Need to Use Your Travel Insurance? Here’s a Step-By-Step Guide on How to File a Successful Claim
Filing a claim to receive your travel insurance benefits may not be a fun procedure. After all, you’ve already been through a stressful situation that led you to file a claim. Perhaps it was a logistical issue in your trip, such as a flight delay, which required you to book a hotel room for the night. Or even worse: maybe it was an accident or injury while on your trip which required you to be evacuated back home.
Adding to this strenuous process is ensuring you have all the right details together before you file your claim. It can be overwhelming if you put in all of that hard work, but don’t receive the benefits you were expecting.
The issue, often times, is simply that travelers aren’t aware of what it takes to make a thorough claim. This is why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to take you from the moment you purchase your policy, to the moment you return from your trip and get all your materials together, and file a successful claim!
Before Your Trip
1.) Review Your Schedule of Benefits
We can’t stress this one enough. As soon as you purchase your policy, get a thorough understanding of what exactly is covered under your policy. Take the time to read through the schedule of benefits, which outlines every single detail regarding what’s covered. You can avoid misunderstandings later if you thoroughly understand what your travel insurance benefits are.
2.) Have Questions? Call Customer Service!
We encourage you to read your policy first, however, you may not understand it completely. Insurance jargon can be a bit challenging to follow at times. If you’ve run into some verbiage you don’t understand, or you’re not entirely sure what is covered, don’t hesitate to contact your company’s customer service staff! Some useful questions include:
- What are the covered reasons for cancelling my trip? And what are some reasons I wouldn’t be covered for?
- What should I do if my flight is delayed until the next day? Can I call you to make hotel reservations for me, or must I do it myself?
- What if I have an injury or illness while on my trip? How do I make arrangements for medical attention? Can I contact you to get help for me?
- If I lose a personal item on the trip, will I be reimbursed for it?
You should ask for clarification if you are unable been able to find the answers to these questions in your schedule of benefits.
But, your responsibilities don’t end there…
During Your Trip
3.) Keep Your Insurance Company In the Loop
It’s extremely important to keep your insurance company updated on events that occur during your trip that may affect your claim later on, because it helps both you and your insurance provider.
If the insurance company is aware of the circumstances you’re facing, they can take action to assist you. Furthermore, it will help substantiate your claim later on, since your insurance company will already have had notification of what happened during your trip.
So, whether you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason, or book a hotel room because your flight was delayed, just do a quick touch base with your insurance company to let them know about it along the way.
4.) Keep All Necessary Documentation!
It’s extremely important to provide proof of any loss, and document every single expense you have incurred due to a reason that’s covered in your policy. Start collecting these materials as you encounter situations, so you’re not scrambling for them 10 days before your claim is due.
Some of the important documents you should make sure to collect include:
- written statements from the airline if they lose your bag
- medical statements and receipts if you have to seek medical care during your trip
- receipts for additional expenses such as meals, lodging, etc. if you have to change plans due to a flight delay
After Your Trip
5.) Submit Your Claim
You’ve completed your trip, and it’s now time to file a claim. Simply go to your insurance provider’s claim form and answer all the questions as thoroughly and accurately as you possibly can.
If you don’t remember the dates that some of these things happened, take your time, research, and figure it out. You don’t want any inaccurate information on the claim form.
Remember those documents we asked you to save during your trip? Make sure to attach copies to your claim form wherever you’re asked to do so as well!
Start this process early! You generally have a window of about 90 days from the end of your trip to submit your claim form, depending on the company’s requirements. Don’t wait too long!
6.) The Aftermath…
Provided you’ve followed the claim procedure correctly, and there aren’t any other curveballs in the mix, your claim should be finalized in approximately 15-30 days, depending on the insurance company you’re working with. After this, you should receive your travel insurance benefits with no issues!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any other questions about filing travel insurance claims, and good luck with all your future travels!