Q. Due to an unexpected illness, a person in my party cannot take the trip. We're only two weeks out from the travel date and did purchase travel insurance when we initially booked. How do we go about putting that insurance to use?
A. First, congrats for purchasing travel insurance. The most common reason for making claims on such insurance is indeed sudden illness, either experienced by the person buying the insurance or by someone in the traveling party. In order to file a claim, under the fine print of most policies the person who is ill must seek medical attention before the date of travel. You cannot simply tell the insurer that you or your traveling companion is ill and leave it at that. Create a paper trail showing a diagnosis and that medical treatment was sought.