Documentation key to claiming on a travel insurance policy

Pricewatch readers’ queries: Reader’s frustration is understandable but insurance firm not doing anything wrong

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


A reader by the name of Patrick sent us mail about an insurance claim he and his wife had rejected by Allianz Global Assist. “Last year we booked a holiday break for Christmas 2019, with TUI travel to Tenerife, Canary Islands,” he says.

“We paid the full amount for this trip up front, which amounted to €4,759.88. Following our cancellation of this trip, [the tour operator] claimed this amount in full as a cancellation fee.”

He and his wife hold a health insurance policy with Irish Life and the travel insurance element is an add-on and “is apparently farmed out to Alliance Global. We were due to fly out on December 19th. I visited my GP on the 17th. As I had a slight cough, and was seeking some medication to alleviate it while on holiday. But this got progressively worse during the night, with the result that all I was able to do on the morning of the 18th was send an email to TUI to cancel the holiday.”

He says that when he went to make a claim, the company used “a get out clause to reject the claim because I did not visit my GP to get a cert to verify that I was unfit to travel. Now I find this attitude most unreasonable, and impractical within the time frame at my disposal, as it happened on the eve of our proposed departure date of the 19th. The last thing on my mind was to get out of my sick bed to get a cert from my GP, to back up my insurance claim. I find this treatment most unreasonable, I have already run it by the Ombudsman and they could not advance the case any further.”

Now, while we understand our reader’s frustration and accept that losing almost €5,000 is a bitter pill for anyone to swallow – never mind the upsetting loss of the holiday and the fact that he was sick over the Christmas period – the travel insurance company is not doing anything any other company would do in this position.

Anyone who is looking to claim on a travel insurance policy – be it because they are sick or because they have been the victim of a crime – always needs to get their ducks in a row in real time.

People can not simply make the decision to cancel a holiday because they feel unwell, even if they are genuinely unwell enough to travel, and always need to have documentation from a medical professional stating that they are not well enough to take the trip.