Get a report for your travel insurance claim when tracing delayed or lost baggage.

There are two parts to filing a travel insurance claim and, believe it or not, filing the actual paperwork after you return from your trip is the easier one. The more important part of filing a travel insurance claim is ensuring you’ve collected all the necessary information. This can be a challenge when you are overseas and dealing with lost bags, lost passports or other emergencies.

Follow our step by step guide to help get your travel insurance claim be processed more efficiently when you return.

Buy travel insurance

Safetravel says ‘do not leave New Zealand without comprehensive travel and medical insurance’. Find travel insurance that fits your budget and covers your activities as part of your travel planning. The Insurance Council of New Zealand recommends taking out travel insurance the same day you make your bookings to cover your travel plans.

Use your cell phone

Document everything with your cell phone. You can download thousands of apps for planning and recording your trip, but nothing is more important than your camera. Here are a few ways you can use the basic capabilities of your phone to aid in a travel insurance payout:

  • While packing for your trip, take a photo of your bag so you can easily inventory what you have. (This also helps when you are packing for your return trip.) You can also use a packing list app, such as the Traveller’s Checklist from Cover-More. The checklists help you keep track of what you need to do and what you’re taking so you can be sure to bring everything home again.
  • Before you check your bag, take a quick photo as well. This will help you describe it in case it goes missing.
  • Document the condition of rental cars, luggage, etc. Take pictures in case of accidents while driving.
  • Find the local numbers for the Cover-More emergency assistance centre and the New Zealand Embassy at your destination and save them in your phone so you won’t have to search for them in an emergency.

Check travel advisories and claims advice

Before you leave home, check the latest travel advisories and claims advice to see if any local events are impacting your destination, as this may have an impact on your ability to make a travel insurance claim. For example, if you are heading to a place where a known tropical storm is already on the way, you may be able to file a claim for flight cancellation, but not for issues that arise if you go anyway.

Get reports and receipts

Get everything in writing from the provider and obtain receipts for any expenses. If your bags go missing, get a report from the airline. If your passport is stolen, obtain a police report. Cover-More provides a list of supporting documentation necessary for claims processing.

Call your insurance company

If you’re admitted to the hospital or think your travel insurance claim will exceed NZ$1000, call the emergency assistance team as soon as possible. Have a phone number where they can reach you and your policy number handy when you call. The emergency assistance team includes case managers, doctors and nurses and can help coordinate your care.

Seek help

If you lose your passport, the local New Zealand Embassy can help you with a replacement. They can also help you contact relatives or your insurance company, but they cannot pay medical or legal expenses for New Zealanders overseas.

File your claim

Once you have safely returned home, you will need to download the claim form, add the supporting documentation you collected along the way, and file your travel insurance claim (be sure to keep a copy for yourself). Most Cover-More Travel Insurance claims are settled within 10 working days. If you have questions about the status of your claim, call 0800 600 115 or email [email protected]. If you have questions about how your claim was handled, you can call 0800 500 225 or see our claims resolution procedure.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Pete; cropped from original