Airlines, travel agencies, and seasoned travelers have been encouraging holidaymakers that travel insurance helps one get that peace of mind and assurance of something in return in times of trouble during the journey.

Lost or delayed luggage, canceled flights, injuries, and even death are some of the unfortunate outcomes a traveler may be subjected to. Having appropriate insurance coverage somehow eases the burden. But that’s what you’ll often hear from agents and companies who make money off each auspicious sign-up.

Buried under the proverbial fine print are the details, mostly restrictions a policyholder must comply with before becoming fully eligible for insurance benefits. And unless a traveler reads and understands the entire fine print before making the sign-up, peace of mind isn’t 100 percent.

So what are the reasons your travel insurance holder might not get that claim easily or at all?

You fail to establish ownership of lost or damaged luggage.

In case you’re seeking compensation for lost or damaged luggage, you may need to provide sufficient proof you own it. Detailed description, content, purchase receipt, luggage claim stub, and others should be handy when you make such claims. Better yet, when you read the fine print and cannot find enough information about filing claims, better talk to the insurance agent to get clarity about the matter.

It should be helpful to take a photo of your luggage with your name in the tag label. But to avoid getting into such annoying situations, keep your luggage secured by locking it properly.

You fail to provide proof of loss.

Once you lose something, insurance agents often ask for proof of loss, such as an affidavit of loss, police report, airline, or hotel incident report to officially mark an item lost or stolen. So it requires you taking the extra mile, which does not precisely match the promised ease of claiming for compensation.

You were involved in high-risk activities.

It is driving under the influence, taking part in a risky activity such as motorcycle ride without a helmet, hiking, skydiving, and other activities defined as restrictions not covered by your insurance policy. Once again, it’s wise to review the fine print before doing something that might disqualify an insurance policyholder from making claims.

You lied about your medical history.

Not everyone who applies for hospital/medical insurance is approved, especially if he or she has a checkered medical history. Diabetes, hypertension, and other illnesses might disqualify you from availing of insurance before travel. Some travelers get away with it, only to get their medical records uncovered during, say, hospital confinement, and get their insurance claims declined.

You fail to understand vague terms.

Insurance companies may have their own set of definitions of ‘close family members’ which differ from your perception: do they include those close to my heart like grandparents, grandchildren or uncles and aunts? Such claims may not cover that outside of your nuclear family (parents, children, or siblings). To sort this out, speak to your insurance agent.

You visited a place not covered by an insurance policy.

Some insurance policies declare explicitly places where they are valid. Some countries are deemed high risk, so the likelihood of getting into trouble is higher than others. This is why insurance policies try to reduce their risks by simply not honoring any claim made within that country. If you need to be in that country, make sure to get an insurance policy that covers that location.


Getting travel insurance is a wise thing to do only if we are entirely sure about its coverage. Reading the literature on coverage can be an enormous task to those busy evaluating travel options. But it’s worth the effort, especially if we choose cheaper accommodation and air tickets which might not include certain traveler protections.