When a travel insurance provider denies a claim, the insured traveler may feel a little baffled and maybe even resentful. After all, the traveler purchased the insurance plan expecting to be covered for medical care and, understandably, they want their claim paid.
Unfortunately, some travelers buy travel insurance expecting to be covered for anything that goes wrong on their trip. That’s not how insurance works. Knowing what causes travel medical insurance claims to be denied is one of the best travel tips we can give you. Here are the top reasons travel medical insurance claims are denied (and what you can do about it):
1. Your claim was denied because the service you’re claiming is not covered.
What travel insurance plans cover is specifically listed in each plan. If you make a claim without having appropriate coverage, your claim will be denied.
How to avoid this mistake: Read the plan’s description of coverage so you understand what’s covered and what’s not before you purchase a policy.
2. Your claim lacked supporting documentation.
You can’t expect the insurance company to take your word for what happened on your trip; you have to provide some evidence. When you make a claim on your travel insurance plan, you’ll need to have supporting documentation to back up your claim. This means receipts, doctor’s notes, memos, bills etc.
How to avoid this mistake: Submit copies of bills, receipts, doctor’s notes and contact information with your claims form. Make copies for your records. That way if documentation gets lost in the transfer, you’ll have extra copies on hand.
3. Your claim is excluded by the plan.
Travel insurance, like all insurance, has a list of exclusions that limit what the insurance provider will pay out when a medical event occurs. Pre-existing medical conditions, for example, are excluded from nearly all travel medical insurance plans and if the traveler fails to disclose their condition, their claim may be denied.
How to avoid this mistake: Carefully read the travel insurance plan fine print and make sure you understand the complicated terminology. You can contact our Customer Success Team for any clarification you might need.
4. Your claim was submitted too late.
Travel medical insurance claims must be submitted soon after the travel incident causing the claim occurs. If there is a delay, your claim might be denied.
How to avoid this mistake: When you incur an injury or illness and expect to make a claim, call your medical insurance provider to find out when your claim should be filed. (Hint: this is a great time to ask what supporting documentation you might need to support your claim too.)
5. You purchased the plan too late.
Many travel insurance plans require a traveler to purchase their policy within a certain number of days after making their initial trip deposit. If you buy travel insurance for a trip that’s already underway, your claims could be denied.
How to avoid this mistake: Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase your travel insurance. When you book your flight and make hotel arrangements add one more task to your to-do list and buy travel insurance right then and there.
Just like any other type of insurance, it’s important to read the plan document to fully understand your coverage. If something happens on your trip, refer to your travel medical insurance’s plan document for details about whether you’re covered and what you can expect to claim from the provider.
To learn more about how travel insurance claims work, including how to file a claim, check out our article: How to File an Insurance Claim.