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Ultimate guide to making a travel insurance claim

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Most people enjoy a nice holiday away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore. Unfortunately, things can go wrong sometimes during your travels. In such cases, buying travel insurance can provide peace of mind. Whether you are involved in an accident or have a flight delay because of an overbooked flight, it may help you save a fair bit of money.

Here’s what you need to take note of in different situations when it comes to filing a claim:

While you are travelling

*Take your insurance policy with you

*Keep your insurer’s emergency contact number with you

When you get home

Check the following before you send off your claim:

*That you are within the time limits for making the claim

*That you are covered for what you are claiming for

*How much the excess is. This is the amount your insurer will take off the claim. If the amount you’re claiming is less than this, it may not be worth making the claim

*That the small print does not include anything that disallows you from claiming

*Contact your insurer as soon as possible and get them to send you a claim form. Complete the claim form and keep a copy for yourself. Include the following documents when filing the claim:

  • Copies of your passport (showing clearly the departure and return dates), air ticket, boarding pass and travel itinerary, and all other relevant copy or original documents

For medical treatment

*If you need a major medical treatment following an injury or illness while overseas, try to contact your insurer immediately and get them to agree to the treatment. If it’s a routine treatment that doesn’t cost too much, you may need to pay for medical expenses first and claim for it when you return home. Remember to get and keep receipts for any treatment or medication you are given

*Note that if you did not inform your travel insurer about an existing health or medical conditions before you took out the insurance, in most cases it is unlikely that you will be covered if you need treatment for it while you're away

*To speed up the processing of your claim, include all relevant documents when submitting your claim such as:

  • receipts and medical certificates
  • phone bills relating to emergency phone charges to the emergency assistance company
  • police or road accident report

*Hold onto any papers the hospital or clinic gives you. Check that the medical reports are signed and dated and that they have the address of the place where you received treatment

For lost luggage and personal belongings

*If you are making a claim for lost or stolen luggage while travelling, your insurer will want to see evidence that you took reasonable care of it. If your belongings are lost or stolen, you should inform the local police within 24 hours. While you may find it a hassle to do so especially if you can’t speak the language, this is important as most insurers won’t pay up unless you have reported the incident to the police. If this is not possible, inform your hotel manager or tour representative and get a written report

*You’ll need proof of ownership of the lost or damaged item, such as receipts or invoices (original). If you don’t have them, you could try submitting instruction manuals, photographs, original packaging and bank statements

*Photographs of the damaged items

*You should get a written confirmation from the manufacturer or authorised repairer of the damaged item, stating that the item is beyond repair

If you have to shorten your trip

*In such a case, you would need to have a good reason for doing so. Among them are:

  • unexpected death, illness or injury of you, your partner or travel companions
  • finding out that you are pregnant after buying the insurance

*In the case of death or disability, include

  • the death certificate
  • proof of the relationship between the deceased and claimant
  • coroner’s/post-mortem report

For airline delays or cancellations

*If your journey was delayed because your flight was cancelled, you will need a written confirmation from the airline. Get it as quickly as you can

*You will also need to include your flight ticket, boarding pass and flight itinerary (if your ticket doesn’t show the details of the dates/times/destination of your flight)

Once you’ve filed your travel claim, it usually takes about a week to a month for your claim to be processed. If you don’t hear from your insurer in two weeks, you should contact them.

Buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

Purchase a travel insurance plan as soon as you book your trip. That means you are covered should anything happen before your trip begins. For instance if you or anyone in your group falls ill before you set off and you have to cancel your holiday then you can make a travel insurance claim. Or if travel advisory’s are administered after you’ve bought your travel insurance you would be able to claim for curtailing your trip. Not only will this save you plane expenses, but you may also be refunded for your hotel, unused entertainment expenses and other trip costs.


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