Broken bungee cord victim becomes poster child for travel insurance

Broken bungee cord victim becomes poster child for travel insurance

One unlucky traveler's near-death experience provides a cautionary tale

Erin Langworthy would have faced AU$50,000 in medical bills had she not registered for travel insurance. The video was frightening.

Twenty-two-year-old Australian backpacker Erin Langworthy made international headlines  when she plummeted 111 meters from Victoria Falls bridge into the crocodile-infested Zambezi River after her bungee cord snapped mid-jump on New Year's Eve, 2011. 

Now she's the face of Australia’s new AU$2.6 million (US$2.7 million) campaign urging tourists to buy travel insurance.;

In a promotional video for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's "Smartraveller" campaign, Langworthy narrates a postscript to her already well-known story -- that she would have faced AU$50,000 (US$52,000) in medical bills in addition to her severe injuries had it not been for her travel insurance.;

Langworthy accompanied Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr at a media event kicking off the campaign, which began November 18. Her face and story will be featured on videos, postcards and social media channels.

The ministry is also hosting a “Travel Tales” competition, which travelers with horror stories can enter to win AU$6,000 in travel insurance.

“Australian embassies and consulates assist more than 14,000 Australian families in distress each year,” Carr said in a statement. "Australians without travel insurance can be risking poor local hospital care and high medical bills if they are sick or injured while overseas.

"The message of this campaign is to take care overseas and take out insurance before you leave."

The video of Langworthy's accident is below:

Frances Cha is a Digital Producer at CNN Travel. 


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