A Foolproof Guide to Travel Insurance Claims

Had a mishap overseas? Give yourself the 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-new130 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.
More info
 AMEX Travel Insurance30 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.
More info
 AIG30 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.
More info
 Budget Direct Travel InsuranceWithin 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.
More info
 Citibank Travel InsuranceWithin 30 days of the claim event taking place.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
 Columbus DirectWithin 31 days of the end of your trip.
  • 14 days depending on the nature of the claim and if all supporting documents are provided.
More info
   CoverMoreWithin 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 you within 10 working days.
More info
DownunderYou must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
More info
 Easy Travel InsuranceYou must notify Easy Travel Insurance 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 you within 10 working days.
More info
 Fast CoverWithin 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 you within 10 working days.
More info
 Go InsuranceYou must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
More info
 InsureandGoYou 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.
More info
iTrekYou must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • 10 business days depending on the type of the claim and if all required information is provided.
More info
MultiTrip Travel InsuranceYou must register any claim within 30 days after
completion of your travels.
  • Varies depending on the nature of the claim and whether or not you have provided the necessary supporting documents.
More info
 Simply Travel InsuranceYou must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • 10 business days depending on the type of the claim and if all required information is provided.
More info
 Skiinsurance.com.auYou 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.
More info
 STA Travel InsuranceYou must give notice of your claim as soon as possible.
  • The review occurs 10 business days from receiving your claim. You will then be contacted either with an outcome or a request for more information.
More info
 Tick Travel InsuranceWithin 30 days after the completion of your travel.
  • Once necessary documents have been received, your claim is processed in 10-15 working days.
More info
 Travel Insurance DirectWithin 30 days of your return from your trip.
  • 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.
More info
Travel Insurance Saver LogoClaims in excess of 180 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.
More info
 Travel InsuranzNo 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.
More info
Virgin MoneyYou 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.
More info
Woolworths Travel InsuranceWithin 30 days of your 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 within 10 working days.
More info
Worldcare Travel InsuranceYou 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.
More info
youGoWithin 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.
More info

Three pre-cautions that will make claiming a smoother process

1. Read your product disclosure statement before you apply for coverUnderstand 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.

I don't think my claim should of been rejected. What can I do?

1. The insurer's dispute resolution department

  • All insurers are required to have an internal dispute resolution process for handling complaints regarding the service provided. This is your first port of call if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your claim.
  • 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. External dispute resolution

  • If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of the insurer's internal review of your complaint, you can escalate it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
  • 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. Take legal action against the insurer

  • 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 Financial Ombudsman Service reported that in 2012-2013 only 10% of travel insurance claims made in Australia were denied, mainly due to 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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Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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