Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating and worrisome. Whether it’s an auto claim, a homeowner claim, or medical claim, the insured is often told a claim is denied or delayed without explanation. Travel insurance is no different. A simple misstep can cause a claim to be delayed or even denied despite the best of intentions.
InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance aggregator, recently published a list of the top reasons claims are delayed or denied.
One reason for a delay or denial is pretty basic, and that’s whether your policy covered this type of claim. Before you sign up for your travel insurance, read the fine print. Many of those crucial details about what you’re getting coverage for are outlined in the fine print. Check your terms and conditions because every policy is worded differently.
Not all flight delays qualify for a claim. For example, a delay needs to be three hours or more in order to qualify. So, if your flight is delayed two hours and 59 minutes, your claim will, in all likelihood, be denied.
Has your trip been canceled due to weather? Many vacationers discover they are not covered because the storm’s impact is not sufficient enough to warrant cancellation. Another common reason is that people waited too long to purchase their policy and bought it right before the trip began.
Typically an airline or cruise company has to cease service due to the weather in order for basic coverage to kick in. That means a flight must be grounded, or your resort must be badly damaged and unable to provide service.
Hurricane season typically sees a large spike in claims. If you’re worried about hurricanes, look at the specific ‘hurricane-related’ coverage that your provider offers, and ask questions to make sure you’re covered. A policy review by a travel insurance expert will help you understand what kind of coverage you’re getting, so have one examine your policy prior to buying it.
Illness may be another reason for a canceled trip and filed claim. But if you’re too sick to do anything, yet you don’t seek medical attention, your claim will be denied. How else can you prove you were ill? Insurance companies want proof, and without it, the chances of your claim being approved are slim to none. Not sure if you can make the trip? Get some guidance from the policy holder before making your travel decision.
Documentation is also vital for filing a claim. Your travel insurance company has a process, and will need documentation that you followed that process. The more you do, the less likely you will experience a delay or denial. Seeking treatment prior to returning home and saving all medical documentation is critical to proving both your expense, and the fact that an event occurred. Anything you can do to get an independent, qualified party to document your case will help you during your claim, including additional treatment when you return.
Do you have a pre-existing condition? Request a plan that includes pre-existing medical issue waiver. If you’re not sure, speak to a travel insurance professional about the plan that’s right for you.
- Purchase travel insurance as early as possible to increase eligibility and ensure the trip cost is accurate.
- Understand your policy before leaving.
- Have your paperwork in hand before you return home, including claims-related medical papers, police reports, etc.
- Expect processing delays with your claim following major travel events such as hurricanes.
Photo credit: Brendaconway94 (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 4.0)