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GeezerCouple

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  1. Insurance is a regulated industry, at least in each USA state. Have any of you considered filing a complaint with your state's Insurance Commissioner's Office. We had trouble with a property claim (nothing to do with travel), and the driver's insurer was being, er, non-responsive. Our agent was also having trouble with them. A driver had driven off the road, onto our property, and wiped out a fence and some small trees and other plantings. The other insurer just would not pay our hefty deductible. (We had joked, "Do they think our fence and trees jumped in front of that car!??", but of course IF we had such clever possessions, the "accident" would have happened on the street, right!?) Once we mentioned something like how this delay was no longer acceptable... "and we think we have no choice but to file a complaint with <our state's> Insurance Commissioner's Office, guess what!? Yup, a rather quick reply about how our claim was now being processed, and within a week, we had the check. It shouldn't come to that, but... it did... And it made a difference. Might be worth a try. Squeaky wheel and all, etc., with a little extra "kick"? Or if you purchased your policy through an insurance broker, ask them to help. ETA: Just noticed another thread where someone DID get help from their state Attorney General's office! GC
  2. We've had several travel insurance payouts, and all but two included a cruise. Two of the claims were quite large, including full payment of cruise (suite level), which was the biggest single part of the claim. But there were also some non-cancellable hotel reservations, fees for changing air flights, and some other pre-paid non-cancellable costs. With the proper documentation, there was no problem collecting. We do also get "cancel for any reason" (CFAR) but never used that, yet. Many of the complaints - not all - about travel insurance "not paying" involve "not reading the fine print", and either making a claim for some non-covered cost, or not submitting the appropriate documentation. The latter includes times when someone has a medical reason, but doesn't have the proper medical-professional receipts and diagnoses. In some cases, we've had to submit a lot of documentation, because our payments had been spread out over many months and also several different charge cards. In one case, we had trouble getting the right translation of some physician receipts, but finally got those. At this point, we are again "ahead", having collected more in insurance payments than we paid for the policies, and this includes that significant extra charge for the CFAR coverage. We sort of started out "ahead", UNfortunately, having read here about travel insurance *just* before DH's first cruise. And he had a medical emergency less than 2 weeks before our planned departure date, so we were in 100% penalty. Kudos to Steve and the others at Trip Insurance Store (TIS), for helping us quickly to figure out what type of policy would be best for us, and which insurer to use. That was Travel Insured, and because of their good service that first time, we've insured with them every other time, with one exception. (That exception was for a trip we didn't expect to make, but made a reservation anyway. So we missed TI's deadline for the CFAR coverage. We insured, including CFAR, with a different insurer recommended by TIS, but didn't have a claim.) The payouts for that first trip, plus one other big $ cancellation and several "medium" sized claims, have totaled more that all of the premiums, including for policies for which there weren't claims. And MANY thanks to many of those here on CC who also helped us learn about some of the details and choices for travel insurance, and so much more! NOTE: We are older, and have some pre-existing conditions, so that may be different from someone younger and healthier, although "anything can happen", etc. (In retrospect, we would have gotten travel insurance when we were younger, had we known about it. We didn't learn about it until joining CC!). And we had a *very* elderly MIL we were always worried about. More than a year ago, we did need to cancel a major trip (our largest claim to date) due to her medical emergency. Unfortunately, she passed about 2 weeks ago, approximately 5 weeks short of her 100th birthday... GS
  3. First, when you phoned AIG, what did they say? Second, how did you pay for your trip? If it was a charge card, there may have been a chance to make a dispute, but you may have missed a deadline - or not. That would depend upon the terms of the card vendor. Note that in cases like this, the "number of days from the problem event" may be the date of the cancellation, not the date of your initial payment... when the "item purchased" is to be delivered in the future, etc. For the future, IF you had (or still can) been able to file a dispute with the card *after* making good faith attempts to get a refund from the trip vendor(s), then often the card company will have a lot more luck with them. (That can include if they find in your favor, they just would withhold that amount when the trip vendor(s) file other charges, but it's not restricted to that.) Some travel insurance turns out not to cover bankruptcy/etc., of the travel vendor(s), but the charge company would probably be a good backup on that. This is a reason we ALWAYS use a good charge card for major purchases/trips. Amex tends to be especially customer friendly/helpful with respect to this type of problem/dispute, especially when it is clear-cut. Can you check what the terms are of the charge card you used? CALL them ASAP to ask and to start the dispute so you don't inadvertently miss any deadline while you are investigating. GC
  4. What insurance company do you use? We use Travel Insured, and if there has been no loss (and presumably the cruise line refunded your money after changing the rules, etc.), we are able to apply any premium for a cancelled cruise to another cruise. There are some time constraints, but thus far, we've been able to do it. See if your insurer has something similar. GC
  5. This has always been required for our claims, be they cruises or airfare or hotels. The insurer had the right to make sure that the claim is really for a loss, etc. I think for cruises, the cancellation acknowledgment shows that the cancellation date was in the "no refund" time frame (e.g., 60 days before departure or whatever). ETA: This was the case even when we used a travel agent. They just forwarded the regular docs from the cruise line, etc. GC
  6. When we asked about this once, applying a credit to a new trip that we wanted to insure, we were told that the policy we wanted would *not* allow us to use the "21 day window" from the application of the credit. It still would have needed to be within 21 days of the actual first *payment*. So we had to make a new deposit for the next trip. We've needed to make claims on several trips, and so we just could not risk having a policy/claim that might be denied. I know this is a bit late, but is there any way that you can make a fresh deposit, and have that credit applied later? (Then you probably couldn't include that credit if you made a claim, but that would be the least of your problems in a case like that, I'd think.) We have been very careful to make absolutely sure that we kept to all of the terms of any policy, and our claims have always been paid without any nonsense. But do check about *your* policy, and yes, DO get any answer in writing. That's critical! Good luck. GC
  7. Exactly. I was reading these posts as thought the new Master and crew were getting ready for the "next sailing", not just moving the ship to where the sanitizing/cleaning will take place. They don't need full crew for that, without any passengers. GC
  8. I thought the Diamond Pricess was going to be out of commission for some time, per the RFP and cleaning plans announced. So the new Master will be waiting int the luxury (?) of a hotel for quite some time!?? I hope he/she has a good supply of reading material and videos, etc. GC
  9. First, how serious are the allergies? Do you need to keep an EpiPen with you at all times, like with peanut allergies whre anaphylactic shock can occur (which is life-threatening)? If so, I'd contact the Seattle office of Hurtigruten to discuss with them. On our coastal roundtrip 2 years ago, there were four others at the table next to us. Between the 6 of us, there seemed to be quite a few food allergies, and all were handled very well. The protocol is to check the dinner menu at about lunch time, and if there are any food items that are not okay (or even that you just don't like!), speak with the manager there, and discuss a substitute. We all found them very easy to deal with. But none of us had to deal with the "food must not even touch the plate" or any cross-contamination concerns. In my case, we had notified Hurtigruten when we made our reservations, so I didn't even have to check every day - although I did just in case I didn't like something. (But the food was truly wonderful, and I say that as a picky eater!) As mentioned elsewhere in a response, breakfast and lunch are buffet style, so you can choose what you want, and avoid the rest. However, buffets might be potentially troublesome if even slight cross-contamination is a concern, because obviously the kitchen staff/servers would not have real control over that once the food is "out". I think most places are quite alert these days about food allergies, including contamination. [Even in Japan, with some of the very elaborate food preparation and presentation - *and* with language issues - my food allergy was handled very well, and they had substitutes already placed for me.] But again... this wasn't a life-or-death potential anaphylactic shock problem, which is obviously more serious (even though my situation could land me in the hospital). Enjoy the trip. We hope we can return some day. It was wonderful! GC
  10. Yeah.... <semi joke alert> Well, in the past, wasn't there a link with with a virus and poultry? Hence, it is obvious we should be wary of eggs (including... cooked eggs!??)... And yup, I thought about the wet market (glad I've never been to one of those, and not because of the virus, although that, too!)... Hence, it's obvious we should be wary of any meat, including from cows, and with meat that is cooked (okay, ground meat, like hamburgers, do present a specific type of risk in some situations, true). I'm going to be VERY careful, next time I'm in Whole Foods or Stop and Shop, about the source of my bat steaks! 😱 But seriously, this is really becoming worrisome. We have time to cancel our next two cruises without penalty, and IF things settle down, we could probably re-book again (and, hey, probably at a tidy discount, eh?). And we have no other trips planned other than to a conference in Vancouver. But now, we can't help but think if the plane may have come from Asia before landing in Vancouver. It's probably just turning around from Toronto, and that can ;probably be checked. ==>> But look at how the thinking is being affected! (Or our thinking, anyway...) And IF things continue to deteriorate....!? GC
  11. What is this about: "...thoroughly cooking meat and eggs..." (From the link on the Princess site.) This is the first I've seen/heard about it being transmitted by food, other than if someone who is contagious is handling the food/etc. GC
  12. Apparently two passengers from the Diamond Princess have passed away. They were in their 80's. DH said something about this just flashed across his screen, and he's looking for a real citation. (He found one but needs to get it translated. I'll try to add that here shortly.) This is really going to be nasty, for everyone - the Diamond Princess passengers, and then the rest of us... not to mention the 2,000+ others who have already passed, mostly in China. Not good. ETA: citation for info above: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-19/china-eyes-hna-takeover-hubei-says-108-new-deaths-virus-update Another citation: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/20/coronavirus-latest-updates-hubei-china-deaths.html GC
  13. Here is a video of an interview by Anderson Cooper with an infections disease specialist from Columbia U, someone who was in China for COVID-19, and also worked with SARS and Ebola, etc. He's currently in self isolation back home. https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/02/17/dr-ian-lipkin-virus-hunter-china-coronavirus-full-episode-acfc-vpx.cnn GC
  14. But many of the passengers have *already* disembarked and flown home. That's the real problem here. At least in Japan, they got a handle on it before the passengers left (the ship and the country). There's not going to be a way to trace ALL of those they came in contact with. Those on the same airline flights, okay. Maybe those in hotels? But in airports in general? Rest rooms? Restaurants anywhere? Etc. Not good! I think it's pretty obvious that it's "too late" in terms of trying to stop/prevent a real pandemic, IF COVID-19 is as contagious as they think it is. I don't see how the genie goes back in the bottle, although it would be wonderful if it could somehow. GC
  15. But assuming some or even many of them eventually test positive, what of all the people they interacted with en route home? It gets exponential... GC
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