Tuesday 5 May 2015

Insurance company has rejected my theft claim – what can I do?

Siobhán Howe

Published 07/03/2014 | 02:30

Holiday advice: Take care of your belongings and read the small print on your travel insurance policy
Holiday advice: Take care of your belongings and read the small print on your travel insurance policy

QUESTION: I recently returned from holiday. When I was away, my hotel room was broken into and my laptop and some jewellery were taken.

I had taken out travel insurance before I left, so, when I returned home, I sent my claim into the insurance company and included a report from the hotel confirming that the theft had happened on their property.

But my insurance company has rejected my claim. They say that I failed to meet some of the terms and conditions. Can they do this? I had insurance in case something like this happened. But now it seems that was a waste of money.

ANSWER: The terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy set out the steps you need to take to make a claim and these can differ widely, depending on your insurance provider. For example, some policies will insist that you get a police report, fully translated, within a certain timeframe.

Many policies also require you to contact the company's emergency assistance line as soon as possible after the event, in order for your claim to be accepted.

With travel insurance, it is very important to read your policy before you travel so you are fully aware of these conditions in advance. This means that, in the event of a theft or an accident, you can follow the correct steps to make a claim.

Your insurance company must write to explain the reasons why your claim was refused and give you details of how to appeal the decision. If you are not happy with the outcome, you can contact the Financial Services Ombudsman.

If you have another insurance policy, for example home insurance, check and see if you have cover on this that you might be able to claim under.

GOT A QUESTION FOR SIOBHAN? EMAIL showe@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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