7 Reasons Why Travel Insurance Claims Are Denied

When you take out travel medical insurance, the last thing you want is for your claim to be denied. Unfortunately, insurance companies do reject travel insurance claims – often for unexpected reasons. Here’s why travel insurance claims fail, and tips for how to get a travel insurance claim approved.     

1. Lack of Evidence

Let’s start with the most obvious reason – you don’t have enough evidence or paperwork to support your claim. For example, if an airline loses your bag containing valuables, like jewelry or medicine, you need to show proof of your losses. 

What counts as evidence, though? It depends on the type of claim you’re making and what you lost (if anything). Evidence you might need to show includes:

  • Doctor’s note 
  • Medicine costs
  • Police report 
  • Proof of lost valuables
  • Receipts for replacement items
  • Witness details (if relevant) 

Be as specific as possible on your travel insurance claims form, and send over any evidence you think might be relevant. You should also make sure that any information you provide is correct. Double-check every detail before you file to avoid unnecessary delays to your claim.

2. Undeclared Medical Conditions

Blue and gray stethoscope lying on top of an Canadian flag

Travel medical insurance protects you against the cost of certain medical expenses, as the Government of Canada explains, like the cost of emergency treatment. Your claim may be rejected if:

  • You fail to declare a pre-existing terminal illness 
  • You don’t declare a condition for which you take regular medication

Your claim could also fail if you do declare a medical condition, but it flares up prior to travel, and you failed to seek treatment for it. If your condition worsens while you’re on vacation, your insurer might say you didn’t take reasonable steps to bring it under control before travel.  

  • When in doubt, declare your condition.
  • Consider getting a physician’s advice (or permission) before you travel if you have a medical condition.
  • Ensure your condition is well-managed prior to travel. 

3. Risky Behavior

Plan on doing some jet skiing or snowboarding while you’re on vacation? Well, make sure you have the right insurance cover in place before you travel. Why? Because some sports and other activities are deemed “high risk,” meaning there’s an increased chance of injury compared with, say, a golfing trip. 

Luckily, there are travel insurance policies out there that can cover high-risk activities — just make sure you purchase this type of coverage. These policies do attract higher premiums, but they will give you peace of mind.

4. Alcohol-Related Injuries

Sure, it’s tempting to have a few drinks on vacation. After all, it’s time to relax. Be responsible, though. If you’re injured while drunk, the insurer might deny your claim. 

Why? It all comes down to the “alcohol exclusion” clause. Most insurers won’t pay medical costs if you’re injured while intoxicated. Stay in control and don’t drink excessively. 

5. Late Filing 

There’s usually a time limit for filing claims. If you miss the deadline, the insurer could reject your claim even if it’s valid. 

Don’t let your insurer deny your claim just because you missed a deadline. Improve your chances of getting your travel insurance claim approved by filing on time. 

6. Routine Healthcare

Your travel medical insurance probably won’t cover routine healthcare needs, like a regular medical checkup. You’ll only be covered 'emergency' expenses like hospital visits, prescription drugs, and medical emergencies. So, if you make a claim for routine medical costs, it could be denied.

The easiest way to avoid this issue is by getting any medical care you think you need before you travel. And don’t forget to declare any pre-existing medical conditions which could affect your health needs!

7. No Pre-Authorization

Your insurer might need to “pre-authorize” certain procedures or treatments before they’ll cover the cost. So, for example, you might need pre-authorization for services like MRI scans unless they’re part of emergency care. 

Not sure if you need pre-authorization? To avoid losing out on your claim, check with your insurer before getting any non-emergency treatment. 

Appeal a Travel Insurance Claim

Sometimes insurance companies make mistakes when they deny travel medical insurance claims. For example, maybe they got the dates wrong, or perhaps they don’t have all the facts. 

The good news is that you can usually appeal their decision. Check the company’s website, or your policy, for details on how to make an appeal.

Get Travel Insurance From BestQuote 

Are you looking for travel medical insurance? At BestQuote, we help travelers like you source the right insurance for your trip. Whatever coverage you need, we’ll find you competitive quotes. Learn more about travel medical insurance!