Make a successful travel insurance claim

21 July 2008

If there is one thing us Brits love, it’s going on our holidays. Thousands of us head overseas in search of sun, culture or adventure each year, and hopefully the majority of holidays pass without a hitch.

However, according to Halifax Travel Insurance, 1.4 million Brits become victims of theft while on holiday each year. And it's not just thieves which have the potential to ruin a trip – losing your possessions, suffering delayed or cancelled flights or hurting yourself overseas can also put a real dampener on your break.

That is why taking out travel insurance is so important. But there is no point in paying for this type of policy if you don’t take a few simple steps to ensure you can make a successful claim, if need be.

1. Be prepared
Claiming on your travel insurance can be a struggle if you aren’t prepared. For example, some policies will only cover personal possessions as an additional extra. If your policy does cover personal possessions, be sure to itemise the value of the expensive items, referring to receipts if possible before you go. Also, although most home insurance policies allow for expensive items to be taken abroad, be aware that claiming will push up your premiums.

2. Contact your provider
Should you be involved in an incident and need to claim, it’s vital you contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible. Keep your provider’s phone number and your policy number at hand so you can register the claim.

3. Get a police report
If your valuables are lost of stolen, make sure you obtain a copy of a police report within 24 hours. For damaged items, you must supply a written estimate for the cost of repair.

4. Keep your receipts
When you return to the UK you will have to show your insurer proof-of-purchase receipts. If you don’t have the originals, valuations prior to the loss, cash withdrawals slips, or credit or debit card statements will do.

5. Appeal the verdict
After you submit your claim, the company has eight weeks to settle or reject it. If you disagree with their verdict, you can ask for a letter of deadlock and appeal to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

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