In a perfect world, there would be such a thing as risk-free travel. Unfortunately, no matter what type of trip we are planning, there’s always the chance that things go wrong. Travel insurance exists to offer protection from the unexpected, and mitigate the financial risks associated with traveling.
Hopefully you don’t need to use your travel insurance plan, and can enjoy a stress-free vacation. However, in the unfortunate event that you encounter travel issues, it’s important to know the steps needed to be reimbursed by your travel insurance provider through filing a claim.
How to Claim Travel Insurance
Having to file a travel insurance claim can seem like a bothersome, daunting process. However, it doesn’t have to be.
If you’ve experienced travel disruptions or need to be reimbursed for other covered reasons, there are steps you can take today to begin filing your claim and make the process as seamless as possible. Squaremouth breaks down how travel insurance claims work.
Step 1: Review Your Policy Details
This step should really be done well before you get to the stage of filing a claim. Understanding your travel insurance policy is crucial when determining if you are entitled to reimbursement. In fact, misunderstanding coverage is one of the most common reasons for denied travel insurance claims.
To review your policy details, it’s recommended to read your travel insurance certificate. This would have been sent to you shortly after purchasing your policy. The certificate details how the specific policy works, what benefits it includes and what they cover, and any important exclusions.
For example, this certificate will outline how long you must be delayed before coverage kicks in, and how much medical reimbursement you are entitled to. In addition, these policy details will also include the contact information of your provider, should you need to begin the claims process.
Step 2: Contact Your Travel Insurance Provider
If your trip is impacted and you believe you are eligible for reimbursement, it’s advised to get in touch with your provider as soon as reasonably possible. For example, in the event you experience a medical emergency, you should seek treatment first, and call your insurance company when you are able to.
The reason it’s important to contact your travel insurance provider early on in the process is because they are able to provide important policy information in real-time. They will be able to offer advice, inform you on coverage options, and help guide you through the start of the claims process.
Step 3: Get Your Documents in Order
When filing, you will need to have evidence that supports your claim. For this reason, it’s important to have all documentation related to your loss. This includes any receipts related to expenses you’ve paid and any refunds you may have received.
Documents that may be relevant to your claim include:
- Airline, hotel, rental car, and excursions receipts
- Cancellation notices from prepaid bookings
- Delay notices from airlines
- Medical and emergency services bills
- Notes from licensed physicians
- Correspondence with relevant parties
- Police reports
- Unused tickets
- Refunds received during your trip
Keeping either physical or digital copies of the above documents, as well as any other applicable files, will help make the claims process as smooth as possible.
Step 4: File Your Claim
Once you’ve contacted your insurance provider and collected all relevant documentation, you can now submit your claims form to your travel insurance provider.
Most travel insurance companies allow policyholders to file a claim over the phone, through their website, or through their app if they have one. As you go through the process, your provider will clearly outline what’s needed in each step, and will contact you if any additional items are needed.
In most cases, it’s most efficient to file your claim online. That way, you can upload your documentation digitally all at once, rather than relying on email.
How Long Does A Travel Insurance Claim Take?
The timeframe of your specific claim will largely depend on the provider, the complexity of your claim, and how quickly the provider receives all necessary documentation.
Being knowledgeable of your policy and organized are two great ways to give yourself the best chance of a quick and easy claims process.
What If My Travel Insurance Claim is Denied?
If you feel your claim was incorrectly denied, there are actions that you can take to try and correct the decision.
First, you may have an opportunity to file an appeal with your insurance provider. If your claim was rejected because you filed the claim incorrectly, did not attach required documentation, or made mistakes when filling out a form, you should get in contact with your provider to remedy the situation.
Another way to protect yourself from denied claims is to purchase a policy with a Zero Complaint Guarantee, a level of security attached to every policy bought through Squaremouth. With the Zero Complaint Guarantee, our licensed claims adjusters will investigate your case and mediate with your provider on your behalf.
If all else fails, travelers may also file a complaint with their state’s Department of Insurance. This service is designed to investigate cases where consumers have been wrongfully denied a claim by their insurance provider. This process is not guaranteed to overturn a claim decision, but offers another layer of protection for travelers in the event their case was rejected.