Travel is no more a privilege in the hands of a few. In this age defined by cross border transactions, travel for business or leisure has become quite frequent. Whether, it's a business trip or vacation with the family, travel is imminent.
Since visiting places involves great amount of risk, covering them is a sensible thing to do, specially if it involves multiple destinations and transactions such as frequent flight changes and so on. As simple as it sounds, a travel insurance offers blanket cover for various issues and risks involved in the itinerary in return for a nominal premium amount. Most, importantly, it offers peace of mind, to carry on with the journey without having to worry about the unforeseen events. They cover events such as loss of baggage/belongings, medical emergencies, flight/delay cancellations, repatriation and so on.
While it's good to have cover for your travel, it's equally important to know the process of claims so that you’re well equipped with relevant knowledge if the situation demands. Each insurance company will have its own claims process based more or less of the flow provided in the section below.
Travel Insurance Claims Requirements
The following documents will be required to make a travel insurance claim. Depending on the insurer in question, the documents checklist may vary slightly.
- Travel Insurance Claim Form: The face of the claim which contains personal information and details of the incident. This document will act as a reference point for the claims department to process your claim further.
- Policy Information: Details pertaining to the policy such as the policy number, issue date, cover information may be required to register the claim, specially if you’re doing so from a foreign location. The form is either downloadable from the website of insurer or can be collected from the nearest branch.
- ID Proof Documents: Acceptable documents are the ones issued by government agencies such as driver's license, passport and other documents that would act as an identity proof. A copy of the relevant document would suffice.
- Police Report: Filings with the local police in cases where there has been a theft of baggage or personal belongings. The insurer may require the original report signed and sealed by the police authorities where the incident took place.
- Boarding Passes & Other Travel Documents: Flight tickets, boarding passes & invoices are some of the documents you will be required to submit on the basis of the nature of the claim. In case of international travel, a photocopy of passport with entry and exit stamp is needed.
- Statement of Witnesses: If the incident in questions requires witnesses to support the claim, the same can be provided in the required format with a detailed statement along with signatures.
- Medical Bills & Reports: In cases where the claim is related to medico-legal situations, relevant reports & bills must be submitted by the claimant. In case of death, certificate of death issued by an authorized agency along with related documents.
- Specifics About Lost/Stolen Items: Details pertaining to the nature of loss of personal belongings.
It would be wise to call the claims center of the insurer before filling the form as it helps in understanding the nature of paperwork. Also ask for processing TAT (Turn Around Time) to know when to anticipate the benefits.
- Contact the claims center as soon as the incident occurs to register the claim. You can also consider writing an email as a follow up task.
- Fill the Claims Form along with the required paperwork and submit it at the nearest office or post it to the claims center as advised by the specialist.
- Once you’ve followed the required procedure, look forward to hearing further from the representatives.
- They will keep you posted on the progress at frequent intervals. Do not hesitate to follow up to stay updated.
- If there are any disputes, ask for an appellate authority for a review.
The process of making claims can be a hassle free one if you educate yourself about the procedure and follow them as prescribed. Any deviation or delay can lead to unwanted hassles, taking a toll on your time and mental health. Therefore, read the fine print (policy document) beforehand to lodge a claim confidently.