Making a travel insurance claim with the Post Office can be a straightforward process if you understand what to do. This article provides an informational guide to Post Office travel insurance claims, with details on how to file a claim, what documents you need, claim processing times, and tips for getting your claim approved.
What Does Post Office Travel Insurance Cover?
The Post Office offers both single trip and multi-trip travel insurance policies. Both policy types provide coverage for emergency medical expenses, cancellation or cutting short your trip, delayed or missed departures, lost, stolen or delayed possessions, personal accident, personal liability, and legal expenses.
Some key points about Post Office travel insurance coverage:
- It covers pre-existing medical conditions, provided certain criteria are met when you buy the policy. This includes conditions like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc.
- For medical claims abroad, there is no upper age limit, which can provide peace of mind for elderly travelers.
- Cancellation cover kicks in as soon as you book your trip and lasts right up until you are due to depart. This means you can make a claim for cancellation for almost any reason outside of your control.
Understanding the Claims Process
When making any kind of insurance claim, it is important to understand the process that the insurer follows. Here are the key steps for Post Office travel insurance claims:
- Contact the assistance company as soon as possible to report your claim. Depending on the nature of your claim, the assistance team may be able to offer immediate help and will log all the initial details.
- Formally submit your claim in writing along with supporting documents within 31 days of returning from your trip (unless special circumstances apply). This date is known as the ‘claims notification period’.
- The claims team will send you a claim form to complete. For medical claims, your doctor may also need to complete part of the form. Return the fully completed form as soon as possible.
- The Post Office will evaluate your claim and supporting documents and may request additional information from you if required.
- Once the Post Office has validated your claim, they will contact you with a settlement offer. If you accept, they will issue payment within 5 to 10 days.
So in summary – contact assistance, formally notify within 31 days, complete claim form, provide documentation, await settlement offer. Understanding these key steps will help ensure you file your travel insurance claim correctly.
How to File a Post Office Travel Insurance Claim
When you need to make a travel insurance claim with the Post Office, the first step is contacting the assistance company. This is particularly time sensitive for medical emergencies, as the assistance team can help arrange treatment.
To file your actual insurance claim with the Post Office, you will need to notify them in writing within 31 days of returning home from your trip. This is called making a ‘claims notification’.
There are two main ways to formally make your travel insurance claim:
- Online claim form – Available on the Post Office website. Quick and easy way to start your claim.
- Paper claim form – The Post Office will mail you the form after receiving initial claim details. Can take longer to process but may be easier for some claimants.
No matter which approach you choose, the next vital step is gathering all required documentation to submit with your formal travel insurance claim.
What Documents Do You Need to Make a Post Office Travel Insurance Claim?
The specific documents required will vary based on the type of claim you are making. But in general, you should prepare the following documents:
- Insurance certificate – Proves your policy details and coverage dates
- Booking invoices – For all travel, accommodation, activities etc
- Medical reports – For injury/illness claims abroad, detailing diagnosis and treatment
- Police reports – If possessions/money were lost or stolen
- Proof of ownership – For lost, stolen or damaged items
- Cancellation evidence – Documents showing why you could not travel
In addition, the Post Office claims team may later request:
- Bank statements – To prove costs you incurred
- Birth/death certificates – For cancellation claims relating to relatives
- Anything else relevant to your claim
Having these documents ready from the outset will help avoid delays processing your Post Office travel insurance claim. Check in with the claims team if you are unsure what you need to provide.
How Long Does a Post Office Travel Insurance Claim Take?
It is normal to feel anxious waiting to hear back after making a travel insurance claim. How long it takes the Post Office to process claims depends on several factors:
- Type of claim – Simpler claims like basic medical costs get turned around more quickly than complex claims (e.g. involving liability).
- Quality of information – How fast you provide complete and accurate documentation impacts processing times.
- Need for assessment – Some claims get referred for medical assessment which can add a few weeks.
- Scope of loss – If your claim relates to major losses, more investigative work is often needed.
However, here is a general guide to Post Office travel insurance claims processing times once all information is received:
- Medical expenses abroad: 10 working days
- Cancellation or curtailment: 15 working days
- Delayed possessions: 20 working days
- Personal property/money losses: 30 working days
The Post Office aims to complete 75% of travel claims within 28 days, but 10% can take over three months for complex cases requiring careful investigation.
If your travel insurance claim takes longer than expected, do not hesitate to contact the Post Office claims team for an update on status and expected completion date.
Tips for Getting Post Office Travel Insurance Claims Approved
Having your travel insurance claim rejected can be frustrating after going through disruption or loss during your trip abroad. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help ensure your Post Office claim gets approved:
- Carefully check policy coverage and exclusions before claiming – Make sure your specific circumstances qualify under your chosen insurance product.
- Notify assistance/claims within mandated time period – Late notification results in instant rejection.
- Be meticulously accurate in claim form details – Any discrepancy calls claim legitimacy into question.
- Thoroughly evidence all losses/costs incurred – The stronger your documentation, the higher chance of settlement.
- Respond promptly to any additional requests – Delay submitting further evidence also draws out process.
- Save all communications for reference – In case future disputes arise over claim settlement.
- Politely escalate if settlement delayed excessively – Calmly request status update from claims manager.
- Comply fully with any investigation requirements – Assessing complex claims often requires in-depth probing.
If despite best efforts your Post Office travel claim gets denied – or if you are unsatisfied with a low settlement amount – carefully review the policy terms and exclusions first. If you still genuinely believe the insurer is in the wrong, you can launch a formal complaint followed by escalation to the Financial Ombudsman if unresolved.
Making a Post Office travel insurance claim need not be an intimidating or lengthy process if equipped with the right guidance. Understanding important information like what documentation you need, typical processing times, and handy tips for smoothly getting your claim approved takes the stress out of the experience. With this complete overview article explaining key stages and procedures, you can feel fully prepared to file a travel insurance claim with the Post Office if ever an unfortunate situation arises during trips either domestically or overseas. The ultimate goal is getting swift financial assistance to recover from any covered losses or disruption, allowing you to resume normal life.