Again, it is important to read the terms of the policy before filing a claim.
It may be necessary to notify and communicate with the insurance company before seeking medical care, purchasing alternative transportation arrangements, or arranging for emergency medical evacuation, for instance. These procedures will be detailed in the purchased policy.
It is important to emphasize that insurance companies will only compensate for claims if certain documentation is provided indicating travel-related services have been purchased, an insurable event has taken place, and there have been expenses incurred by the insured. For example:
- Original, printed transportation tickets. In this age of electronic ticketing, it is still preferable to have printed tickets as proof of transportation. Electronic airline tickets, for instance, can be printed at kiosks at the airport. If the airline or other transportation company provides alternative transportation (i.e., changes a flight), hold on to those re-issued tickets.
- Printed, original receipts for expenses such as meals, hotels, transportation.
- Printed documentation from airlines regarding lost/delayed luggage.
- If filing an illness/injury claim, printed documentation indicating dates of care, payment information, diagnosis, and type of care provided.
- Credit card bills indicating insurable expenses.
- Documentation from the vendor indicating which prepaid expenses are refundable, and those which are not.
Make sure to have official documentation, complete with dates/times/place of occurrence, amount of expenses, payment receipt.
To file a claim, follow the instruction on the policy or contact the insurance company. We recommend making photocopies of all documents sent to the insurance company as well as sending all documentation with proof of mailing. Please note some insurance policies require filing to be done within a certain number of days after the insurable event occurred.
Our experience tells us that if proper documentation is provided in a timely manner, it takes about 6 weeks for reimbursement.
Filing a claim is a relatively straightforward procedure provided the insured has the proper documentation. It is when the insured does not or cannot provide proper documentation, getting reimbursed for a claim can be a very difficult experience.