Let’s face it; insurance is pretty boring. No one wants to spend hours poring over the fine print of their travel documents when they could be planning more exciting aspects of their holiday…
But not taking out proper travel insurance, or knowing the small print of your policy could see you seriously out of pocket; government bods the FOC recently did some research into what something as simple as a sprained ankle could set you back while you’re frolicking abroad.
-Treating a sprained ankle in Corfu: £500
-Stitches in Tenerife: £500
-An MRI scan in Ibiza: £1,000
-Emergency surgery for a broken leg in Spain: £6145
-An air ambulance rescue in the Canaries: £25,000
That’s a lot of money to lose…
Avoid being voided!
Taking out travel insurance is necessary before jetting off on holiday; but make sure you do your research and know what you’re covered for. Every year thousands of holiday-makers get their claims rejected, sometimes on a technicality.
To give you a hand, APH have rounded up some of the insurance pitfalls that many holiday-makers fall into every year; so check out the 12 ways to void your travel insurance and don’t fall victim to the claim catches!
1. Don’t declare any existing medical conditions
Failing to let your insurance company know of any pre-existing medical conditions could see your claim stamped ‘rejected’. Something as simple as needing an asthma inhaler could land you in hot water, so make sure you give them a full list of any conditions.
2. Don’t get vaccinated
If a vaccine is recommended for your chosen destination, don’t hesitate, as if you don’t get the required jabs and fall ill as a result you could find your claim invalidated. Find out what vaccinations you need by heading to Masta Travel Health.
3. Drink excessively
‘Excessive alcohol consumption’ is one of those catch-all terms that insurance companies use to void your claim. They do not look too kindly on accidents and incidents that happen while under the influence of alcohol, so watch your alcohol consumption and read the fine print of your policy, as every company has a different opinion of what constitutes excessive.
4. Throw yourself out of a plane on a whim
Make sure you are covered for any extreme sports or activities before heading off on that once-in-a-lifetime sky dive. You could find yourself unable to claim for any injury as a result, if your chosen activity isn’t listed in the small print.
5. Get reckless
Getting into fights, sitting on balconies, jumping into pools from heights, or even just using the swimming pool outside of official opening hours can see your claim voided.
6. Ignore government advice
Before heading off on your adventure, check out the government and World Health Organisations advice for that country. Visiting war torn destinations or plague infected towns will see your claim rejected. For more advice head to the FCO website and enter your destination.
7. Don’t sort out your visa
Failing to get the correct visa for the country you are visiting is not an expense you can claim for and will void your insurance.
8. Get a job
If you are not covered by your policy, working, even voluntary work, can invalidate your insurance so make sure you speak to your insurer before getting involved.
9. Throw away your receipts
Make sure you have receipts as proof of purchase for all valuable items that could end up lost or stolen, your insurance company will need to see these before processing a claim. I you have anything of exceptional value, ensure you are fully insured by speaking to your provider before jetting off.
10. Leave your valuables lying around
Not taking proper care of your belongings will invalidate a claim. Don’t leave bags lying around, and if your hotel room has a safe, use it.
11. Don’t bother checking in
Even if your flight is delayed, you must still check-in to prove that you were at the airport in time. You insurer can ask for evidence of when you checked in from your airline if the delayed flight results in a claim.
12. Don’t inform the police
If you are unfortunate enough to have something stolen, make sure you report it to the police within 24 hours, and get yourself a copy of the report to use as evidence when claiming.
If you do find yourself waist deep in paperwork from an insurance company, only to have your claim rejected, you may feel you have been unfairly treated. Don’t give up there; you can complain to the company directly, and if that doesn’t work, make use of the free service from the Financial Ombudsmen.
An independent body, they help to settle disputes between consumers and UK based financial services. More than 1000 holiday-makers had their claims upheld by the financial ombudsmen last year after first being rejected by their insurer; so if you think you have been the victim of an unfair decision it’s well worth investigating further.