How to Make The Most of a Travel Insurance Claim

More travelers are buying insurance. If your trip is canceled, take these steps to increase your chances of recovery.

(Image credit: Getty images)

 The same tricky travel climate that can derail vacation plans abruptly is also starting to overwhelm the insurers compensating travelers for those disruptions. Changing pandemic protocols in the U.S. and abroad, COVID spread, nonrefundable reservations, and canceled or delayed flights made travel insurance a desirable—sometimes even required—safety net.
         In a recent survey, travel insurer Allianz Partners USA found that 90% of its customers said they’re likely to buy travel insurance for their next trip. And Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison site that also tracks trip insurance purchases in real time, reports that 42% of summer 2022 travelers specifically sought out coverage for contracting COVID-19, including cancellation, medical and quarantine benefits. That number represents a nearly 10% jump from the same time last year.
       More buyers of the insurance mean more claims. Squaremouth’s data analysis shows a whopping 235% increase in claims from January to June this year, compared to the same time frame in 2019. And experts warn that volume, filing errors and confusion are clogging the system and producing delays. What previously took days or weeks to process could now potentially take months, industry watchers say. “The majority of claims are from travelers who contract COVID-19 either before or during their trip,” says Megan Moncrief, chief marketing officer at Squaremouth. “This is causing extended claims processing times throughout the industry.”   
       Contributing to the spike in claims is that many U.S.-based insurance providers expanded their standard policies to cover cancellations or delays due to illness, individually ordered quarantines, denied boardings and other events caused by COVID-19 or future epidemics. Previously, only a pricier policy upgrade, Cancel for Any Reason, offered worried travelers such broad protection that it would have covered disruptions from pandemics, but that peace of mind generally increases a policy’s premium 40% to 50%.
       With claims expected to continue rolling in at an blistering pace, how can travelers expedite a claim and avoid mistakes that can prolong resolution? Here are some tips to keep in mind.

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