Everyone who goes on holiday has at least one moment where they envisage a situation where they end up in a foreign hospital, stranded in an airport departure lounge or arrive on a sun-kissed island only to find their clothes have been sent to a rainforest.
We’ve all watched the news and read articles about such things happening, and chances are you know someone that it’s happened to. That’s why people take out travel insurance before departing on their hols.
You hope you never have to call your insurer to make a claim, but for thousands of people every year a phone call to their travel insurance company is a reality and they head along the long trail of making a claim.
For those that do end up making a claim the disappointment of a ruined holiday can be further compounded by refusal by their travel insurer to pay up. The following are the top reasons that claims are declined:
1) Not declaring medical conditions correctly – it really is important to make a full and accurate disclosure of medical conditions when asked for by the insurer.
2) Buying a policy that doesn’t cover what the customer needs – Customers look at the price rather than the cover and only discover that cancellation, baggage or pre-existing medical conditions are not covered later on. This happens much more when buying from price comparison websites. Remember: You can use confused.com to compare what policies cover, not just how much they cost!
3) Not having a police report for a theft – You must have some evidence that you lost the items you’re claiming for.
4) Not having any evidence of ownership – You also need to prove you own an item in order to prove it’s been lost or stolen.
5) Taking part in (legal!) activities that are not covered by your insurance – Such as water-skiing, sky diving, riding a moped, or even jumping from a balcony (it does happen). You can get cover for such activities (well, not balcony jumping) but you will need to state beforehand to get it added to your insurance, or maybe get a separate policy for the activity.
6) Alcohol and substance abuse – Unsurprisingly insurers won’t pay out for anything that happens while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
7) Consequential losses – For example, an insurer may pay out for lost keys, because they are covered, but not changing the locks. Or they might pay out for medical bills and repatriation after an accident, but not loss of earnings once you are back home but cannot work.
8) Loss of enjoyment – No, this doesn’t mean getting compensation because going on holiday with your in-laws was a mistake. If people fall ill while on holiday and end up spending a large part of their vacation in a hospital they might try to reclaim the cost of the holiday. Insurers will pay for the medical treatment, but won’t refund the cost of the holiday itself because it wasn’t fun.
9) Fighting – Often a side effect of 6) so unsurprisingly insurers don’t pay out. Getting drunk and fighting doesn’t sound like much of a holiday, it’s hardly relaxing! However, you may be able to claim if you can prove you were only defending yourself.
10) Terrorism – if anything happens on your holiday that disturbs it in some way (such as cancellation or delays) as a result of terrorism it is not covered. The only exception is emergency medical treatment and getting you home.
So there you have it: the top reasons people make claims and the top reasons insurers might not pay out when they do. Hopefully all your holidays will be the perfect getaways you dream of and you will never, ever, need this information. But, just in case, when you next book a holiday don’t forget to check the details of the travel insurance policy.