If you have single trip travel insurance youll want to be sure that itll be valid in the event something happens and you need to make a claim. Yet sometimes a moments carelessness or a lack of awareness can cause the validity of your cover to be put into question.
In practice, insurance companies are fundamentally reasonable organisations and it isnt that easy to accidentally invalidate your policy. Even so, here are a few things to keep in mind.
One of the basic fundamentals of any form of cover is that you cant take it out to protect you against things that have already happened. Another of those core principles is that you must comply with any conditions the policy has stated if it is to remain in force.
With the above in mind, make sure you read your policy carefully and that you understand both its scope and any conditions outlined. Avoid making your first time read of your policy to be in circumstances where you are thinking about making a claim!
Your single trip travel insurance may limit its protection to a single specified country or geographic region. If you travel outside the specified area of cover, expect to put your policys protection at risk unless you have discussed it in advance with your provider.
If the policy specifies start and end dates, dont travel outside of them and expect to still be able to claim. Again, talk to the provider if you need to change the dates.
In cases where you may be claiming for the theft of personal possessions or perhaps the medical consequences arising from being the victim of a crime, your policy will typically oblige you to have reported the crime to the local police. You may be asked to produce evidence of this, so if you dont report the crime formally, your claim might be refused.
Some policies may contain a clause relating to the maximum elapsed time permissible between the incident and making the claim. So, notifying your insurance company of your intention to claim for something that happened while you were on holiday six months ago might be something of a problem.
It is not unusual to find conditions that exclude claims arising from your participation in certain activities, such as dangerous sports or anything defined as criminal. Typically, your documentation should specify what your single trip travel insurance considers to be a dangerous sport.
In some circumstances, particularly where something like the loss or theft of valuable individual items is concerned, your policy may oblige you to produce some form of receipt as evidence of its original purchase and value. Trying to claim for the theft of a Rolex that you cant prove you ever actually owned might cause a few headaches in terms of your policys validity.
Be cautious about carrying individual high-value items of jewellery or large amounts of cash with you. The loss or theft of such things might be excluded by your policy.
Dont be cavalier about declaring previous claims. Some application procedures may require you to declare any previous claims – so make sure you do so. In the event of you making a claim on your new policy, the insurer may check on their industry-wide databases to see if you have claimed with anyone else previously. If you have failed to declare a claim, your cover might be of risk.
Above all, remember that it is typically a myth that insurers only interest is to somehow wriggle out of paying out on a claim. Any responsible and reputable provider will be keen to settle your claim quickly and efficiently. They will simply want to be sure that it is valid and that you have complied with the conditions of the policy.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Insuremore. We provide low cost travel insurance and offer a range of policies including single trip travel insurance, annual, multi-trip and family cover. For all your travel cover needs, Insuremore can help you in the quickest and most cost-efficient way.