The family of a WA police officer critically injured in a horror cliff fall in Croatia has revealed the bitter devastation felt when they were told her travel insurer would not fork out for hospital costs and a flight home because she had alcohol in her system.
Ella Cutler, 25, has been in hospital since she almost plunged to her death at a popular photo spot on August 26, suffering a string of serious fractures and two punctured lungs.
Speaking to 7NEWS from Europe where they have been supporting the officer at her hospital bed in Dubrovnik, Cutler’s family revealed they were now on their own financially.
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“We were told she had a five per cent chance of survival,” mother Nicole Cutler said.
“Then to hear the insurance company had let us down, we just went into complete and utter shock.
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“I can’t even begin to explain what that was like. I had never anticipated that the insurance wouldn’t help us to bring her home.
“I don’t understand (and) I’m really confused how an insurance company could imagine a family or somebody that had taken out insurance in good faith… would be able to navigate their way through that.”
RAC WA sold the policy to the officer but another company called Tokio Marine handles and settles claims.
Ella Cutler’s family is in the middle of an insurance nightmare, trying to bring her home. Credit: 7NEWSElla Cutler has been described as a dedicated officer. Credit: 7NEWS
In a positive sign, the managing agent says it is working through the “open claim”, but did not explain the policy fine print or how many drinks void it.
The Insurance Council says most travel policies will cover people under the influence of alcohol up to 0.19 per cent, just under four times the legal limit to drive.
Cutler’s family has turned to crowdfunding for a financial lifeline, hoping to raise $500,000 to cover medical bills and fly her home – and the community has rallied
The $425,000 raised so far puts it among the top five GoFundMe campaigns in Australia this year.
On Friday, WA Police published a short video to continue the momentum.
Cutler has been in hospital since she almost plunged to her death at a popular photo spot on August 26. Credit: 7NEWS
The 40-second clip featured a compilation of snaps and videos highlighting her bubbly nature and work as a “dedicated” officer, who was with a 34-year-old man at the time of the accident.
It also emerged on Friday that Cutler is the niece of Julie Cutler, who was just 22 when she disappeared in Perth after a work function on June 20, 1988.
Her car was discovered two days later in the sea off Cottesloe Beach but her body has never been found.
Her disappearance remains one of WA’s most enduring cold cases.
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