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Hi there... need to make a claim?
Travel insurance is an unusual purchase in that you buy it with the hope you will never have to use it. But there’s no doubt that it’s the smart thing to do when you’re planning a bit of sun, sand and relaxation in Bali or taking the family on tour in New Zealand – you simply never know when disaster might strike. Whether it’s covering yourself and your travelling companions for emergency medical treatment and hospital bills you might accrue overseas, or protecting yourself against domestic cancellations and loss of deposits, booking the right travel insurance for your trip should come top of the priority list.
So what happens if you do have to make a claim on your travel insurance? Follow our tips for a stress-free experience…
1. Read the small print Yes, the font is small and yes, it may seem long-winded. But before you purchase travel insurance it is crucial you familiarise yourself with the policy wording so that you are aware of exactly what you are covered for, as well as any conditions or exclusions that might be involved.
2. Keep track of your documents. It’s all too easy to lose a paper copy of your insurance details or realise it is buried in the depths of your email inbox. Keep a copy somewhere safe and accessible so that you can find your policy number and the contact details of your insurer quickly if necessary.
3. Alert your insurer as soon as possible. Even if your travel insurance claim doesn’t seem particularly urgent, making the claim in a timely fashion is still of the utmost importance. In fact, many insurers will specify a time limit for claiming and others state that if at all possible, you should check in with them before accepting medical treatment. Therefore it can affect your claim if you don’t contact them right away.
4. Report any crimes immediately. Claiming travel insurance quickly is particularly important if you have been a victim of crime. Report any theft to the local police immediately and ask for a crime reference number, which is something your insurer will require in order to pursue your case. If you are unable to get to a police station, enlist the help of your hotel or travel agent for assistance – many policies will give you 24 hours to report the crime.
5. Hang on to receipts. If you are making a travel insurance claim for cancellation or delays that have left you out of pocket, remember to hang on to any receipts for expenditures that occur as a result. Your policy may well cover you for additional transport, essentials, accommodation or even food and drink. But you’ll need the receipts for reimbursement.