Five ways to ensure your travel insurance claim isn't rejected

1. Don't drink excessively

Be wary of indulging in a glass or two of sangria on the beach - if you're under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an incident any claim may be rendered invalid.

"Insurers don't expect you to abstain from drinking while on holiday, but any injuries, illness or damage that can be attributed directly to excessive intoxication is likely to be looked on unfavourably," warns Lee Griffin, spokesperson for price comparison service

2. Take care of valuable items

Insurers will stipulate that you must have taken reasonable care with your belongings; leaving expensive items such as cameras or iPods hidden in your room does not constitute 'reasonable care'.

"Insurers will expect you to either carry expensive items with you or lock them in a safe at the hotel," says Griffin.

3. Get a written report after a robbery

If you've been the victim of theft while on holiday, you'll need to obtain a written police report within 24 hours of the incident.

"Ensure you fill in all the information accurately, and always keep a record of who you spoke to," advises Griffin.

4. If your flight is delayed, check with the insurer

Some insurers will stipulate that you must have checked in, or attempted to check in, for your flight to qualify for cover, but this may contravene instructions from the airlines which may simply tell you to stay away from the airport until normal service has been resumed.

"In such situations it's always best to check directly with the insurer to find out what it needs you to do in order to claim, as well as what documents you'll need to provide to qualify for cover," says Griffin.

5. Read the small print

Finally, make sure you read the terms and conditions so you know what you are - and aren't - covered for. If you know you are not covered by your insurer for certain activities, don't sign up for them. Also, make sure you give full details when you apply for a policy, as failing to do so could invalidate a claim at a later date.

When submitting a claim, don't be tempted to embellish your losses because if you're found out you'll be in deep water - think of the case in Brazil when two law graduates claimed for items they hadn't lost and were hit with community service and a fine for insurance fraud.

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