‘Claims are settled within 7 working days’

One can reach out to the international assistance centre to start the claim procedure

Policy holders generally have a lot of questions on the procedure to be followed in invoking international travel claims. Sanjay Datta, Chief Underwriting, Claims and Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, in an interview with BusinessLine, elaborates the steps involved in settling the claims.

What is the procedure to invoke a claim?

The procedure for claim is fairly simple. The best mode is to go through the international assistance centre. The contact numbers are given along with the travel policy document and people are available 24x7 for assistance across the globe. But providing for assistance will depend largely on the type of claim a policy holder initiates.

With ICICI Lombard, we have what are called ‘alarm’ centres. A policy holder can reach out to these centres by giving the policy number, and we can provide services such as consultation, if required, or medical assistance.

In any case, you can either call or register your claim online. For instance, in the case of lost baggage, you can either make the claim immediately in the foreign country or on return to India, after which the insurance company will compensate you.

How are emergency medical expenses covered?

There are two types of medical emergencies. One, when an individual consults a doctor as an outpatient and then decides on the treatment. This is common in the case of a fracture or some minor surgery or severe stomach-related ailments. Two, when the policyholder has to be hospitalised. In such cases, we could guide him to a hospital or he could go to a hospital of his choice. The assistance centre activates the claim to make it cashless.

The insurance companies provide guarantee of payment to the hospital and the expenses are borne by the company. Both pre and post-hospitalisation expenses will be taken care of by the insurer. However, if the expenses are minor or the injury is minor, the policyholder can bear the charges and make the claim later. These services can be got only in the case of emergencies and not for a routine check-up.

If the policyholder had met with an accident, the insurance company will compensate him/her. This is personal accident cover — it is a benefit amount and not a reimbursement. However, there are various clauses associated with personal accident claim, such as loss of toes or loss of hearing or permanent disability. But if there is a claim arising out pre-existing medical condition, it will not be covered by the travel policy.

When can a policyholder claim for personal liability?

Personal liability is when a policyholder has to meet the expenses or compensate a third-party due to bodily injury or damage to property. That is, for example one could have met with an accident while driving, causing damage to someone else’s car or property. Then, you are liable to bear the expenses and the insurance company will cover those expenses. This is not to be confused with breaking the laws of a country.

No insurance company will provide cover for that. Personal liability claim basically helps meet your expenses of, say, a lawyer’s fee. The claim for this will be settled immediately or reimbursed later.

What about claim for non-medical expenses?

Non-medical expenses include baggage loss or baggage delay, flight delay and cancellation and hijack-related expenses. In the case of baggage claim, the standard procedure is to make the claim on return to the home country; however, immediate settlement is made, depending on the circumstances of policyholder.

A policy holder has to submit certain documents that include a report from the common carrier on the baggage lost or delay, statement furnishing details of the items in your baggage and voucher from the common carrier regarding compensation due, whether paid by the carrier or not.

Upon flight cancellation due to contingencies, the claim is settled immediately to the policyholder. One can reach out to the assistance centre to start the claim procedure.

How many days does it take to process a claim?

Normally, claims are settled within a maximum of seven working days. Claim after the deductible, wherever applicable, is paid back.

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