Purchasing travel insurance can be throwing money away
Disclaimer: I have no intention of harming the companies where I did the booking or the company that offered the insurance therefore I won’t name them on this article.
If you ever purchased a plane ticket or booked a hotel, in many of these travel web applications you have also been offered for travel insurance.
Insurance can be a handy thing especially when you are faced with unpredicted scenarios such as getting sick or having an accident while traveling, but it is not to be used with everything.
I have recently booked a hotel for an upcoming trip and like always insurance was offered. It was not a great amount of cash and, given that the unexpected can happen, decided to purchase that too.
It wasn’t long till the unexpected happened. The Airline has changed the trip schedule and everything had to be canceled. The hotel that was booked needed also to be canceled but, as in many other hotels, no cancellation was allowed, I was going to lose the hotel booking and all the cash invested in it.
That’s when I believed that I could use the insurance to cover me on the lost hotel booking.
Opened a claim and, for my surprise, it was denied.
This is what the adjuster returned to me:
“The purpose of this letter is to advise you of our position with respect to coverage for the above referenced claim.
We value you as a customer and appreciate your business; however, we must inform you that there is no coverage under the policy for the claim presented. According to the information provided, you filed a claim because your trip was cancelled or interrupted due to airline related reasons. Unfortunately, this reason does not fall within one of the named, covered perils on the policy.
Please refer to the policy wording, which states in pertinent part:
TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION
The Company will reimburse the Insured a benefit, up to the Maximum Limit shown in the Schedule or Declarations Page if an Insured cancels his/her Trip or is unable to continue on his/her Trip due to any of the following Unforeseen events:
(a) Sickness, Injury or death of an Insured, Family Member, Traveling Companion or Business Partner;
(1) Sickness or Injury of an Insured, Traveling Companion or Family Member traveling with the Insured must be so disabling as to reasonably cause a Trip to be canceled or interrupted or which results in medically imposed restrictions as certified by a Physician at the time of Loss preventing your continued participation in the Trip;
(2) Sickness or Injury of a Family Member not traveling with the Insured;
(3) Sickness or Injury of the Business Partner must be so disabling as to reasonably cause the Insured to cancel or interrupt the Trip to assume daily management of the business. Such disability must be certified by a Physician.
(b) the Insured’s Primary Residence being made Uninhabitable or Inaccessible by Natural Disaster, vandalism or burglary;
© the Insured, or Traveling Companion is hijacked, quarantined, subpoenaed, required to serve on a jury or required to appear as a witness in a legal action, provided the Insured or a Traveling Companion is not: 1) a party to the legal action; or 2) appearing as a law enforcement officer;
(d) the Insured or Traveling Companion is involuntarily terminated or laid off through no fault of his or her own provided that he or she has been an active employee for the same employer for at least 1 year. Termination must occur following the effective date of coverage. This provision is not applicable to temporary employment, seasonal employment, independent contractors or self-employed persons;
(e) the Insured and/or Traveling Companion is directly involved in a traffic accident, substantiated by a police report, while en route to the Insured’s Destination.
Because the reason listed does not fall within the scope of coverage provided by this policy, we have determined that we are unable to extend payment on your claim.”
I was disappointed, but I have honestly not read the fine print. Based on this, something that I would consider to be common, like not being able to make to the flight in time or having your trip being canceled on you, would not be covered.
Before you add that insurance on your travel, read the fine print, you might not be covered as you would expect.
UPDATE: An happy end to the story
After going back and forth with the Travel Insurance company and, even after this article, attempting just to get what is right by principle, I gave up on the fight and decided to formally contact the 3 companies involved with this: The travel agency, the hotel and the insurance agency.
I have sent a long email, which described the experience and my final decision of not doing business anymore with the travel insurance company. I shared this email, as a sincere FYI to the hotel and travel agency so they could see how one’s decision was enough to cause a huge headache and how it all came about.
The travel agency contacted me today and said that they would go above and beyond to ensure that they could solve this. One hour later they returned and said: “we managed to cancel the hotel reservation for you and sorry for any trouble”.
I’m happy, not because of being able to get my money back (that makes me happy too, regardless of the amount), but because someone understood the principle behind the request of canceling the reservation.
It only takes one to make a difference so thank you very much, Beverly, you deserve an award for going above and beyond.
The reservation was canceled, I got my money back and learned that hope will always be there because there will always be persons willing to do what is right.
About doing business again with these 3 companies, well, one got my respect back, the other 2, if it depends on me, they won’t see my money ever again.