A recent travel insurance news article about a couple who planned an Alaskan cruise and purchased trip insurance protection highlights the need for those who purchase travel insurance to obtain their policy certificate and use the free look period to understand the rules to follow.
The article describes how Peggy and Clifford Williams were forced to cancel their cruise because Peggy was stricken with a bout of vertigo, a condition that strikes without warning and leaves her dizzy and severely nauseous. Peggy was familiar with what to do to counteract the effects of vertigo, so she took her medication and stayed in bed.
Why the Trip Cancellation Claim was Rejected
Knowing that Peggy was not up to a cruise, the Williams’ cancelled their trip. Their claim was initially rejected because Peggy hadn’t seen a doctor immediately and the travel insurance company was unable to verify treatment for any illness. To be fair, the insurance company has to protect their investment as well, and the policy indicated that sicknesses must be verified by a physician before the insured terminates the trip.
The policy’s language was very clear, however, Peggy was able to go to the doctor, prove that she missed work the day of the cancellation, and verify her condition in writing with the travel insurance company who later reviewed their decision and paid the couple’s claim.
What you can do to Avoid Trip Cancellation Confusion
To avoid this situation, you can use the free review period to understand the covered and not covered reasons for trip cancellation. Every policy varies slightly, but if the reason isn’t specifically listed in the policy as a covered reason, then you can be sure it’s not covered. You can research the plans that provide trip cancellation coverage and the reasons they cover cancellations.
The key to this story is that the couple should have known that they couldn’t cancel their trip without first having Peggy visit a doctor. It was clearly stated in the policy and the couple was lucky the travel insurance provider decided to honor their claim.