We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

We a family of 4 living in the UK had a booked a holiday to France for next week, but due to the sudden demise of one of my wife's parent who was living in India, we had to cancel our trip before the trip start date. When I contacted the insurance company to ask about the claim, I was told that they won't cover this trip cancellation as the reason was due to a death in the family not in the home country of the persons insured (i.e us family). But I can't really understand this as the policy wording not explicitly state this reason as not applicable. Does anyone have any experience of this and what type of insurance would have covered this scenario? Any suggestions/solutions most welcome. Many Thanks

7 replies to this topic
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18,350 posts
106 reviews
1. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

I’m sorry for your and your wife’s loss..

You need to read the policy definition of an “ Immediate Relative” , because some U.K. underwritten and U.K. marketed policies are very specific about the family relationships, and countries of domicile of those relatives, which they are prepared to cover in terms of cover for the cancellation of your holiday consequent on the illness or death of a family member.

All U.K. travel policies must, by law, have a Complaints Procedure, giving a clear route of how to escalate your grievance, and the policy will also explain your right, if the company maintains their denial of liability, to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.. but you must ask the insurer, or their Claims Handling Company, for their “ Final Business Decision “ in writing, and they must do so within a certain time period from receiving your complaint.

Your complaint doesn’t need to be in writing, It can be by phone, but it’s better if you do write to them, because it creates a clearer paper trail.

If the insurer or their delegated authority Claims Handling company still rejects your claim, you have the right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which is free, impartial, and very easy to access.

Here’s a link to it..

https:/…default.htm

I hope his helps..

Kind regards, and my condolences,

Mondial

2. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

Thank you very much for your response. The policy wording for the pre travel cancellation of the trip states "trip cancelled due to the death of a close family in their home country". The insurer is interpreting this "home country" as UK in this case because we live in the UK. But nowhere they have defined the "home country". Thanks for your suggestion on the grievance route if the insurer doesn't give a favourable or clear response to the claim. Thanks

QQ2
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
10,138 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

I think you need to escalate this according to whatever claims procedure is available to you. Off the type of my head, "in their home country" would seem to me to be a reference to the home country of the deceased, not the insured. And if it WAS a reference to the home country of the insured, why doesn't it instead say "in the home country of the insured?" Your and my interpretation also seems to make more sense from a common-sense, insurance business standpoint -- an insurance company probably doesn't want to have to reimburse your trip cancellation if your parent dies while bungee jumping in New Zealand (or the UK), preferring to reimburse only while the parent was going about his or her normal affairs in his or her home country. On the other hand, maybe this provision is intended to cover only family members who live in the UK, in which case I would certainly hope the exclusions section (which we have in US, but you may not have in the UK) would include as an exclusion the death of any close family members not resident in the UK. But I don't know anything aboaut UK insurance law; I just think you need to take advantage of whatever claims procedure is available.

I am very sorry for your loss, and also sorry questions like this arise during such a difficult time.

UK
Level Contributor
9,718 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

No matter how you interpret "home country"... I can't see how such an exclusion can possibly be lawful.

If a death of a parent outside the UK is not covered then that would discriminate against those whose roots are not in the UK. We've had anti-discrimination laws in place since about the 1980s.

And in any case what's the definition of a "home country"? Is it where you live, is it where you were born?

And if you have to cancel a holiday because a parent has died - why should the parent's place of residence matter?

OP, I would definitely escalate this... and I would even consider getting my MP or the press involved, as this is unlawful discrimination.

And sorry about your loss!

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18,350 posts
106 reviews
5. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

The “ Home Country” of a person is usually interpreted to mean the place where they are permanently domiciled, ie, the place where they usually live.

No reason to get an MP or the press involved, when it’s a simple matter to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service,( FOS) which is what it was set up for.

The FOS Adjudicator has the ability to look not only at the exact wording of a policy, but to interpret what the spirit of the wording intends, and to compare those interpretations against what a “ reasonable person” would deduce from it.

I think the OP has a perfectly reasonable expectation that cover would be in place for the death of his wife’s parent and for the financial losses sustained by the cancellation of the holiday which subsequently ensued from the bereavement.

If the FOS Adjudicator doesn’t uphold the complaint, and the policyholder remains dissatisfied, he can ask for the matter to be referred to an actual Ombudsman, and none of those stages would prevent the OP from issuing proceedings against the insurer via the Small Claims Track of the County Court.... here...

https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

I spent 30 years in the travel insurance industry before I retired ( as a Consultant in Emergency Medical Assistance & the Claims which flowed from the cases, I was involved in ) for a number of insurance, companies, charities, NGO’s etc, and I know that nothing concentrates a Claims Manager’s mind more effectively than receiving a Summons!

Good luck to the OP...

Mon

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Austria
Level Contributor
27,743 posts
81 reviews
6. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

without seeing the wording of the policy, people can only speculate. however, as the travel policy is in the name and with the address of the traveller (UK), i would imagine that the definition of "home country" refers to a death occurring in the home country of the INSURED ( the UK) ?

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18,350 posts
106 reviews
7. Re: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country

If the Insuring Clause, as quoted by the OP in post #2 , is quoted verbatim, then I believe there to be sufficient of an ambiguity for the FOS to find in his favour, because “ Contra Preferentem” would apply.

Reply to: Insurance claim when a parent living in a different country
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted