Patience Is Sometimes Required When Filing Travel Insurance Claims

by Richard D’Ambrosio
Patience Is Sometimes Required When Filing Travel Insurance Claims

Photo: Shutterstock.com


A cruise passenger on Medicare ended up in the onboard sick bay for two days, receiving medications and requiring x-rays. When he got home, he was hit with a bill for nearly $6,000.

That made him sweat a lot more than the 103-degree temperature he had onboard the Oceania MS Marina. His travel agent had helped him purchase $25,000 worth of medical coverage from Allianz Global Assistance for the cruise (for $789), because he was fully aware his Medicare coverage would not be valid in international waters.

When he returned from the cruise, he promptly sent the medical records and invoice from Oceania to Allianz and started a claim. After two weeks, Allianz told him the claim was still under review. After another week, the Boca Raton, Florida, resident finally wrote to travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, asking for help.

Allianz had sent him a request for an explanation of benefits from his primary and supplemental insurance, but being on Medicare, he can't file a claim from out of the country, so he couldn’t provide Allianz with the information they were requesting.

He was caught in a Catch 22, and now he was concerned because he had already paid Oceania’s bill for $5,929.

“How long can Allianz drag this on? It advertises quick claim resolution, and states that it reviews claims in seven to ten days,” he wrote. “I would consider that to be untrue.”

Elliott investigated and explained how travel insurance claims work in situations like this. Contacting Allianz as a journalist, Elliott found out that the company “really needed you to file a claim with your primary insurance carrier, Medicare, even though the claim would be denied. Rules are rules.”

“Travel insurance works in a deliberate — often painfully deliberate — way. An adjuster needs to verify that you're not covered by other insurance and complete other kinds of due diligence before cutting a check.

“Travel insurance companies can fast-track claims of under $100, in my experience, but for something like this, they really need to cross the t's and dot the i's.”

In cases like this, Elliott recommends that travelers contact someone higher up at their travel insurance provider. He provides a list of customer service executives with numbers and email addresses on his consumer advocacy site.

  2
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Five Best Travel Destinations to Visit Between Seasons

1. Zambia

2. Fiji

3. Rome

4. Hawaii

5. Niagara

Source: GQ

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=a6408f73-01c0-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

What Agents Need To Consider When Partnering With a Supplier

From loyalty and dependability to customer service and product innovation, choosing which suppliers to do business with is vital to success.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Four Travel Agents Shake Up Their Business Models for 2019
Four Travel Agents Shake Up Their Business Models for 2019

Whether it’s reconsidering brick-and-mortar, looking for new ways to retain talent, or reaching out to ‘social influencers,’ it’s always a good time to consider innovation.

Majority of Americans Plan to Work with a Travel Agent
Majority of Americans Plan to Work with a Travel Agent

AAA study reveals that 75 percent of Americans will utilize the services of a travel professional to plan their vacations over the next year, with Millennials just as likely as Boomers to do so.

Tapping into Your Clients’ Style Sense Can Improve Your Hotel Bookings
Tapping into Your Clients’ Style Sense Can Improve Your Hotel Bookings

As independent boutique hotels and soft lodging brands proliferate, more travelers are inspired to redesign their homes after returning from a vacation. For travel agents, that’s an opportunity to create greater customer loyalty.

How One Traveler Became a Loyal Travel Agent Client
How One Traveler Became a Loyal Travel Agent Client

Heather Speizman booked direct with airlines and hotels, or through online travel agencies—until she met Anastasia Damianeas.

Harley Davidson’s Ken Schmidt Offers Advice for Travel Agents
Harley Davidson’s Ken Schmidt Offers Advice for Travel Agents

‘If the people you are serving aren’t telling others about what you are doing for them, you are not competing. And they are not coming back,’ says the turnaround artist who brought Harley from the brink of bankruptcy.

When Travel Plans Changed, Industry Veteran’s Knowledge Saved Him Money
When Travel Plans Changed, Industry Veteran’s Knowledge Saved Him Money

Jim Smith has more than 45 years in the travel industry. That experience came in handy when an online hotel booking had to be canceled.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line