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4 Commonly Denied Travel Insurance Claims

Travel Team | Apr 6, 2023

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Woman seated at desk upset while reviewing denied claim.

If you’re submitting a travel insurance claim, it’s because something went wrong during your trip. The last thing you want, to add salt to the wound, is a denied claim. The best way to avoid a denial is to understand what your insurance covers before you even start your trip. If there’s something you want covered but you don’t see it in your plan document, review plan options carefully before making a selection — Seven Corners plans often have a Basic as well as a Choice option, for example — that provide varying levels of protection for you and your trip.

What can cause a claim to be denied? Here are some of the most common reasons and how to avoid them.

Most Commonly Denied Travel Insurance Claims

1. Your claim occurs before your effective date.

There are two main types of travel insurance: trip protection and travel medical insurance. Trip protection, because it provides trip cancellation benefits to assist you before you leave on your trip, can start before your departure date. Travel medical insurance, because it’s focused primarily on medical benefits, covers illness and injury that occur during your trip, not before.

With this in mind, it’s important to know when your effective date is. You’ll find this information in your plan document. Claims for events that happen before your effective date will be denied because that event took place before your plan started.

How do you avoid this denied claim? One way is to purchase travel insurance as soon as possible. Seven Corners Trip Protection plan and the optional add-on Cancellation for Any Reason (CFAR) begin the day after we receive the required premium to cover your trip. Other benefits, such as Trip Delay or optional Rental Car Damage, can have different effective dates, so please review your plan document for a full explanation.

If you purchase travel medical insurance, make sure to buy it ahead of time. The earliest your coverage can begin is 12:01 a.m. the day after you buy it but not until you depart from your home country. While your travel medical coverage doesn’t begin until you have left your home country, starting coverage on your departure date means that if you get hurt or sick during a layover in a foreign country, for example, you’ll be protected.

For example, let’s say I leave the United States on August 1 for a vacation to South Africa. I have a connecting flight in Amsterdam and don’t arrive in Cape Town until August 2. I would want my coverage to begin August 1 even though I don’t reach my destination until the following day. This way, I’m protected in case I get sick or hurt during my layover in Amsterdam.

2. The care you received was routine or preventive.

This applies to Seven Corners Travel Medical Insurance plans.

Most travel medical insurance plans are meant for short-term coverage and cover sudden illnesses or injuries only during your travels. It’s expected that your domestic primary health insurance will cover routine checkups and preventive care you receive in your home country.

To avoid having this type of claim denied, check your plan document before you leave. If it says that routine or preventive care services are not covered, get your routine checkup before you leave (usually a good idea anyway, especially if you’ll be traveling for an extended period) or wait until you get home when you can use your primary health coverage.

3. It wasn’t a covered reason.

This reason applies to Seven Corners Trip Protection plans.

Trip protection plans can reimburse your prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for covered reasons. If you decide to cancel or interrupt for a reason not listed, such as being nervous about the safety at your destination, your claim will be denied.

One way to avoid having this type of claim denied is to purchase Cancel for Any Reason coverage. This optional add-on benefit allows you to cancel your trip for any reason you wish, not just those reasons covered in your trip protection plan, and still be reimbursed for 75% of your prepaid nonrefundable trip costs.

Interruption for Any Reason (IFAR) coverage works the same way. If you decide to end your trip and come home early, the optional IFAR coverage that you added can reimburse you for 75% of those unused, prepaid, nonrefundable expenses, regardless of why you chose to interrupt your trip.

Another way to avoid this claim is, again, to read the plan document and understand the covered reasons. This way, you’ll know you’re covered before you decide to alter your trip plans. You might even be able to adjust your coverage or choose a different plan before you find out too late that the protection you wanted wasn’t provided.

4. The timely filing limit expired.

This is basically another way of saying you missed the deadline. Most insurance companies have a timely filing limit. If you don’t provide the required documents within the stated time frame, your claim could be denied.

The simple answer to avoiding this type of denied claim: file your claim as soon as possible after an incident. We also recommend you check your plan document, which will tell you how long the filing limit is. Most plans have a 90-day limit.

Support So You Can Travel Smarter

If you review your plan document and start to feel overwhelmed, never fear. Check out our blog with tips for how to read a travel insurance policy or contact our licensed travel insurance agents for more information and an explanation of our plans.

Email sales@sevencorners.com

Toll free 1-800-335-0611

Worldwide 1-317-575-2652

Collect 1-317-818-2809

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