Claim Travel Insurance

How to Claim Travel Insurance for Illness-Related Issues

Getting sick before or during a vacation or trip is never a good way to spend time and money. Fortunately, having a comprehensive travel insurance policy can help if you have to cancel or shorten your trip due to illness. Most standard policies cover emergency medical costs, lost trip expenses, and other expenses if you become ill while traveling and require medical treatment. They will also frequently reimburse pre-paid expenses such as flights and hotels if you are unable to travel or continue your trip due to new or existing illnesses. However, making a successful claim is entirely dependent on understanding what your policy covers and providing adequate documentation of the illness’s effects to qualify for reimbursements under your policy’s cancellation, curtailment, and medical sections.

The Claims Eligibility Process

Before a claim is processed and settled, travel insurers will consider:

  • Does the policy purchased include cancellation, curtailment, and medical coverage sections? These three components are required for illness-related claims.
  • Is the illness a pre-existing medical condition, if you purchased the policy with exclusions? Unfortunately, it is unlikely that it will be covered.
  • Does the illness meet the criteria for a valid reason affecting the trip? For eligibility purposes, must be unforeseen and unexpected.
  • Can sufficient documentary evidence be provided as proof of the claim? For example, detailed medical certificates confirming diagnosis dates and how the illness affects travel or the need for medical care abroad.

So, before filing any claims for illness before or during travel, check your policy documents to ensure that the relevant cancellation, curtailment, and medical coverage sections are included, with no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. The sections that follow go into greater detail about how to make a claim under each of these policy components.

Cancellation Coverage for Illness Before Travel

Many travel insurance policies reimburse unrecoverable prepaid trip deposits and payments in the event of an unexpected illness that prevents travel. This allows you to recoup costs for flights, lodging, tours, cruises, and other travel expenses if you become ill shortly before your departure date.

To file a successful cancellation claim due to illness before travel, you must provide:

  • Formal medical certificates stating when symptoms appeared, the dates diagnosed, and a doctor’s confirmation that the illness prevented you from traveling as planned. Certificates that simply state you’re “not fit to travel” are often insufficient because they don’t explain how the medical condition affects travel plans.
  • Original invoices and receipts for all prepaid trip expenses, including the dates paid and amounts lost. Substantial evidence of booking payments and contract terms is required.
  • Possible evidence of attempting to recover expenses through travel provider cancellation refund policies prior to claiming insurance. Insurers may deduct potential refunds recoverable directly from airlines, hotels, and other sources first.
  • Include any other trip payment records related to the cancelled travel dates in the claim. Maintain comprehensive records of all documents supporting illness cancellation claims.
  • With adequate supporting documentation, a legitimate illness occurring between trip booking and departure dates should result in successfully settled cancellation claims under most standard travel insurance policies. Just be aware that the exclusion for pre-existing medical histories still applies, as insurers cannot assess conditions you had prior to purchasing a policy risk-free.

Curtailment Claims for Illness During Travel

Travel insurance policies offer the option to cut short a trip to receive medical care at home if you become ill during it. This covers the costs of unused accommodation, travel legs, tours, events, and so on that were booked as part of your original itinerary but were missed due to your early return.

To claim curtailment reimbursements due to illness while travelling, gather documentation, including:

  • Doctors consulted at the trip destination provided detailed medical reports that explained symptoms and the need for an early return. Do not rely solely on your own diagnosis. Seek professional evaluations that document how illness affects the ability to continue travelling as planned.
  • Original booking invoices and contracts showing full costs paid for the entire trip duration as proof of eligible curtailed losses directly caused by shortening the trip due to illness.
  • Receipts and documentation confirming additional costs for modified travel arrangements, such as flight/transportation changes to return home earlier than planned. Insurers reimburse these unavoidable additional costs, as well as any unused forfeited amounts.
  • As with cancellation claims, submit detailed records documenting all financial losses incurred as a result of approved medical repatriation back home before trip end dates due to illness disruption.
  • With doctor-certified confirmation that medical attention back home is required, most travel insurers with curtailment coverage will process claims to recoup significant costs from interrupted trip itineraries.

Overseas Medical Claims for illness

In addition to claims for cancelled or interrupted trips. Becoming ill while traveling can result in significant bills for overseas medical consultations, treatment, hospital stays, and other expenses. Emergency medical and repatriation coverage is included in most travel insurance plans. Providing a safety net against high overseas healthcare costs.

Common examples of overseas medical claims resulting from illnesses include:

Bills from doctors and hospitals for medical consultations and treatment.

Payments for prescribed drugs and treatment

Ambulance transportation fees in the destination country.

Added flights/transfers for hospital repatriation back home if more suitable for recovery

To file a claim under the emergency medical section for illness incidents overseas, please provide:

  • Detailed, dated medical reports with diagnoses and treatments obtained overseas.
  • Original medical bills and receipts are issued for consultations, hospital services, procedures, laboratory tests, and so on.
  • If prescribed medication is required, provide pharmacy receipts.
  • Invoices for medical evacuation and hotel stay extensions if repatriation is delayed.
  • Insurers typically pay hospitals directly when possible, or reimburse policyholders upon return from trips if self-funding is unavoidable.


Falling seriously ill shortly before or during a trip can severely disrupt travel plans and cause significant financial hardship. While no amount of insurance can replace good health or lost vacation time. Comprehensive policies do offer important financial reimbursements and protection against large overseas medical bills. Claiming travel insurance after a necessary cancellation, curtailment. Or medical attention overseas is made easier by gathering detailed evidence confirming illness timelines and impacts. Simply ensure that pre-existing conditions are covered without exclusions. As insurers cannot evaluate unpredictable brand new illnesses arising after policy purchases in good faith. While every claim is still subject to strict validation checks. Providing complete documentation aids in approvals to recoup large costs from disrupted. Or cancelled trips caused by both pre-existing and unexpected new illness occurrences declared while traveling. 

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