INSURANCE claims for council-run trips abroad included medical expenses for spider bites and injuries including a £156,000 treatment bill, it has been revealed.
The travel insurance premium for East Lothian Council went up by nearly £2,500 this year after previous claims were examined and people involved in Duke of Edinburgh’s Award trips were added to the policy.
Among a snapshot of claims produced by insurers over the last five years are a £3,601 claim for a missed departure on a trip, £1,066 claim for treatment for a spider bite, and medical expenses from 2014 which resulted in a £156, 551 claim.
Details of the cause of the 2014 claim have not been revealed although it is understood to relate to a school trip.
A report on the new insurance costs and brokers fees for the coming year have been lodged in the council’s members’ library and reveals there has also been an increase in claims in the last 12 months which are mainly down to school trips.
It also reveals that the council’s most senior officers have a high premium placed on their safety while travelling on behalf of their jobs and are covered to the tune of five times their annual salary if they suffer serious injury or death, while elected councillors are covered to a maximum of £150,000.
All other travellers from employees to their families, students and those taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme have a payment cap of £25,000 for death of serious injury.
A council spokesperson said: “We have a Group Personal Accident and Business Travel Insurance policy in place, similar to other local authorities.
“This policy provides insurance cover whilst council staff, volunteers and/or pupils are travelling on school, educational or business trips when there is at least one overnight stay.
“Cover is also provided for children participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
“While all travel arrangements are planned with great care, sometimes these they need to be changed due to circumstances such as personal issues, illness or lost property, including theft.
“The council wishes to ensure that cover is in place so there is no financial risk to approved travellers as long as the policy terms and conditions are followed.”