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Travel Insurance 101 Part IV

Travel Insurance 101 Part IV

Insurance companies are real sticklers when it comes to filing an insurance claim.

Follow these recommendations by The Traveling Professor to get a travel insurance claim resolved as quickly as possible. 

Read and Understand the Policy:  This should actually be done before filing a claim and then again when the traveler files a claim.  Clearly understand what is covered and what is not covered.  Understand the conditions that qualify for coverage.  For instance, in order to qualify for a trip delay claim, there is probably a guideline on how many hours a trip is delayed and for what reasons the trip is delayed for.  If reporting a theft, a printed police report is needed. If asking for reimbursement for medical services, a printed receipt with treatment details will be required.

Keep Good PAPER Records:  Probably the most common reason for a claim to be denied is because the claimant does not have the proper documentation or paperwork that satisfies the insurance company.  We strongly discourage trying to use digital records of transactions as documentation.  For instance, print out PAPER boarding passes and tickets.   Keep good records and have paper receipts of the details of every transaction including dates, amounts, ticket numbers, reservation numbers, official confirmation of reservations and payments.  Make sure the names of travelers are clearly printed on these documents.  Canceled checks and credit card receipts help.  Get official printed documents from airlines, hotels, tour operators, hotels detailing why a trip was cancelled or delayed.   Emails will usually suffice but original documentation from the source is preferred. 

Contact the Insurance Company Immediately:  Not only may this be needed to file a claim, it may be required to file a claim such as an emergency medical evacuation.  Don't assume that you can pay for services and reimbursement will be automatically come from the insurance company.  The insurance company may also provide guidance on obtaining medical care or other services. 

Always Have Insurance Information on Hand:  Whenever traveling internationally, we recommend carrying  a COPY of your passport at all times.  On the back of the passport copy, write down the policy number and phone contact information for the insurance company.  Also write down the name, address and phone number of the lodging where you are staying as well as emergency contacts back home.  Write down any medical conditions such as allergies, implanted medical devices, and prescriptions you take.   Some overseas medical care facilities require a passport or passport copy before any treatment will be rendered.  And of course, get a printed receipt of anything you pay for. 

Filing a Claim:  Most insurance company allow travelers to file a claim online and it must be done with a timeframe as described in the policy.  They are going to ask for the detailed records as explained above.  Then, after they ask for these records, they will probably ask for more information.  Our experience is that insurance companies go through an exhaustive and detailed process in order to approve a claim.  Be prepared.  It is always easier to collect these records before a claim is made rather than going back and trying to find and reconstruct these records after an insurance claim is made. 



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