What Happens When You Get the Wrong Advice in Writing?

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on June 9, 2010

I always advise people to get trip insurance details in writing. But, what would happen if you got the wrong advice in writing and your claim is turned down? It’s hard to believe the travel insurance seller would pay the claim after the travel insurance company denied it.

Here’s something that happened just today, June 9, 2010:

Steve, I am really looking for a product that will allow me a cancellation refund if there is a hurricane threatening one of our cruise’s Ports of Call. Jim

I wrote Jim back with this reply:

There are no travel insurance plans that cover you if there is a hurricane threatening one of your Ports of Call. The reason is because if that were to happen, the cruise line would just skip the port completely.

What you know, but Jim had already received other advice:

So is this information from the other company incorrect?

Jim: Hi Jill .. .what companies offer protection for a cruise being cancelled for a hurricane warning?
Jill: Travel Safe and Global Alert allow you to can 24 hours prior to departure if destination is under hurrican warning. All the other policies have cancellation due to inclement weathe causing complete cessation of services for 24 hours.
Jim: So if I am going on a cruise and one of the ports of call are under a hurricane warning 24 hours before we are to set sail, I can cancel?
Jill: yes
Jim: With those two companies
Jim: ok thank you!
Jill: You’re welcoem’

I wrote Jim back:

Here’s what the TravelSafe Vacation plan’s policy says:

You can cancel your trip within 24 hours of your Scheduled Departure Date and time if your Trip destination is under a Hurricane warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Center, provided the cancellation of your Trip occurs more than 15 days following the effective date of coverage for your plan.

But TravelSafe doesn’t apply this wording to any of your ports of call.

I cannot say how Global Alert covers it.

In addition, as far as I know, there aren’t any policies that offer protection for a cruise being cancelled for a hurricane warning. That’s because the cruise line will bot cancel the cruise just for a hurricane warning. Instead, they will simply not go to the port that’s affected.

Also, what Jill said in this isn’t completely accurate: “All the other policies have cancellation due to inclement weathe causing complete cessation of services for 24 hours.”

She should have said “the other policies have cancellation due to inclement weather causing complete cessation of common carrier services for 24 hours”

I know you’ll understand why I am being picky here. The requirement for the complete cessation of common carrier services means that it’s highly unlikely a hurricane warning will cause that.

Who gave you this advice?

Jim wrote me back with:

That advice was from InsureMyTrip.com

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

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