With tons of Aussies travelling somewhere warmer every winter (like everyone you follow on Instagram), these few months are the busiest of the year for travel insurance companies.
According to new data from online travel insurance provider InsureandGo, more than one in four claims lodged in the past 12 months were made between July and September – almost 30 per cent in three months.
Head of Implementations and Operations at InsureandGo, Victor Quiroz, had a few tips on how to be best prepared when heading overseas – particularly during the busiest time of year.
“There’s nothing worse than having an accident or mishap while on holidays and then having the frustration of a long and painful claims process.
“As a starting point, travellers need to ensure they have the correct travel insurance policy before they depart. If something does go wrong and you have to lodge a claim, there are a few simple things that travellers can do to help speed the claiming process up,” he said.
“It’s important to document everything in the event you need to make a claim. This means having your medical records handy which can be sourced by email via your doctor, or police reports for lost or stolen belongings.
“If you provide all the required information in the first round, then your insurance provider will be able to resolve your claim faster,” Quiroz added.
So rather than issue a ban on Aussies flying out for a European summer, InsureandGo have provided some top tips for getting travel insurance claims processed and improved faster.
Send your documents in one go
If you send through all the documentation that’s requested the first time, you’re in for a speedy process. When a claims officer only has access to half the documents, they’ll send an email requesting more information, and your case will be delayed for approval.
Remember to log police and airline reports and get as much documentation as possible as it’s important to leave a paper trail. These reports will include information about the lost or stolen belongings and background for your insurance provider.
Be prepared to get doctor’s certificates, medical histories, and specialist reports if necessary.
These are both good ways to give your provider more information to work with, as they may not be able to process your claim without it.
Keep your confidential information handy
Take a photo of all important documents such as your passport, receipts, IMEI number for your phone or other devices and email them to yourself.
Your IMEI number is your phone or computers’ unique 15-digit code, allowing you to block your device in the event it is lost or stolen. Remember, you need to provide proof, not the insurer.
Understand your policy
Making a claim for the first time can be intimidating but understanding the policy you’ve purchased will help make the process smoother.
Your Product Disclosure Statement, or PDS, contains everything you’re covered for, including general exclusions and emergency contact numbers among others. It also tells you the amount you can claim up to for travel incidents covered by your insurer.
Keep your receipts
Receipts are essential in the event your belongings are lost or stolen. If your wallet is lost or stolen with cash inside, a hardcopy ATM receipt might see your dollars returned.
If you purchase expensive gifts which are lost or stolen, keep the receipts or take a photo of them on your phone as you may be able to claim these up to a certain amount if you have the right level of cover.
If you don’t have a receipt for a lost or stolen gift, your insurance provider may not be able to reimburse you.