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Why Is My Travel Insurance Claim Delayed?

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Allianz - woman waiting for subway

A canceled flight. A car crash. A sudden illness. When you’re traveling, things can go wrong in seconds.

It can take a little longer, however, for your travel insurance to reimburse you for your covered financial losses. That’s because our claims processors closely review each claim for accuracy and authenticity before it’s approved. We have to do this to ensure fairness and prevent fraud, thus keeping costs low for our customers.

The time required to process a claim depends on the type of claim, the circumstances of the claim and the documentation required. Typically, once you’ve submitted your claim form and all the required supporting documentation, we will contact you within 10 business days with either a claim determination or a request for additional information.

Feel like it’s taking longer than expected to get your claim approved and receive payment? Here are some possible reasons, plus tips for speeding up the process. Remember, you can check the status of your claim anytime, either online or with the free TravelSmart app.

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6 Reasons Your Travel Insurance Claim Processing Might Be Delayed

1. Some documentation is missing.

When you’re filing a claim, documentation is everything. Before we can process a claim, we need to have in hand all the evidence that proves your loss. For a trip delay claim, for example, you may need proof of delay (such as a communication or changed itinerary from your travel provider), and receipts for any additional covered expenses incurred because of the delay. To see the list of documentation required for your specific type of claim, click here to get a customized checklist.

If you can’t find a specific document, don’t panic! Go ahead and file a claim with the information you have, then upload the remaining materials as soon as you can. If you have a question, or need help, call Allianz Global Assistance claim representatives 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-497-6992.

Read more: 7 Receipts You May Need to File a Travel Insurance Claim

2. The info in the claim doesn’t match the documentation you submitted.

Your Saturday flight home from Los Angeles is canceled, so you have to stay an extra night and then take the 6 a.m. flight Sunday. Your meals and hotel stay during the covered delay can be covered by your trip delay benefits (up to the maximum limit in your plan) — but you also submit a receipt for brunch in LA, time-stamped 11 a.m. on Sunday. If our claims processors can’t reconcile the info you give us in your claim, then they’ll contact you to figure out what happened — and payment will be delayed.

3. You submitted your claim via mail or fax.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to file a claim when something goes awry during your trip. That’s why we accept claim forms and supporting documents via electronic upload, fax and mail. The way in which you submit a claim has no effect on the outcome of your claim; however, submitting a claim electronically may allow us to process it more quickly. If you do use mail or fax, please make sure you policy number is on each document you send us, so we can track them more efficiently.

4. You filed a claim for expenses that aren’t covered by your travel insurance plan.

Upon arriving in Berlin, you discover that the airline has misplaced your suitcase. Luckily, your travel insurance plan includes the baggage delay benefit, which can reimburse you for expenses for essential items you need until your baggage arrives (up to the maximum benefit stated in your plan documents). You head to the mall and purchase needed toiletries, plus three outfits and shoes. Your baggage is returned to you the next day.

If you file a claim for all these purchases, your claim will likely be delayed and/or denied. That’s because our claims processors will question whether three new outfits are “essential items” for a 12-hour delay. If you’re not sure whether a particular expense may be covered, contact us and ask!

5. You opted to receive a paper check.

When you file a claim, we ask you to choose how you want to receive payment:

  • Debit disbursement (sending money to your debit card electronically)
  • Direct deposit (sending money to your bank account electronically)
  • Check (mailing a paper check to your address)

The timeline for receiving payment depends on the payment method you choose. A debit disbursement is typically the fastest way to receive payment, although the speed depends on your bank’s processing times.

6. There’s a problem with your bank and/or mailing information.

If we encounter a problem when trying to send payment to your bank account or debit card, then we’ll send a paper check to your mailing address. You’ll still receive payment for your claim, but it may take slightly longer through the mail.

Tips for Getting Your Travel Insurance Claim Paid as Quickly as Possible

Choose a travel insurance plan with SmartBenefitsSMPlans that include SmartBenefitsSM  allow eligible customers to receive an automatic payment of $100 per insured person, per day, for a covered travel delay or baggage delay. No receipts are required — just proof of delay — which means you can receive payment quickly.

Submit flight info to Allianz Global Assistance ahead of time. When you purchase a plan with SmartBenefitsSM, you may send Allianz Global Assistance your flight information for automatic tracking. Once we confirm a covered delay on a monitored flight, you may opt to receive a proactive payment of $100 per insured person. Select debit card disbursement, and we’ll send the payment right away, once your claim has been approved. (Your bank may take longer to process the transaction.)

When you’re traveling, snap a quick photo of every receipt immediately after a purchase. That way, you’ll have an electronic copy in case you need to file a claim.

Read through your plan documents before you file a claim. Every travel insurance plan names certain situations that can be covered as well as specific exclusions. Make sure you understand what your plan covers before submitting your claim.

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Jul 31, 2019