Two words: small print. Many of us are probably guilty of not reading terms and conditions properly when we buy travel insurance. Our eyes are usually drawn to what is covered and at what price. Despite these things being important, it is perhaps even more crucial to check what specifically isn’t covered by your travel insurance policy.
As you will read below, one unfortunate traveller was left with a £30,500 bill having not properly read the small print. Far from ideal, isn’t it? I think we’d all rather spend an extra ten minutes checking the terms and conditions of an insurance policy, than be caught in this sticky situation.
There are many reasons why travel insurance claims can be denied by Insurers, but below are a few of the most common.
Although we all have an adventurous side, it’s safe to say that Insurers do not. As soon as they hear the word ‘bungee jump’, they will probably jump away from an insurance claim! The good news is that potentially dangerous activities such as this, alongside things like skydiving and parasailing, can be covered if you specifically add them to your policy. However, there are some extreme sports/activities that cannot be added to cover and are just an absolute no-no. So, make sure you check exactly what can be covered before you sign up for a holiday activity, and call your provider if you are unsure.
Undeclared pre-existing medical conditions
As briefly mentioned, one unlucky traveller found themselves having to fork out £30,500 after being hospitalised with a kidney tumour whilst on holiday. Despite having a travel insurance policy in place, Insurers only agreed to pay out one third of the total claim. Why? She had not declared that she occasionally suffered from insomnia and had been prescribed sleeping tablets. Although this might seem strange, most insurance policies state that unless declared when arranging your travel insurance ‘claims directly or indirectly arising from pre-existing medical conditions are not covered’. So, not only is it vital to check what your policy covers, you also need to make sure that you include every pre-existing medical condition, however insignificant you think that it might be.
A lack of supporting documentation
Whether it’s for a theft, a travel delay or medical costs, it is essential to gather evidence to give to Insurers when making a claim. For example;
- A police report
- Purchase receipts
- Medical receipts
- A travel delay confirmation
Although obtaining documentation might be the last thing on your mind, especially if you have an accident or an illness whilst on holiday, it will be one of the first things that Insurers require if you need to make a claim.
Travelling against FCO or WHO advice
The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) provide travel information and advice for every territory in the world. They advise against travelling to some countries/regions due to things such as risks of terrorism or natural disasters. If you travel to one of these countries/regions and the FCO and WHO were advising against travel when you booked your holiday, then your claim will not be considered by Insurers. So, before you travel, make sure you check on their websites for information and updates.
A lack of ‘reasonable care’
It goes without saying that if you need to make a claim for something such as a theft, but the theft was due to you leaving your belongings unattended in public, Insurers are unlikely to pay out a claim. The same would likely apply to a claim for a head injury due to falling off a bike, if a helmet was not being worn at the time. The simple way to avoid being in this situation is to take care of yourself whilst on holiday and exercise the same precautions as you would do whilst at home.
If you are looking to arrange travel insurance or would like to discuss the terms and conditions of your existing policy with us, call our team on 01243 784 000.