Domestic and international travels by Filipinos are on the rise, and we don’t need statistics to prove that. Just look at the fresh photos of friends who are #atm somewhere on the face of the planet, maybe checking another box on their #bucketlist. But when good times turn to worse, a money-smart Filipino traveler will have travel insurance claims to rely on and smart enough to avoid scams.
So before anything happens or if something happened already, here’s a concise guide for an insurance claims process.
Travel insurance coverage
First, you need to understand that you can only claim what you insured for. Do you have these in your coverage list?
1. Personal Accident
2. Personal Liability
3. Disability and Dismemberment
4. Medical Expense
5. Travel Delay
6. Missed Connecting Flight
7. Loss or Damage of Baggage and Personal Effects
8. Loss of Money
9. Baggage Delay
10. Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
11. Hospital Confinement
12. Compassionate Visit
13. Trip Cancellation
14. Aircraft Hijacking
Step-by-step guide to travel insurance claims process
1. Contact the insurance company as soon as possible. That is, in the event that you will need to register a travel insurance claim, like if one of the things above did occur. By “soon,” it means to do it like it’s a matter of life and death, or within 30 days at least. Beyond that and it will be a challenge to get your claims.
2. Prepare documents. Fill up the claims form, which can usually be downloaded from the company’s website. That form or the website usually has a list of documents needed for each claim. Usually, insurers give you 6 months to prepare the documents and receipts.
3. Submit the documents. Before you do, talk with the representative/agent of the company to have them check the files. Make sure your claim gets approved the first time and being meticulous about the documents is one way to ensure that.
4. Wait. Insurance claims usually have 6 months prep time for the documents but after submission, claims will be as fast as 1 to 2 weeks.
5. Follow up on your travel insurance claims. Processing the claims from the date of filing the documents can be from 15 to 20 days. Reach out to them if you haven’t heard anything after that period.
As mentioned before, every claim is different and will require a different set of documents. Here are the common ones:
1. Travel insurance claim form. This will contain all the basic information that will serve as the reference point for the claim
2. Policy information. This form will have the policy number, issue date, and cover information.
3. IDs. Government-issued IDs are acceptable like passport, driver’s license, SSS/GSIS ID and valid Postal ID.
4. Police report. This is for appropriate claims only like lost baggage, hijacking, and accidental death.
5. Travel documents. These are files proving that travel took place like the boarding passes, flight tickets, invoices, and a photocopy of the passport with entry and exit stamp for international travels.
6. Statement of witnesses. Again, this is for appropriate claims like accidental death.
7. Medical bills. Travel insurance claims like hospitalization and other medico-legal situations will require hospital bills, certificate of death, and other relevant reports.
8. Others. For lost and stolen items, the insurance company will also require the details of the items.
Check what the insurer requires for your specific claim and make sure to complete ALL the supporting documents and follow the instructions carefully.
Insurance companies are notoriously known for delaying payment or denying insurance claims. Problems like these can be prevented by dealing only with reputable companies, making sure they are not travel scams.
But when it’s too late for regret, what you can do at least is to be persistent. Follow up, follow up, and follow up. Be a pester police! If the agent can’t help you, talk with the supervisor, manager, and even the president. If it’s obvious that the company is making excuses, then it’s time to take it to the next level and consult with the Insurance Commission of the Philippines.
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