A Foolproof Guide to Travel Insurance Claims

Did something go wrong while you were overseas? Read these tips to give yourself best chance of a making successful claim.

One of the most important components of taking out travel insurance is reviewing the insurance providers process for handling claims. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what will be required from you, in the event you make a claim. This will ensure your claim is handled quickly and you receive the full benefit amount.

Three simple steps to ensuring your claim is successful:

1. Notify your insurer as soon as possible. There is usually time window you must submit your claim within and your insurer will inform you of additional documents required.
2. Gather documentation to validate your claim. Details of what will be required for your claim to be processed will be discussed in your product disclosure statement.
3. Submit a claim form. We've assembled the claim forms for our panel of travel insurance brands below. Send the completed claim form and any documentation through to your insurance provider.

How long do I have to make my claim?

BrandHow long do I have to make a claim?How long do claims usually take to be resolved?Claim form
1-cover-new1

1cover

30 days from when you return home.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required, you will contacted you within 10 working days.
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AMEX Travel Insurance

American Express

30 days from when you return home.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
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Budget Direct Travel Insurance

Budget Direct

Within 30 days of completion of your travels.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
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Columbus Direct

Columbus Direct

Within 31 days of the end of your trip.
  • 14 days depending on the nature of the claim and if all supporting documents are provided.
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Fast Cover

fastcover

Within 30 days of the return date shown on your Certificate of Insurance.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required, you will contacted you within 10 working days.
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InsureandGo

Insureandgo

You must register any claim within 30 days after completion of your travels.
  • If you have all the documents required to claim, it will be processed within 2-3 weeks depending on the nature of the claim.
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iTrek

iTrek

You must register any claim within 30 days after completion of your travels.
  • 10 business days depending on the type of the claim and if all required information is provided.
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Skiinsurance.com.au

Ski-insurance

You must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required you will contacted within 10 working days.
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Tick Travel Insurance

Tick Travel

Within 30 days after the completion of your travel.
  • Once necessary documents have been received, your claim is processed in 10-15 working days.
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none

Travel Insurance Saver

Claims in excess of 180 days after the incident that gives rise to such claim.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required you will contacted within 10 working days.
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Travel Insuranz

Travel Insuranz

No later than 31 days after the expiry of the trip during which the claim occurred.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
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Virgin Money

Virgin Money

You must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required you will contacted within 10 working days.
Get quote
Worldcare Travel Insurance

Worldcare

You must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required you will contacted within 10 working days.
Get quote
youGo

youGo

Within 60 days of the return date shown on your Certificate of Insurance.
  • Within 10 working days upon the receipt of a completed claim form with necessary supporting information.
  • If more information is required you will contacted within 10 working days.
Get quote

Three pre-cautions that will make claiming a smoother process

1. Read your product disclosure statement before you apply for cover. Understand what is covered, how much excess you have to pay and under what conditions.

2. Register any high-value items that you would like covered before purchasing, and ensure you have evidence of these items in the form of

  • photos
  • receipts
  • proof of ownership documentation

3. Keep electronic and hard copy versions of your travel insurance policy. This will include a copy of your policy number and documents you will need.


Common travel insurance claim conditions that need to be followed

Conditions for travel insurance claims will vary between insurers, but commonly:

  • You must not overstep the exclusions of your policy e.g. being intoxicated as you injure yourself will not be covered.
  • You must make the claim within period of you returning from their trip, which is typically 30 days.
  • You must disclose exactly what occurred and provide the necessary documentation to the insurer.

For lost or stolen items:

  • The policyholder must report the loss/theft to the local police as well as any appropriate authority in the circumstances (such as an accommodation provider, airline or tour operator) within 24 hours and obtain written policy statement while you are there.
  • If a transport carrier has lost or damaged your personal belongings or you notice that something has been taken from your luggage, you must report the incident to a representative from the carrier and obtain a property irregularity report as soon as possible.

For medical related claims:

  • Medical report or summary from treating doctor or dentist that explains the condition, diagnosis provided, medication provided and treatment given.
  • Medical certificate from local GP or dentist.
  • Other types of evidence include original receipts, proof of ownership of your luggage and personal effects and valuations.
  • If the policyholder does not provide the evidence that is required by the insurer, the claim may be rejected or the benefit reduced.
  • If the insurance provider is making a claim against a third party, the insured must do everything possible to help recover the money in legal proceedings.
  • If the insured is aware of any third party that the insurer may retrieve money from, the insured must notify the insurer.

Find out more About Travel Insurance

Worried your claim won't be paid? Follow these steps...

  • Know before you leave what evidence will be required for claims. For example, proof of purchase for expensive items, police reports within 24 hours for stolen items, medical certificates for any treatment received. The requirements will be stated in the PDS.
  • Tell your insurer ASAP. You will be told if any other information is required for your claim to be processed and paid.
  • Keep a copy of your policy with you at all times. It will list emergency numbers and the insurer's 24-hour hotline.
  • Be honest when buying cover. Skipping a couple of details when taking out cover to save money could mean your genuine claim is rejected down the track.
  • Include as much detail as possible in your claim and submit on time. The more information you provide, the more likely your claim is to be accepted, and the faster it will be processed.

How can I avoid having my claim denied?

With all of this in mind, there are a few steps you can take to improve the chances that your travel insurance will pay out. Next time you travel, make sure to do the following:

  • Get familiar with your policy. Knowledge is power. Reading your policy documents will allow you to avoid claiming for events you aren't covered for while also making it clear what steps you need to take when a claimable event occurs.
  • Aim for more detail, not less. When you are travelling, keep all paperwork and important documents like receipts, even if you don't think it is important at the time. Take photo evidence of injuries, crime scenes and other important details. It's better to have it and not need it for your claim than to need it and not have it.
  • Make sure your policy is active. If you have travel insurance through your credit card, call them up and make sure it is activated before you travel.
  • Call your insurer ASAP. It's good to talk to them as soon as you know you are going to claim for something, even if you aren't ready to claim at that moment. This gives you a chance to find out what additional information the insurer might need.
  • Be truthful. Make sure you are honest in your policy application and in your claim submission. Your claim can be denied if your insurer finds out you gave them false or misleading information. This is especially important around pre-existing conditions.
  • Take pictures of you and your belongings. A photo of you and your laptop can be used as proof of ownership if it's later stolen. Before you leave, take pics of yourself with each of the valuable items you are taking. Don't forget to do the same with items you buy on your travels.

My travel insurance claim was denied. What can I do?

1. Appeal it with your insurer.

  • The first thing to do is to file an appeal with your insurer. They are required by law to have an internal resolutions department that will look at your claim again. If they deny it a second time, they are required to tell you why.
  • The insurer has 15 business days to let you know of the outcome of your complaint. This period may be extended if more information is required.

2. Lodge a dispute with the Ombudsman.

  • If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of the insurer's internal review of your complaint, you can escalate it to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
  • The FOS will work with you and the insurer to resolve the dispute, looking to achieve a fair outcome for both parties.
  • The FOS will attempt to resolve the dispute by negotiation, mediation or deciding on the appropriate action.

3. Go to court.

  • If after working with the FOS you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you have the option to proceed with legal action against the insurer.
  • There may be binding time agreements in place for when legal action can be taken.

How many claims are actually denied?

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) reported that in 2012-2013 only 10% of travel insurance claims made in Australia were denied, mainly due to a misunderstanding of the policy conditions. We have all heard the horror stories of claims not being paid, but what about the ones where travellers have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for emergency medical treatment overseas?

I'm ready to compare travel insurance policies

Lodging a travel insurance claim can be a difficult process, which is why it’s important to always keep you insurance provider abreast of the situation throughout the whole process. The most important thing to remember is that the sooner you get all your documentation in order and contact your provider, the sooner your claim will be processed, putting the whole ordeal behind you.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    LeoOctober 26, 2017

    Allianz has denied our travel claim on the basis that our flight was delayed for less than 6 hours ( actually, the delay in Helsinki Airport was 342 minutes). Is this reasonable? Because of the delay, we missed our connecting flight in Frankfurt and need to buy new airline ticket and spend on Hotel.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      HaroldOctober 26, 2017Staff

      Hi Leo,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      finder.com.au is a comparison and information service. We are not permitted to provide our users with personalized financial advice. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the claim you should contact Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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