These case studies have been modified so as not to identify any actual cases at FIDReC. They are provided for purposes of learning and are not necessarily indicative of outcomes at FIDReC.
Alice purchased a single-trip travel insurance policy ahead of her backpacking trip across Europe.
On the last day of her trip, Alice waited at the train station with her bags placed beside her. A stranger approached her and talked to her. While she was distracted, her bags were whisked away. By the time she realised what happened, the stranger had disappeared into the crowd.
Since her travel documents were in one of the bags, Alice was unable to return to Singapore as planned. She sought the help of the Singapore consulate who arranged for her return to Singapore.
After her return, Alice submitted a claim for her lost property and money. The Insurer declined her claim on the grounds that she had failed to take reasonable steps to safeguard her belongings. Alice decided to approach FIDReC for help.
At the mediation meeting, the Insurer explained that Alice’s claim form stated that she left her bags lying on the floor while speaking with the stranger. Under the policy’s terms and conditions, Alice was negligent as she did not keep her belongings safe.
Alice responded that the train station was crowded, and her bags were heavy. She said it was not possible for her to carry her bags at all times while waiting for the train. She explained that the train had been delayed and she had been waiting for more than half an hour.
After some discussions facilitated by the mediator, the Insurer offered to settle Alice’s claim. Among the lost items, the Insurer noted that Alice had with her a professional DSLR camera and two lenses. The Insurer explained to Alice that it considered the camera and its lenses a set, which was subject to a payout sub-limit of $1,000. Alice rejected the offer as she had invested over $6,000 in her camera equipment.
The case proceeded to adjudication. The Adjudicator carefully considered the available evidence. He found that it was consistent with the policy’s terms and conditions for the sub-limit of $1,000 to apply to the camera and its lenses. He made an award in Alice’s favour, which was the same as the Insurer’s initial proposed settlement terms.
Key Learning Points
- Travel insurance provides coverage for medical emergencies and travel inconveniences, which includes lost property.
- Always take your time to compare when buying a travel insurance policy. Choose an insurance plan that suits your needs.
- If you are carrying expensive items while overseas, make sure that your insurance cover is adequate. All travel insurance policies have limits and sub-limits on most of the benefits offered. You may have to buy additional cover or another insurance policy to cover those items.
- When filing a claim, do provide the insurer with as much relevant information and documents as possible. Failing to be forthcoming or providing insufficient information may affect the success of your claim.
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