State helps clear up travel insurance confusion

For last weekend’s edition of the Dominion Post (13 September 2014), we helped financial agony aunt Janine Starks respond to a State travel customer who suffered a heart attack while overseas and wanted to know why meal costs were not covered by their policy, but medical and accommodation expenses were paid.

Whether meal costs are covered as part of a medical claim is a common point of confusion for many travellers. In general, it will depend on whether meals were an extra cost as a result of a medical event i.e. the insured was away from home for longer than planned and so had to pay for additional  food.  If the insured spent less, or no more time away, than first planned, then meal costs are unlikely to be covered as insurers would expect travellers to have planned to eat for this period and so cover the cost of meals themselves.

Traveller unwell

However, State does consider meal costs on a case by case basis, so we would encourage our customers, if they are dissatisfied with any aspect of their claim settlement, to discuss this with their claims handler at the point of making the claim.

We always advise customers to check their specific policy wording carefully in respect to cover and if they have any questions, they should speak with their insurer.

Read Janine’s full response here.

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