Travellers beware: Top reasons why travel insurance claims are rejected

With thousands of Australians getting ready to pack their bags for an overseas get-away this Easter,  travel insurance should be high on the pre-travel check list for many. But with so many options available it can be difficult to decide what policy and what level of cover you need to get.

And unfortunately, some travellers find out the hard way that the policy they purchased didn't cover them for the things they thought it did.

Sebastian Kaisin, General Manager of InsureandGo said that many travellers do not select the right level of cover for their needs. As every holiday is different, it stands to reason that your travel insurance needs will also differ from trip to trip.

"The activities undertaken on a beach holiday in Bali will be very different to a skiing trip in New Zealand. Make sure that all the activities you plan to do during your holiday as fully covered by your policy to avoid being caught out should you need to claim," he said, reported eGlobaltravelmedia.

Travel insurance is there to provide you with peace of mind when travelling so that you can recover some or all of your costs if something does happen while you are away or you are forced to cancel your trip.

Here's how to avoid getting your claim rejected:

  • Get the right level of cover for your belongings. Not all levels of travel insurance cover lost or stolen phones for instance so if you plan to take these away with you ensure that your cover will include these items. Also make sure that any jewellery, camera equipment or tech gadgets are included in the policy.
  • Get the right level of cover for your needs. If you are going skiiing on your trip, get a policy that covers you for skiing. Ensure that you will be covered for all activities you plan to do on your trip.
  • Make sure you have an official police report. If you have your belongings lost or stolen, you will need to obtain an official police report from a police station in the region where the incident took place.
  • Don't leave your belongings unattended. There is a difference between policies that cover you for lost and stolen items and policies that only cover you for stolen items. If you leave your belonging on the beach while you go for a swim or your wallet in a shop, your items are deemed to be unattended and its likely that a claim for stolen items will be denied. Keep your belongings with you at all times.
  • Lodge your claim in a timely manner. Most travel insurance claims need to be lodged within a set time after returning from your trip. Check your policy and be sure to lodge any claim within the claim period.
  • Make sure all destinations are covered. Even if you are only stopping over at an airport in transit to your final destination you will want to be sure that you have cover for that country. And check the latest travel warnings from DFAT as you will not be covered if you travel against the Government's advice.
  • Keep all original receipts. If you visit a doctor while you are overseas for instance or a dentist, be sure to keep all of your original receipts as you will need these to support your claim.
  • Keep a USB as back up. In many instances if you claim for lost or stolen baggage you will need to provide proof of purchase for all items you are claiming for. Its a good idea to keep a copy of documents, receipts, photos of items on a USB or email them to yourself so that you have proof if you need it.
  • Declare pre-existing conditions. You need to declare any pre-existing conditions (including pregnancy) so that you can ensure you are not travelling against medical advice or that you have extra cover to ensure that you can travel safely.

To compare travel insurance policy features and prices, head to Mozo where you can get up to 40 quotes instantly from Australia's major travel insurance providers.