A guide to travel insurance claims
Did something go wrong while you were overseas? Read these tips to give yourself the best chance of making a successful claim.
One of the most important components of taking out travel insurance is reviewing your insurance provider's process for handling claims. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what will be required from you if you make a claim. This will ensure your claim is handled quickly and you receive the full benefit amount.
3 simple steps to ensuring your claim is successful:
1. Notify your insurer as soon as possible. There is usually a time frame within which you must submit your claim and your insurer will inform you if additional documents are 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?
|Brand||How long do I have to make a claim?||How long do claims usually take to be resolved?||Apply|
Travel With Kit
Travel With Jane
Travel Insurance Saver
Note: This information was last updated September 2022
3 pre-cautions that will make claiming a smoother process
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.
Register any high-value items
that you would like covered before purchasing, and ensure you have evidence of these items in the form of
- proof-of-ownership documentation
Keep electronic and hard copy versions of your travel insurance policy
This will include a copy of your policy number and the documents you will need.
Common travel insurance claim conditions that need to be followed
Conditions for travel insurance claims will vary between insurers, but the following conditions commonly apply:
- You must not violate the exclusions of your policy (e.g. being intoxicated when you injure yourself will not be covered).
- You must make the claim within a specific period of returning from your 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 following conditions apply:
- You 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 a 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, the following conditions apply:
- You'll need to provide a medical report or summary from a treating doctor or dentist that explains the condition, diagnosis provided, medication provided and treatment given.
- You'll need a medical certificate from a local GP or dentist.
- Other types of evidence include original receipts, proof of ownership for your luggage and personal effects and valuations.
- If you do not provide the evidence that is required by the insurer, your claim may be rejected or the benefit reduced.
- If the insurance provider is making a claim against a third party, you must do everything possible to help recover the money in legal proceedings.
- If you are aware of any third party that the insurer may retrieve money from, you must notify the insurer.
Worried your claim won't be paid? Follow these steps.
- Know before you leave what evidence will be required for claims. For example, you may need proof of purchase for expensive items, police reports within 24 hours for stolen items and medical certificates for any treatment received. The requirements will be stated in the PDS.
- Tell your insurer as soon as possible. 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 in order to save money could mean your genuine claim is rejected.
- Include as much detail as possible in your claim and submit it on time. The more information you provide, the more likely it is your claim will be accepted and the faster it will be processed.
How can I avoid having my claim denied?
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 you do the following:
- Get familiar with your policy. 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 as soon as possible 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?
Appeal it with your insurer.
- The first thing to do is to file an appeal with your insurer. Your insurer is required by law to have an internal resolutions department that will look at your claim again. If your insurer denies it a second time, it is required to tell you why.
- The insurer has 15 business days to let you know the outcome of your complaint. This period may be extended if more information is required.
Lodge a dispute with the Ombudsman.
- If you're 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 AFCA will work with you and the insurer to resolve the dispute, looking to achieve a fair outcome for both parties.
- The AFCA will attempt to resolve the dispute by negotiation, mediation or deciding on the appropriate action.
Go to court.
- If after working with the AFCA 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 your 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.
- Picture: Unsplash
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