When you pay good money to purchase travel insurance, you hope that it will protect you and your family should something go wrong during your trip. Unfortunately, some insurance companies aren’t as trustworthy as others, and they may end up denying all or part of your claim. If this happens to you, there are steps you can take to appeal the decision and hopefully get your insurance claim paid in full. Here’s what to do when your travel insurance claim is denied.
Understand what’s included in coverage
Before you submit a claim, make sure you understand what’s included in your coverage and what isn’t. Common exclusions in travel insurance policies include pre-existing conditions, natural disasters, political conflicts and war zones. Accidents that occur during voluntary activities such as skydiving or skiing are usually not covered. If you are unsure about whether your trip is covered by your travel insurance policy, call your provider and ask. You can also confirm if there are any restrictions on when or where you travel by reading over all of your documents from start to finish.
Call the right number
The best place to start when you’re trying to make a travel insurance claim is by calling your insurance provider directly. Make sure you have your policy number and contact information with you when you call, along with an idea of what’s covered under your plan. If at all possible, try not to wait until your return home to get in touch with your insurer. With today’s technology, it should be easy and convenient for you to reach them as soon as something happens—and as soon as possible after that.
Ask for an appeal
If you’re looking for options, it’s always a good idea to ask for an appeal. Travel insurance companies are often willing to reconsider your claim and can even offer mediation services that let you negotiate with them directly (albeit without a third-party mediator). It’s also worth considering that many travel insurance claims—including denied ones—are paid out when customers file their expense reports. In short, there are many ways for you to potentially recover what’s been taken from you by a delayed or denied claim. You just have to be willing to fight for it.
Get Legal Help
If your travel insurance claim has been denied, don’t sit idly by. Insurers often deny claims to avoid paying out on them, so you have a right to an appeal. First, get in touch with your insurer and request one. Second, read up on your state’s rules for filing a formal dispute (they vary from place to place). If that doesn’t work out, consider getting help from a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. It may cost you some money, but you may be able recoup all or part of it through your lawsuit. You might also find free legal aid—look into non-profit organizations that provide legal assistance to low-income individuals. You can also turn to online communities like Reddit for advice on how to handle specific situations, like what documents you should send when appealing a denial. These communities are full of people sharing their experiences—and there’s likely someone else going through something similar to what you are. One final note: Don’t forget about arbitration! Sometimes, disputes can be settled outside of court without any lawyers involved at all. To learn more about arbitration, contact your local small business chamber of commerce or ChamberLink . Also check out Nolo , which provides detailed information about how arbitration works and where you can find an arbitrator near you if needed.
Consider switching providers
It’s not uncommon for travelers to purchase travel insurance and then attempt to file a claim when something goes wrong. Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon for these claims to be denied because many times people simply didn’t read (or understand) their policies before they left home. So, how can you avoid losing your hard-earned money? One way is by making sure that you shop around before buying travel insurance and by comparing policies from different providers. But, don’t assume that just because one provider seems more expensive than another that it must be better—or even provide better coverage for what you need. Many providers offer discounts for seniors or students—so take advantage of them as you compare plans.