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Have Travel Insurers Killed Their Product for Leisure Travel

Have Travel Insurers Killed Their Product for Leisure Travel

Old Apr 2, 20, 2:16 pm
  #1  
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Have Travel Insurers Killed Their Product for Leisure Travel

I'm really taking about the Trip Cancellation insurance for leisure travel, which according to TA's I've spoken with, is simply not being paid with people claiming under government-imposed travel restrictions being denied under "disinclination to travel" clauses. Or that an air travel voucher, rather than a cash refund, relieves the insurers of the need to pay the claims.
I personally have found the carriers and travel partners I've chosen for two (pandemic-cancelled)i international trips have been far more useful than the travel insurance I purchased. So though I've not made a claim myself, careful reading of the policies leads me to the conclusion that they're written in a way to allow the insurer to deny almost any claim. My insurances are through Allianz and Arch.
For example, I have gotten easily obtained 24 month full value vouchers, 110% value vouchers good through 2022, or 1 year vouchers, refundable if not used from my travel providers. Since my intention is to rebook these exact trips next year, this works for me and the ~$750 per trip I spent on insurance will be spent on actual travel next time. I'll probably never purchase cancellation coverage ever again.
I can see for business travel TI might be a proper expense and for leisure international trips Interruption and Evacuation coverage can be useful, assuming the companies respond more responsibly than they have on Cancellations. Considering their behavior this month, not a certainty.
​​​​​​So, what's been your experience? Has your thinking about TI changed? Still think it's something worth buying? Or are you like me thinking that the value of insurance is basically nil if the travel partners are themselves being at least nominally "responsible"?
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Old Apr 2, 20, 4:33 pm
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Like all insurance, the devil is in the details. The world is full of people who purchase travel insurance and never read the policy document itself. Then something goes wrong and they learn that they are not covered for it.

If people want "all perils" coverage, that is what they ought to purchase. Same thing goes for vouchers and other features.
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Old Apr 2, 20, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Like all insurance, the devil is in the details. The world is full of people who purchase travel insurance and never read the policy document itself. Then something goes wrong and they learn that they are not covered for it.

If people want "all perils" coverage, that is what they ought to purchase. Same thing goes for vouchers and other features.
I agree. It's always caveat emptor with insurance, even more so than with other products. Lots of useless coverage being sold in all forms of insurance.
​​​​​​But really what I'm getting at is a product that's been so egregiously oversold that they may themselves have cooked the goose that was laying their golden eggs.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 3:24 pm
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This is a use case where a decent trip insurance broker which curates, compares, and helps educate customers actually comes in handy. That and travel + insurance experience as one ages so you know what you're looking for.

Carriers aren't always as kind as you've been treated and sometimes people won't be able to use a credit or want the cash back. AirNZ automatically gave me 1 year credit/voucher for a non-refundable ticket for NZ domestic travel when they cancelled the flight while I'm here on the US West Coast. It also currently seems like it has to be used on a single trip and any leftover funds will be forfeited. Had it been an earthquake or volcanic ash which made my destination inhospitable instead of a pandemic? Many credit card and purchased travel insurance policies for trip cancellation would cover that ticket's cancellation fee and non-refundable funds. So again, details. Hitting one of the non-insured trip cancellation clauses which isn't that common won't stop me from evaluating if I should get insurance for the next trip and reading the policy + calling with sample scenarios within the refundable period.

I usually buy trip insurance for medical coverage as it has the potential to be the highest unexpected cost item in my trip. There are travel medical policies available, too, which I've also purchased at times and left the trip cancellation & interruption to credit card benefits if the cost is low and minimal risk. If I want trip cancellation then I usually also purchase Cancel For Any Reason. That's best purchased when you book the initial portion of the trip (cruise, airfare, or hotel) so requires some initial outlay and guesswork on total costs.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 2:09 pm
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Like the OP I'll never purchase it again. Generali weeks ago stopped offering the product they should never have sold me in late January, which was a Cadillac plan intended to cover any medical issues on a UK trip I had coming up. I hesitated over the "any reason" plan because it was exorbitantly expensive and only covered 75% of costs.

And it's the way they handled it which rankles - near the first of March they contacted me to tell me they wouldn't be covering anything under the policy, no matter what happens and even if I had gone ahead and taken the trip, because the pandemic had been declared.

They offer a voucher for future travel but, given how they handled this - Why would I ever do business with them again?
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Last edited by divemistressofthedark; Apr 6, 20 at 2:34 pm
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Old Apr 7, 20, 6:38 am
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I filed a claim last month for a medical issue (nothing to do with Covid-19) but no response from the insurer other than they received the claim. I suspect they've been so slammed with Covid-19 related claims that I'll never see a penny of any payment for mine. Makes me wonder if it was worth buying in the first place and whether I should just skip it in the future.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 7:04 am
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I agree insurance seems more and more useless. Unfortunately, it seems impossible for me to ever find a policy that does cover what I want it to. I suppose there's no point in an insurance company offering proper coverage if everyone just buys the coverage anyway.

Originally Posted by divemistressofthedark View Post
near the first of March they contacted me to tell me they wouldn't be covering anything under the policy, no matter what happens and even if I had gone ahead and taken the trip, because the pandemic had been declared.
Does this mean Generali will be refunding your insurance premium, too?
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Old Apr 7, 20, 12:10 pm
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*hollow laugh*

Nope, you can't get a refund, only a voucher which in my mind is useless because I no longer trust them. I'm really thinking about filing a complaint with my state's attorney general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by divemistressofthedark View Post
*hollow laugh*

Nope, you can't get a refund, only a voucher which in my mind is useless because I no longer trust them. I'm really thinking about filing a complaint with my state's attorney general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Yea...figured they wouldn't offer such. But I sure as heck would file that complaint and/or a chargeback (so long as there's anything in the agreement that would support it).

Last edited by TBD; Apr 7, 20 at 5:03 pm
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Old Apr 22, 20, 11:30 am
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Most fine print excludes "war, pandemics, etc" I have a yearly policy with allianz which specifically includes plus includes preexisting diease (if one month from Rx) Avoid airline
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Old May 8, 20, 1:16 pm
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Update: Looks like Generali has received so many complaints they've shut down comments on their Facebook page. When I complained on Twitter, they blocked me.

I really have a beef with them. One of their executives called me (like an idiot I didn't write his name down, sure wish I had) and told me I was eligible to file for an exception since the airlines cancelled my flights, etc. and I won't be filing a claim. So I did all the paperwork, including proofs of cancellations, sent it all in, and.... No refund because one of the hotels offered me a voucher instead of a refund.

What the heck?! A.) In contrast with what Mr. Executive told me, B.) This voucher is less than 10% of the trip cost, C.) What difference does it make? Generali sent me an email back in March saying they were invalidating my policy. Obviously they're just looking for a loophole to keep my money. Hope they go bankrupt. I'll be writing my electeds with this experience in case they come calling to Congress asking for a bailout.

(Again, Generali should never have sold me this policy in late January; they shouldn't have told me I was eligible for an exception if I'm not; they shouldn't be taking weeks to reply to consumers; and they shouldn't be locking down social media to try to control unhappy consumers from telling others what ripoff artists they are.)
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Last edited by divemistressofthedark; May 13, 20 at 12:47 pm
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Old May 9, 20, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by divemistressofthedark View Post
Update: Looks like Generali has received so many complaints they've shut down comments on their Facebook page.

I really have a beef with them. One of their executives called me (like an idiot I didn't write his name down, sure wish I had) and told me I was eligible to file for an exception since the airlines cancelled my flights, etc. and I won't be filing a claim. So I did all the paperwork, including proofs of cancellations, sent it all in, and.... No refund because one of the hotels offered me a voucher instead of a refund.
Hey - you're doing better than me! At least you got a response. Not what you wanted maybe, but at least a response. I've received zilch in the way of response or payment from Trip Mate. And mine had nothing to do with Covid-19, flight/hotel cancellations or anything to do with the pandemic. The insurers will probably go bankrupt before even getting around to looking at my claim. I'm not happy, and see no reason to ever buy insurance again.
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Old May 9, 20, 9:23 am
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divems: did you contact the airplane

here’s one basic rule regarding airline cancellation policies: if the airline makes the change, you’re due a refund. If you make the change before they actually cancel the flight, you are not. This is true whether or not the airline offers “flexible cancellation policies”.
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Old May 13, 20, 12:57 pm
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Sorry to hear it Flyingmama! In my case I would up filing complaints with my state's insurance commissioner, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates. I CC'd it all to my electeds (in case of the bailout application) and to one of Generali's executives. It could be that this company is allowed to keep my money but they're not doing it without a fight.

(Again: Yes, I understand pandemic is an excluded condition for most travel insurance policies. But don't contact me and tell me I'm eligible for a refund of the policy because I can't take the trip/won't be filing a claim, then use a loophole to go back on what you said, then refuse to answer the phone or reply to emails in an even somewhat timely manner.)

Also, it's absolutely unconscionable that Generali Travel is blocking disgruntled consumers on social media. All an insurance company has is its word - and people ought to be informed who they can trust and who they shouldn't count on, to, say, bail them out of an emergency when stranded overseas or similar. And it's really, really a bummer that Generali has gone downhill, their precursor CSA Travel was terrific.

Oh, and, knownothing (love your username tho I doubt it's true! ) This is a beef I'm having with Generali Travel Insurance. We got a full refund from the airline and all our hotels except for one which gave a voucher (and it's a special circumstance: a B&B tied to my family's history in Scotland and I *will* make it over there as soon as it's safe to fly). Generali told me I could get my policy refunded, then went back on their word, and I can't even argue with them over it because they're impossible to reach.

They're offering vouchers for policies on rescheduled trips, but I don't want a voucher from them - since I would never in a million years trust them at this point to save me in a travel related emergency.
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Old May 14, 20, 8:28 am
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Dive (like yourname too) It seems like you got all refunded except for the insurance policy?
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