Friday, November 6, 2009

Swine Flu Insurance Procedures

What actions to take between contracting swine flu and making a travel insurance claim.

Firstly, ensure that the chosen travel insurance policy does not have a pandemic exclusion clause, because this would not cover swine flu. Thankfully most insurance providers no longer use this clause, meaning that redeemable costs incurred from swine flu (H1N1) are now just as applicable as any other form of illness.

Government travel advice (e.g. From the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK, or the US Department of State in America) typically invokes an automatic refund for package holidays booked through tour operators when advice is issued against travel to a stated country.

However, if searching for cheaper deals by purchasing flights, hotels and travel arrangements independently, then without any travel agent or tour operator affiliation with ATOL or equivalent industry body, unfortunately these purchases are treated as individual products, meaning that government travel advice will not result in a direct refund. To recover these sums it is necessary to make a claim through a travel insurance provider.

Swine flu will most commonly be catered for in a travel insurance policy under the cancellation clause. It does not matter which member of the group travelling together catches it, as long as they are included in the policy.

To validate the authenticity of the cancelled trip, it is important to get written confirmation from a doctor. But beware that many surgeries will refuse patients with this condition and instead refer them to a telephone based service in order to reduce the spread of H1N1 to medical staff.

If an airline refuses to allow a passenger to board a flight because suspected flu symptoms; they should get written confirmation of this decision from the airline immediately. This documentation will be key to later proving the actual events, otherwise, it could be assumed the flight was missed due to lateness or personal disorganisation.

Technorati tags; travel insurance, pandemic exclusion clause, swine flu.

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