Making a claim? – How to Gain without the Pain

By: Keith Mcgregor
This is both irritating and costly when it happens and unless thereis very strong mitigating circumstances, insurers are very unlikely toback down. So what can we do to ensure that our claim does not sufferthe same fate?

It really is important to read the small print as this will not onlytell you what you are and, more importantly, not covered for but willalso make you more conscious of what might happen whilst away onholiday and how to deal with it. As they say ‘Forearmed is Forewarned,’and it will help ease what otherwise could be a stressful situation ifthings do go wrong. What are the common errors that make it easier foran insurer to decline a claim?

Pre-existing medical conditions – Have you declared these when taking out your travel insurancepolicy? And it is not just restricted to you and your travellingcompanions. Most policies are very strict here and ask you to declare apre-existing medical condition on anyone who could subsequently get youto cancel or curtail your trip. If you don’t declare it and itsubsequently appears on the Medical Certificate, which the insurer willask you and your GP to complete, then it is highly likely that youwon’t get any money back.

Baggage Claims – For loss, theft and damage, you will be required toget a report within 24 hours of the incident, from either the localpolice for theft claims, from the airline for lost, damaged or delayedbaggage and from the hotel or tour representative, often for all threetypes of loss. Without these reports, it is probable that your claimwill not be upheld. Travel insurancepolicies also require original receipts to be sent in to prove proof ofpurchase and to indicate purchase price. As most policies do not offer‘new for old’ cover, a depreciation index is applied so what you getback is normally less than what you paid and this index is harsher ifno receipts are provided and will be capped at a maximum amount peritem (normally around ?60).

Valuables, Money and Personal Effects – Is your mobile phonecovered? What about your kids Nintendo Game Boy? These are simplequestions but it is too late to assume that they are insured after theevent. Valuables and Personal Money have even stricter rules applied tothem and need to be looked after with greater care. Money for instanceshould be in a locked safe if not on your person (a locked drawer inyour room is seldom ok. Likewise valuables should NEVER be left in‘checked in’ luggage as this will definitely invalidate your claim.

It can be a minefield out there designed to trip up the unwary but with a little bit of preparation before you take out your travel insurance and sensible precautions once on your holidayArticle Search, you can substantially improve your chances of coming home not out of pocket.

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