I've always been a little skeptical about travel insurance. Over the years numerous anecdotes have convinced myself that insurance companies will do everything to avoid paying a claim. I've even witnessed a health insurance company terminate coverage for breast cancer therapy midway through a patient's treatment plan.
However, in the last 18 months, I've seen a couple of straight-forward travel insurance claims paid in full. Perhaps my cynicism is misplaced. The first occurred two years ago when my parents made a claim for hospital treatment my father received while were in Montreal.
We'd rushed Dad to the hospital after he'd woken with severely swollen legs. At the time doctors suspected he was suffering from DVD. In the weeks preceding his admission we'd made four flights, including one trans-Pacific flight and a trans-continent flight in Canada. After a series of blood tests, anti-clotting injections and an elaborate ultrasound scan the doctor's could find no clots.
Dad was cleared to fly and urged to keep his legs elevated for the remainder of our road trip through Ontario. Extended periods of elevation eventually reduced the swelling and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Dad's treatment cost several thousand dollars. Mum made a claim on travel insurance and was delighted when it was paid in full.
More recently, the rental car that Mum and I used in Cape Town received a minor, but visible, scrape on its rear bumper. I'd declined the rental company's insurance policy as American Express claimed that it would cover any such damage under a policy attached to my card. For years its encouraged cardholders to refuse rental company insurance.
Earlier this month I received a final bill from the rental car for repairs to the bumper. The final cost was a little over $300. I called American Express and asked if this cost could be reimbursed. They said it would and I duly submitted a claim. Last week the claim was paid in full. It's the first time I've ever claimed on a travel insurance policy. I was delighted by this payment and the relatively straight-forward process for making a claim.