How to file a travel insurance claim and what to do if you’re turned down

Editor’s note: This the last in a series of posts about travel insurance sponsored by Access America. Here’s part one, part two, part three and part four.

First, the good news: Nine out of ten travel insurance claims are honored according to the US Travel Insurance Association. So if you’re thinking of filing a claim on your policy, it will probably be honored.

Now the bad news: If you’re among the 10 percent who have been rejected, you could face a long and ultimately unsuccessful struggle to have your claim paid.

You don’t want to end up there.

How to avoid it? Make sure your initial claim does everything it should.
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How do I use my travel insurance policy?

Editor’s note: This is part four in a series of posts about travel insurance sponsored by Access America. Here’s part one, part two and part three.

Congratulations, you’re the owner of a shiny new travel insurance policy. Now what?

Conventional wisdom says you wait until something goes wrong and then file a claim. But there’s a little more to it.

Your travel insurance company wants to hear from you – needs to hear from you – if you want to be a successful user of a travel insurance policy.
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When should I buy travel insurance and how much should I pay for it?

Editor’s note: This is part three in a series of posts about travel insurance sponsored by Access America. Here’s part one and part two.

We’ve already reviewed who needs travel insurance and where to find it, but how do you know if you’re getting a good deal?

There’s no authoritative buyer’s guide that can tell you if you’re looking at a bargain policy or a rip-off. That’s because no two travel insurance policies are exactly the same. They vary based on your age, state of residence and coverage.

Travel insurance typically costs between 4 and 8 percent of your trip’s prepaid non-refundable cost. However, a “cancel for any reason” policy can run you 10 percent of the nonrefundable cost or slightly higher. Your policy may be more expensive if you’re older or engaging in a risky activity that makes a claim more likely, but generally speaking, you should be in that range.
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How do I choose the right travel insurance policy?

Editor’s note: This is part two in a series of posts about travel insurance sponsored by Access America. Here’s part one.

Nina Boal needs a travel insurance policy. But with so many choices out there, which one should she buy?

“I want to see if I can buy appropriate policy,” she says. “I checked online, and can’t find any direct answers.”

She’s right. An online search for “travel insurance” is likely to pull up a long and confusing list of possible answers. But there are really just three options.
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Everything you ever wanted to know about travel insurance (but were afraid to ask)

Editor’s note: This is part one in a series of posts about travel insurance. It is sponsored by Access America and researched with assistance from the US Travel Insurance Association, a trade organization. Here’s more information about sponsored posts.

Do you need travel insurance?

A good policy can offer you peace of mind for your upcoming vacation.

If something goes wrong – if your trip is interrupted or if you have to cancel – you can recover some or all of your costs.

About 1 in 3 travelers buy insurance for their trip, according to the US Travel Insurance Association. Should you be one of them?

Before taking out a policy, it’s important to determine whether you need protection at all.
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“This seems more like fraud to me”

Ken Smith isn’t the only person affected by the untimely demise of Cruise West. But he thought he wouldn’t be in the same boat as the other stranded passengers. After all, he had travel insurance.

He thought wrong.

His insurance company, Access America, said it wouldn’t cover a company for financial default. I got involved to see if I could help, and I’ll get to the resolution in a moment. But first, let’s hear from Smith.
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Sometimes getting an insurance claim paid is like a game of chess

If you think travel agents are about as worthless as travel insurance — and I’ve seen your comments on this site, so I know you’re out there — then you’ll like this story.

Joanne Babbitt contacted me a few weeks ago because she was trying to handle an insurance claim for two clients who had been on a tour of the Galapagos Islands and Peru. It’s highly unusual for a travel agent to ask for my help, except for the occasional debit-memo dispute with an airline.

Then I reviewed the problem.
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