A simples guide

How to make a travel insurance claim

We all arrange travel insurance without ever expecting to have to use it. When problems arise and we need to rely on our insurance, it really helps to be prepared. Here, we’ll run through the process and explain the do’s and don’ts of making a travel insurance claim.

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Before you go, do the admin!

Yes, sounds pretty tedious doesn’t it, and it’s very tempting to just not bother. However, doing a little bit of admin before you go, could save you a lot of time and trouble later.

  • Take your insurance documents with you - Take your travel insurance documents with you when you travel. It’s better to keep them in your hand luggage rather than packing them in your case. If there’s more than one of you travelling, it’s not a bad idea for multiple people to carry the emergency number with them just in case. Most insurers run 24 hour helplines for you to call if you need emergency assistance.
  • Valuables - It’s good practice to photograph your valuables before you set off and keep a copy safe. If items have serial numbers or other means of identifying them, record the information somewhere secure. Take copies of your passport, flight details, driving licence and any other valuable documents so you have duplicates in case you lose the originals.

Disaster has struck, what shall I do?

Contact the insurer promptly
As soon as you think you’re going to need to make a travel insurance claim, you should contact your insurer. While there may be a deadline of a month or so after the event, it’s much better to act immediately. Sometimes, for example certain types of medical treatment need pre-clearance from the insurer in order to ensure that they’ll pay your claim.

Contact the police
If you’re the victim of crime while away on holiday, it’s important to report it to the police if you’re intending to make a claim. Insurers will require a crime reference number or police report to approve the claim. If you’re abroad, don’t be tempted to wait until you get home, it will be much easier to deal with the issue on the ground at the time, rather than over the phone later.

Keep evidence
It’s important to keep all information that can help substantiate your claim. For example, if you have to cancel your holiday because you’re ill, you’ll need your Doctor to supply a form. If you lose items or have them stolen, you may need to try and prove value and ownership.

Do the paperwork
Insurer’s claims processes are all a little different. Some claims may be dealt with quickly over the phone, but for others you’ll be required to fill in forms and attach copies of relevant documents and paperwork. This is why it pays to be organised. The quicker you are able to file the claim, the quicker you’re likely to get paid. Most insurers now accept documents online, but if you do end up having to post anything, make sure you keep copies of any important documents you’re enclosing and always send them recorded delivery if possible.

Pitfalls to avoid

  • Make sure you take reasonable care of your items. If you’ve been careless with your items, leaving them unattended, or visible in an empty car for example, you’re likely to invalidate your claim.
  • As we detailed in the process, make sure you report any crimes to the police and always keep copies of important documentation and proof.
  • Check your small print when taking out the policy. Finding that you’re not covered for expensive items when it’s too late can cause much heartache. Make sure you understand exactly what’s covered. Similarly, if you’re taking part in any sports or going on excursions, make sure your policy covers you.
  • Being drunk or on drugs when you have an accident or lose something could well invalidate your cover.


We all want to have a good time when we’re on holiday and fortunately, the vast majority of us do. In the unfortunate event that you need your travel insurance, preparation can help make the process a whole lot easier. So why not start a travel insurance quote today and see how much you could save?

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