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If you receive a denial for a travel insurance claim, the first thing to do is carefully read your policy. Check the list of exclusions, especially, as this may shed light on the denial reason. If you have questions, call the travel insurance company.
If you feel the denial was wrong or unfair, you have the right to appeal.
How to Appeal a Travel Insurance Claim Denial
It’s your right to appeal a denial and travel insurance companies generally have a process that should be followed.
Information on how to file an appeal can likely be found on the travel insurance company’s website or by calling its customer service number.
If you disagree with a denial, first review the terms of your travel insurance policy to get a clear understanding of the denial, says James Page, senior vice president and chief administrative officer for AIG Travel. You might find that you need to supply more information to show that you have a legitimate claim.
“All claims can be appealed with new information that may not have been presented when the claim was initially filed,” says Page. And each claim received gets a thorough review against the policy terms.
Many travel insurance companies encourage customers to submit claims documentation through an online portal. “Simply entering your claim number and uploading new documents will move your claim back to the claims team for continued review,” says Page.
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Possible Reasons for a Travel Insurance Claim Denial
There are generally two reasons a travel insurance claim is held up or denied, says Daniel Durazo, a spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance:
- The situation is simply not covered by the insurance policy
- There’s a lack of proper documentation
Paperwork to support your claim will depend on the type of claim. The insurer’s website likely has a wide range of information, including what documents are required for claims, says Page at AIG Travel.
“For example, under a trip cancellation claim, we require receipts and itemized bills for all expenses and documentation to support the reason for cancellation, like medical diagnosis paperwork,” he says.
For stolen baggage or auto collision damage claims, he says that documentation includes police reports, repair estimates and rental agreements.
Keeping Documentation During Your Trip
Even when things are going well on a trip, it’s smart to maintain all documentation and keep receipts from your travels. You’ll be glad you kept these items later if you need to make a claim.
“Make sure to hold on to any receipts throughout your trip, and photos of receipts work just fine,” says Durazo. Keep all receipts related to trip cancellation, trip delays, emergency medical expenses, lost baggage and other problems.
For even more convenience, consider Allianz’s SmartBenefits, which is included with certain Allianz travel insurance plans. The plan provides a no-receipts claims option for travel and baggage delays.
“Instead of submitting all those receipts, Allianz customers can choose to receive a fixed-amount inconvenience payment of $100 per insured person, per day, up to the limit of the policy, for a covered delay,” says Durazo. All you need is proof that your trip was delayed.
If your trip or baggage delay expenses are more than $100, you’ll have to provide the receipts.
While you’re waiting for your claim to be processed, Page recommends that you work concurrently with your travel suppliers like airlines or hotels to pursue any available credits or refunds.