Monday, November 14, 2011

The Neophyte's Guide to Travel Insurance

     I think that I have written on my blog that I am your basic travel virgin. Oh, I go places now and then, mostly then, but don't travel far and wide like many of my friends. So, to my credit, this was my first Travel Insurance experience. You can see by the picture of Ashlee and Cory, why I wanted to see them. They are adorable, are they not?
My Ashlee and Cory! Love them so much!

Original Loopholes
     I must say I am rather confused. I thought that Travel Insurance would help if I had to cancel my tickets due to unforeseen circumstances. That is why I bought it. In case I could not fly to see Cory and Ashlee this weekend. Travel Insurance is the Land of the Original Loopholes. I did not pass the test. So for those of you who have not stepped into No Man's Land, let me remind you of what I have endured... Well we had to cancel our trip to Louisville this weekend. The powers that be were conspiring against us on this one. 
       First of all, I have been plagued with a major cough for a couple of weeks. I have been to the doctor twice, tried a number of medications and today I had a chest x-ray. It did not look good for the trip. 
Talking to Insurance People
     Secondly, my daughter-in-law, Ashlee :) had a death in her family. Her stepfather's grandmother passed away this weekend. Between my illness and the loss of grandmother, it just seemed like the trip needed to be cancelled. We had no doubt about that. But the insurance company, while very sympathetic, had no provision to help us with the fees we would incur from the cancellation of the flight.
     The customer service rep was lovely. She tried every combination of our situation but my wheezing and grandma's passing meant squat to the insurance company. I began to feel like George Costanza on the episode of Seinfeld where he tried to get a deal on a flight by getting a death certificate of someone he had never known. 
     Here is my advice if you ever plan to get travel insurance...
     1. Read the entire plan. Go over it with your attorney.
     2. Make sure you don't have an pre-existing conditions. (this leaves me out because I AM a pre-existing condition)
     3. If anyone dies in your family make sure it is a close relative and it would be helpful if the family you are going to visit lives out of the U.S. That is an advantage for your claim.
     I tried to do the right thing. We cancelled as soon as we could. 5 days before the flight so that they could re-book those seats. Ah well.
     I now have extra time to read all the paragraphs in the policy about "Exclusions." In the meantime I am sad we cannot go, but it is good for me to rest and get well.  I thought it was humorous at the end of my conversation with the customer service agent. She finished telling me that my policy that I had printed out was worth nada other than the ream of paper it took to print. I had just made my only snide comment of the conversation. "Now I can see how the insurance companies make their money."
     Then she asked me to complete a survey. I did.


Anonymous said...

Well that's a bummer....hope you feel better soon.

Bodacious Boomer said...

Sorry your trip got cancelled; but I'm not at all surprised by how you got screwed on the travel insurance. I'd heard about problems with those those companies before.

I hope you kick that chest thing soon and get to see the kiddos.