were covered for 12 months.”
“Unfortunately, travel insurance doesn’t cover everything, which is something many travelers learn the hard way,” Natalie Ball, Director of Comparetravelinsurance.com.au, told Yahoo News Australia. “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 travelers off guard. For instance, you may not be covered when riding a moped if you don’t have a lisence 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.”
The Gofundme for Ehrin can be found here.