Submitting a Successful Travel Insurance Claim: Avoid These 5 Claim Filing Mistakes
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Travel insurance companies are not out to figure ways in which not to pay travelers on our claims. But just like homeowner's, car and health insurance, they are governed by state insurance commission rules, requirements, and practices. In order to get reimbursed on a claim, travelers must know it's a viable claim and provide the proper documentation for a successful claim to be paid.
AVOID THESE MISTAKES SO YOU GET PAID ON YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE CLAIM:
Not Reading Your Plan
I am going to start with #5, "Not reading your plan" because I feel it's the first thing people should do. We suggest to all of our clients to skim over your policy when you receive it so you have a bit of familiarity with your coverage. Reviewing it could mean the difference in decisions you make, knowing something unexpected is covered, and knowing if you have a valid claim. For instance, there are over 20 reasons to file a "trip cancellation" claim, but it's not open-ended and when people stumble upon a situation where they will not be covered, they get frustrated.
Number 1 is "Discarding receipts." It's easy to lose paper when moving around, unpacking, packing, and cleaning out what you feel you don't need. If necessary, try to get an envelope from your cruise ship or hotel. Or travel with an envelope or Ziplock bag to keep important papers. It could be one little piece of paper that cannot be replaced that keeps you from getting paid on your claim.
Not Filing a Report
I feel that reason that #2, "Not filing a police report," should be "Not filing an appropriate report" because sometimes it's a matter of an airline, car rental, hotel, or cruise line report. Be sure the report is on that entity's letterhead.
Not Visiting a Physician
I still recall a big unpaid claim from long ago because a client did not follow #3, "Not visiting a physician." She flew to Italy a few days before joining a motorcoach tour. Two nights before the tour, she got sick and felt much worse the day before the tour. She was afraid to see a local doctor, changed her airline ticket, and flew home the next morning so she could be back into the U.S. to be seen. The hotel offered to get an English-speaking doctor for her, but she'd refused. She asked someone at the hotel to "tell the tour guide when they come that I was sick and went home." She didn't call the insurance company (always call the insurance company for assistance or a heads up which is mentioned in the policy). Nor did she call our office. Had she called us or the insurance company, we could have made it clear to see a doctor immediately before making any other plans. And the insurance company could have assisted her, too. She recovered from being sick, but she made many mistakes, lost a long-awaited trip, and a lot of money. We never want to see a client be sick, miss a trip or lose money. Please use her story for your benefit.
Not Sending the Necessary Documents
Number 4, "Not sending the necessary documents" is one we have often seen hold up claims. While that does circle back to not having receipts or reports for claims having to do with issues during the actual trip, it's sometimes travelers not following the directions given to them when they opened a trip cancellation claim. In the case of trip cancellation, not sending a copy of your trip confirmation, canceled checks or bank statements for trip payments and even people sending in "doctor's notes" from their physician or their immediate family member's physician rather than having the claim form affidavit completed with needed details will hold up reimbursements.
We want to see you enjoy that long-awaited vacation. But if something unexpected comes up, we want your process of filing a claim to be as hassle-free as possible and one that leads you to a quick payment.
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