Airlines, travel agencies and seasoned travelers have been encouraging holidaymakers that a travel insurance helps one get that peace of mind, and assurance of something in return in times of trouble during the journey.
Lost or delayed luggage, cancelled flights, injuries and even death are some of the unfortunate outcomes a traveler may be subjected to. Having an appropriate insurance coverage somehow eases the burden. But that’s what you’ll hear often from agents and companies who make money off each successful sign up.
Buried under the proverbial fine print are the details, mostly restrictions a policy holder must comply before becoming fully eligible of insurance benefits. And unless a traveler reads and understands the entire fine print before making the sign up, peace of mind isn’t 100 per cent.
So what are the reasons you the travel insurance holder might not get that claim easily or at all?
You fail to establish ownership of lost or damaged luggage.
In case you’re seeking compensation of a lost or damaged luggage, you may need to provide sufficient proof you own it. Detailed description, content, purchase receipt, luggage claim stub and others should be handy when you make such claims. Better yet, when you read the fine print and cannot find enough information about filing claims, better talk to the insurance agent to get clarity about the matter.
It should be helpful to take a photo of your luggage with your name in the tag label. But just to avoid getting into such annoying situation, keep your luggage secured by locking it properly.
You fail to provide proof of loss.
Once you lose something, insurance agents often ask for proof of loss such as affidavit of loss, police report, airline or hotel incident report to officially mark an item lost or stolen. So it requires you taking the extra mile, which does not exactly match the promised ease of claiming for compensation.
You were involved in high risk activities.
Driving under the influence, taking part in a risky activity such as motorcycle ride without helmet, hiking, skydiving and other activities defined as restrictions not covered by your insurance policy. Once again it’s wise to review the fine print before doing something that might disqualify an insurance policy holder from making claims.
You lied about your medical history.
Not everyone who applies for hospital/medical insurance is approved especially if he or she has a checkered medical history. Diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses might disqualify you from availing of an insurance prior to travel. Some travelers get away with it, only to get their medical records uncovered during, say, hospital confinement and get their insurance claims declined.
When you fail to understand vague terms.
Insurance companies may have their own set of definition of ‘close family members’ which differ from your perception: do they include those close to my heart like grandparents, grandchildren or uncles and aunts? Such claims may not cover those outside of your nuclear family (parents, children or siblings). To sort this out, speak to your insurance agent.
You visited a place not covered by insurance policy.
Some insurance policies declare explicitly places where they are valid. There are countries that are deemed high risk so likelihood of getting into trouble is higher than others. This is why insurance policies try to reduce their risks by simply not honoring any claim made within that country. If you need to be in that country, make sure to get an insurance policy that covers that location.
Getting a travel insurance is a wise thing to do only if we are perfectly sure — after reading the literature on coverage which can be a gargantuan task to those busy evaluating travel options, looking for cheaper accommodation and air tickets — we are truly covered in case accidents and mishaps on the road happen.