When it comes to travel insurance, most people take out their policy with the belief that should anything go wrong, it will be there as a back-up. Whether you find yourself stranded because of a tropical storm, or unlucky enough to end up in a foreign hospital, travel insurance should have you covered from your luggage to your broken leg. While insurers state that only 2-3% of claims are denied a year, imagine the headache when you hear back from your insurer to discover they have denied your travel insurance claim.
There are a few different reasons why this could happen, and we selected the top five so that you can be prepared before you file your claim
One of the biggest stipulations of a travel insurance policy is the need to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions. If you fall unexpectedly ill while on vacation, and it is discovered to be the result of a pre-existing medical condition, this could void your travel insurance policy. Medical expenses can be hefty, especially when you find yourself in a foreign hospital, and without your travel insurance to support you, you may be left out of pocket.
If you do have a pre-existing medical condition, it is best to be honest with your insurer. While you may think a sneaky white lie will save you some money, it could come back to haunt you further down the line. Letting your insurer know upfront means that you can work together to come up with a policy that is appropriate for you, and take your condition into account. It may be a little higher in price, but will definitely save you money if the worst case scenario.
Although your insurer may have initially denied your claim, it could just be because they don’t have enough evidence or documentation to support your claim. Make sure that you keep copies of everything to do with your claim-this includes receipts for costs incurred as the result of a delay, or any hospital paperwork. Often, if you are injured, an insurer may ask for photographic evidence too. Work with what you have to provide as much evidence as possible. You are also entitled to re-submit your claim for a second assessment with any additional paperwork you think is necessary.
Often your policy doesn’t account for every single thing that could go wrong. The things that are covered will be detailed in your policy paperwork, and be sure to check the small print for any excluding circumstances. Travel insurance companies aim to limit their liability, so often leave out situations such as terrorist attacks or weather that had been predicted ahead of your trip. The best way to combat this is to ensure you are fully aware of what is included in your policy and what is not. There is always the option of buying additional coverage for some situations.
If you have submitted a claim because you were injured or involved in an accident, and it is found that you were intoxicated at the time, then your insurer is likely to deny your claim. Most insurers state this within the small print of their policy. If you are injured after drinking alcohol, or have ingested another substance, you are classed as being fully at fault for your accident. This is something that those going on extreme sports holidays, such as skiing or snowboarding, should be aware of. While a little après-ski isn’t an issue, make sure you keep it for the end of your slope session.
As you might imagine, travel insurance is intended to protect against the unexpected and things that haven’t happened yet. So, when you buy your policy is key. If you buy your insurance policy after you’ve been involved in an incident, of course you aren’t going to be covered. However, what some people don’t realise is that if you have to cancel your trip as the result of an outside circumstance you were already aware was a possibility-such as a sick relative, pregnancy or impending extreme weather-then your policy may well be void.
Additionally, some policy types including pre-existing medical condition policies and ‘cancel for any reason’ options, must be bought within a certain amount of time.
In summary, the best way to ensure that your policy isn’t denied, is to read over your policy and be certain that you know everything that is included. If you are concerned at all, feel free to contact your insurer and have them directly address any questions you have.