When a travel insurance provider denies a claim, the insured traveler may feel a little resentful and angry. After all, the traveler purchased the insurance plan in good faith and they want their claim to be paid. Unfortunately, the impression among many travelers is that they can buy any visitor insurance plan and they’ll 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 the key to avoiding this problem. The following are the top reasons visitor medical insurance claims are denied (and what you can do about it):
- Your claim was denied because it’s not covered.
Visitor insurance plans come with exclusions and the coverage is specifically listed in the plan. If you make a claim without having appropriate coverage, your claim will be denied. Read your plan’s description of coverage to understand the details of your coverage.
- 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 visitor insurance plan, you’ll need to have supporting documentation to back up your claim. If you visit a doctor, for example, keep all the receipts, discharge papers, and the doctor’s contact information.
- Your claim is excluded by the plan.
Visitors insurance, like all insurance, has a list of exclusions that limit what the insurance provider will pay out when a travel 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. Again, this is a case for carefully reading the travel insurance plan fine print.
- Your claim was submitted too late.
Travel medical insurance claims must be submitted soon after the travel incident causing the claim occurs. When you encounter a travel problem 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.)
- You purchased the plan too late.
While you can wait to purchase your travel medical insurance at the last minute, many coverages require a traveler to purchase their plan within a certain number of days after making their initial trip deposit. Specifically, you cannot buy insurance for an event that’s already happened. If you (or your parents or child) are sick, and you purchase visitor insurance now, your claim could be denied due to the pre-existing condition exclusion. Don’t wait too long – buy your plan early.
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 to file a claim, visit our article: How to file an insurance claim for Travel Insurance or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.