Did coronavirus delay my Trip Mate insurance claim?

delay my Trip Mate insurance claim

When Valerie Smith’s husband suffers a stroke, she cancels her Vantage Deluxe World Travel vacation to Vietnam and Cambodia. But now her insurance claim through Trip Mate is in limbo. She wants to know: Did covid-19 delay my Trip Mate insurance claim?

Question

In January, my husband had a stroke and we had to cancel our cruise to Vietnam and Cambodia, which we booked through Vantage Deluxe World Travel. I filed an insurance claim with Trip Mate, my travel insurance company.

We sent in all the required paperwork and letters from the neurologist and primary care doctor saying he could not fly for three months and only then after being reevaluated. This was long before the coronavirus appeared.

Trip Mate has been no help. They advertise a refund in 30 days or less. They told us the claim had been approved and they were waiting for Vantage to write the check. I have called Vantage several times. A representative told me that Vantage had to cancel two ships in October and November because of technical problems which is why they hadn’t written my check.

Eventually, I spoke with someone in accounts payable who promised to follow up and call me back. She never did. My husband can’t read or write and lost sight on his right side. Can you help me get our $9,278 refunded? — Valerie Smith, Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Answer

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s condition. Your Trip Mate policy should cover your cancellation, and your claim should have been processed by now. So what’s going on?

Trip Mate normally processes its claims quickly. Could this have been a coronavirus-related delay? Maybe. The cancellations for some Asian vacations started in January and picked up speed as the virus spread. By mid-February, all of the travel insurance companies were slammed with claims.

It’s no wonder that you’re asking, “Did coronavirus delay my Trip Mate insurance claim?”

That brings up another interesting question for anyone else filing a claim during the coronavirus pandemic: How long should you give your travel insurance company to cut you a check? Given the scale of the outbreak, at least two months. It sounds like a lot, but travel insurance insiders tell me that there are too many claims and not enough people to process them.

So did coronavirus delay my Trip Mate insurance claim?

By the way, I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of the Trip Mate executives on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. If your claim drags on for longer than two months, you should reach out to one of them.

I admire the way you documented everything for your claim. You even have a detailed call log. Remember that while a phone call can answer a quick question, only a paper trail provides the evidence of your correspondence. Try to keep everything in writing when you’re working on a claim rather than relying on something an employee said.

I contacted Trip Mate and it investigated your claim. The company sent you a check for $9,278, as promised. I wish your husband a speedy recovery.

Posted in The Travel Troubleshooter Tagged , ,

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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