Travelling to beat the winter blues? How to make a travel insurance claim
By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday January 2, 2024Updated : Wednesday December 20, 2023
Whether you’re travelling to escape the cold or to find the best snow, many of us take some time during the winter to get away from home. Which is why it’s important to know how to make a travel insurance claim should the need arise. It’s also important to note that even if you’re travelling within Canada, if you are leaving your home province, you still need travel insurance.
Do I Need Travel Coverage When Travelling Within Canada?
Before you go
There are a few pre-trip tasks that will help ensure that making a travel insurance claim goes smoothly. First, remember to review your travel insurance policy and confirm what is and is not covered. Some policies will have trip cancellation coverage, or emergency transportation for a caretaker or stranded family members. Refreshing your knowledge of what is available makes it easier to determine if a claim can be made.
Secondly, download and/or print a copy of your travel insurance ID card. Remember to print the back – oftentimes, the emergency number will be printed there. Many insurance companies also provide a downloadable app for your android phone. If available, download the app as an alternative way to access the ID card and other pertinent information. Another option is to bookmark your insurer’s travel information webpage.
Lastly, every traveller should know where to find each other’s travel insurance information. This includes fellow travellers, as well as any family and friends you are visiting.
If an emergency occurs – how to make a travel insurance claim
If anything should happen while you are travelling, there is no time to waste!
1. Immediately call the emergency travel assistance phone number
This is usually located on the back of the ID card, or found on the insurer’s website or app. Do this if you injure yourself or find yourself ill and in need of medical attention. If you are unconscious, this is where having your companions’ familiarity with your travel information comes in handy. Someone in your travel party must call the travel insurance provider.
The earlier you report your emergency the better.
This is for several reasons:
- The care you receive will be from verified facilities and providers with a certain standard of care
- The insurer may not reimburse amounts to unverified facilities or providers
- The insurer may be able to pay the provider up-front, so you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket
- Claims for extras such as return transportation home or accommodation and food for relatives under the injured person’s care, will be explained and provided.
2. Complete any claim forms that are sent to you as soon as possible
Again, the timelier you are with submitting claims information and receipts, the quicker your claim can be processed, and the easier it is for the insurer to confirm the information. Always follow the instructions provided by the insurer. This will give you the best opportunity to get well and have a smooth claiming experience.
3. Keep all of your receipts
Remember to keep them for both medical expenses as well as food and lodging if applicable. Not all claims will be eligible for food and accommodation, so it’s always best to check your policy and confirm. Circumstances where you may be eligible for further reimbursement of travel expenses will be discussed with your claims coordinator. (the person working for the travel insurance company that is handling your claim).
4. Keep records of any correspondence
Keep emails and letters, and write down times of phone calls between you and the claims coordinator or insurer, as well as between you and your medical service providers. If you have any scans completed, remember to keep a copy of any results if possible. Retrieving medical records and scans from a foreign hospital can sometimes be tricky.
5. When in doubt, follow-up
If you are unsure of anything, reach out to the claims coordinator and ask questions. They want to make sure you are receiving the best possible care, and staying in contact with them on a regular basis can help make that a reality.
The travel insurance claim process may vary depending on your insurance provider and the specifics of your claim. Your experience will also be determined by your communication and action along the way. Which is why it is so important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by your insurance company. And, to understand your travel insurance policy and what is covered prior to leaving.