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A killer Shot | Selfie Deaths Infographic

selfie related death

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Selfies stealing the scene

It may only take a few moments, but the time taken to set up a great selfie can be enough to miss that dolphin sighting, sunset or the true magic of your surroundings. Eugene Wylde ‘Insurance Geek Extraordinaire’ from says, “I’ve seen tourists spending more time reenacting silly poses beside the Great Pyramids or the Eiffel Tower than actually looking at the world class site itself. You may as well just stay at home and use photoshop to get the job done.  If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars to see something special, try not to let your selfie sabotage your experience.”

Dangerous Digitals

Apart from missing the moment, reports these days are increasingly linking selfie takers with hazardous, risk-taking behavior. The phenomenon had even propelled several government and regulatory bodies to take a serious stance against reckless photo-takers. Public education programs, such as Russia's 'Safe-Selfie' campaign, have aimed to squash senseless selfie-taking behaviour with videos, leaflets and warning signs in highly frequented areas. 

Russia has seen a particularly high and tragic rate of deadly 'selfie accidents'. In May, a 21-year-old woman was nearly killed after accidentally shooting herself in the head for a posed picture. Just a few months earlier, two men taking pictures in the Urals died after pulling out the pin on a hand grenade. 

In 2013 a Polish couple tragically fell to their deaths while taking photos by a Portuguese cliff edge. Similarly, a 17-year-old Russian woman plummeted 30ft to her death after climbing on a railway bridge to take a selfie. Last year, base jumper Gareth Jones was killed after a precarious selfie clifftop fall and a 32-year American woman fatally crashed after sharing a mid-drive selfie to Facebook. It's official; death by selfie is on the rise.

Selfie related-injured aren’t limited to falls, weapons and car accidents. A recent spate of young men being mauled whilst taking selfies with tigers prompted New York authorities to outlaw the act. Two teenagers encountering an elephant in an African forest were even trampled to death after attempting to take pictures with it.

Whilst common sense should always come along with you in holidays, it’s always wise to prep yourself and take out a policy in case of a selfie-provoked tumble.

Are you covered for selfie-induced injuries?

Whilst safety always comes first, a camera-induced injury shouldn’t ruin a holiday. Whether you’ve copped a sprain, cut, or even suffered a serious injury as a result of a selfie gone wrong, travel insurance will cover you for any related medical expenses.

Additionally, a good travel policy will provide:

  • 24/7 emergency assistance service to help with travel and medical emergencies should the occasion arise.
  • Overseas emergency hospital and medical, including hospital stays, surgery, dental, prescription drugs, doctor and dentist office visits.
  • Emergency rescue and medical transport so you can receive medical care required for your illness or injury.
  • Personal liability, which is the amount that the insurer will pay to cover damages that you cause. This is usually advisable if you're taking part in any activities that involve risk, such as driving a car whilst on holiday.
  • Luggage and personal effects to provide reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal effects
  • Travel delay expenses, including costs for unexpected accommodation, meals, and transport when your travel is delayed or disrupted.
  • ...and much more!

Whether you’re a self-confessed selfie-addict or simply want to avoid a camera-related catastrophe, a good dose of selfie sense will get you in the right frame of mind.

Top tips for ‘Selfie Sense’

  • Respect for relics: Yes it makes for a great shot, but a quick snap besides a religious artefact or tomb could land you in the hot seat in countries like Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Check with a local guard before you say “cheese.”
  • Ride smart: This sounds like common sense, but taking a selfie whilst driving any type of vehicle (that includes, bikes, scooters and skateboards) is a big no-no. Just like any other hand-held device, put your camera phone aside while on-the-go.
  • Scan your surroundings: They say rules are meant to be broken but in the case of safe zones and barriers, caution comes first. Whether taking a road trip selfie on a busy highway or a dizzyingly high lookout, stay behind the lines.
  • Food photo fiend: If a great meal out to you doesn’t take place without at least one great food photo, take note, some high-end eateries have actually banned cameras claiming they “totally disrupt the ambience.”

Simply put, a life-risking selfie is never a good idea. Taking out travel insurance on the other hand, is. With the right cover and a good dose of selfie smarts, you’ll be set for holiday heaven.


Need some help? Use the search box below to find answers to all those tricky travel insurance questions. We’ve got heaps of travel insurance tips to help you get the best policy for your upcoming holiday!


Ask Eugene travel insurance geek extraordinaire anything

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