OAT - Travel Insurance

Aug 8th, 2007, 06:34 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 95
OAT - Travel Insurance

Has anyone who has traveled with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) had them purchase travel insurance on your behalf without your approval?

My fiance and her mother were going on the OAT Ultimate Africa Safari but cancelled the trip. When they received the refund of their deposit it was reduced by the cancellation fee ($150 expected) but it was also reduced for the cost of travel insurance ($440). But, they never agreed to purchase the OAT travel insurance; it was just added to their invoice. They did not approve this purchase nor would they as they buy travel insurance through AIG Travelguard at a lower cost.

After three letters with the final letter being a demand that OAT provide evidence of their authorization to purchase the travel insurance or refund the cost of the insurance OAT agreed to refund the premium. They are still waiting for the check.

Interested if this was an isolated incident or if they routinely add this additional cost to their trips.
Bobcaat is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 08:19 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
I've traveled with OAT three times and have found that the trips were great, but service in their Boston office was terrible. It doesn't surprise me that they did that.
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 09:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 38
I too, have taken three trips with OAT and all were wonderful. So good that I'm leaving next week for a fourth trip, OAT's Best of Kenya and Tanzania and I have a fifth one to Patagonia booked for next February.

I believe that the insurance was included in the bill for all of the trips I have taken with OAT. The bills are itemized so it is clear that the cost is included. I deduct the insurance from my payment which sometimes leaves a balance due that I have to call them on. It is a bit irritating that they automatically include the insurance. I never pay a substantial amount of money for anything until I've reviewed it fully so I've never been caught "buying" insurance that I don't want. So my advice is to pay attention to the bill and what it includes before paying it. If you still have a copy of the bill, Bobcaat you should be able to see if they paid for the insurance or not. And email or call OAT for clarification.

ShayTay, I do have to agree about the Boston office. I've been going round and round with them about the balloon safari in the Mara and the Serengeti. Looks like things are squared away but I may not know for sure until I am up in the sky over Africa!
arkay is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 09:43 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 38
Oops! Sorry. Bobcaat. I reread your post and see that you did contact OAT. If they agreed to send you a refund, my bet is that you will receive it. Sometimes it takes them a while to get the checks out.
arkay is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:38 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 95
This practice does not seem right. OAT's first response was that the insurance was on an invoice and noone protested at that time (no money was due for months when the invoice was received).

I wonder how many people have this insurance added and either think it is required or do not understand and pay it anyway; since OAT adds a number of other taxes, fees and fuel surcharges in addition to the insurance.

It seems trip insurance should not be added unless the traveler is queried and accepts the insurance rather then just adding it to everyone's invoice without authorization.

Bobcaat is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:52 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
If OAT outlines and details all charges, then it's the responsibility of the recipient to READ! And, we know most don't. If it was there for months before payment was due, then it should have been questioned and if not wanted requested to be removed.

As the consumer, we have to keep on top of these things... it's our money someone is spending without our authorization.

But if OAT said they'd refund, just wait on the check and keep following up. Let us know when they receive it.
sandi is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 437
It sounds odd. I've travelled with OAT 4 times, and each time they have specifically asked me if I wanted the insurance. I've chosen to get it each time, so I can't confirm what would happen if you said 'no', but they were very specific about offering it.

And I have to second the comment that the office is not as helpful as one would wish, however, that ends up being balanced out by the fact that their ground operations have been universally excellent, with seamless transfers, and well organized arrangements, in every country.

Also, while I have not needed to make use of the travel insurance myself, even though I've subscribed to it, my roommate on my last trip told the story of the previous year when she had a bad fall in Prague and needed extensive surgery on her knee. She was pleased at the coverage -- not just the hospital and surgery, but they actually called her daily in the hospital to make sure she was being properly cared for, and arranged her flight home when she was well enough to go, and offered to fly a family member to prague to accompany her home if she wished, or to send a nurse with her if she didn't feel up to travelling by herself. So she ended up feeling quite happy that she had the insurance!

But I would certainly be offended if I were charged for travel insurance that I had declined.
ann_nyc is offline  

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