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What to do about Travelguard denied insurance claim? please help

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Jul 10th, 2014, 10:01 AM
  #1
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What to do about Travelguard denied insurance claim? please help

Hello,

In April 2014 I book a trip to my mother land which is Iraq for July 15th to August 15th and then i booked another one for my father for June 25 to October 29th. This is a very large amount I am paying for all these tickets so to protect myself I purchased Travelguard. When I first purchased my tickets of course there was nothing out of the ordinary going on in Iraq. Then all of the sudden out of no where with not even 20 days left for my dad's departure and I hear on the news that a terrorist group had taken over the second largest city in Iraq. The had taken over Mosul which is one of the cities I visit because I still have lots of family in Iraq. Then I emailed Travelguard to get a refund on all the tickets, in turn they told me to file the claim which I did and explain to them that it was unsafe for us to go there do to all the events going on. it has even been declared on the US consulate website that no American citizens go to Iraq, there is a travel warning on the country. then weeks after my claim Travelguard analysis agent calls me and leaves a voicemail stating that my claim has been denied because in there policy it states that they do not cover for civil unrest it has to be deemed as terrorist acts. Since that voicemail I called and spoke to a live agent and explaining to them that there as to be some sort of misunderstanding because if you watch the news it is all over the news there is no way it is safe to go back and the US consulate has even put the travel warning on the country for the US citizens. Travelguard still insist that they cannot issue the refund because it is not deemed a terrorist act. does anyone know what can be done at this point? please help any thing that i can do I will try to do anything because it is a big amount. i would hate to lose out on it.
thank you very much for your time with this matter.
Milletali1986 is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2014, 10:26 AM
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All you can do is read the fine print on your policy. If it does say it has to be an act of terrorism, this situation is clearly not one.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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Ask Travelguard exactly WHO has to deem the events in Iraq a terrorist act. The State Dept? Who? If they can't answer the question, you can press your claim on those grounds; if they tell you how to prove it's terrorism, you can try to meet the standard of proof.

Good luck. I'm sorry you have been caught up in such awful events.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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@newbe thank you very much for your suggestions. Travelguard told me that the US government has to deem that it is terrorist acts and they have put out a warning and in the warning it states citizen could get kidnapped etc. I have showed them that. I just don't know what else to prove to them.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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Sorry to sound political but lately the US State Department seems reluctant to declared anything an Act of Terrorism.

I doubt you'll ever be able to get proof you have a valid claim.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 03:12 PM
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I'm surprised that any travel insurance would be valid for a country where a government has warned it citizens against all but essential travel. Was this warning in place when the travel policy was purchased?
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Jul 10th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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@roamsaround thank you.
@Odin, the warning was placed after it was exactly on june 16th i believe that it was placed. i was very surprised that they denied my claim because I faxed that warning sheet that is currently up now as well to the analyst agent.
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Jul 11th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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I just read the travel warning on the US State Department's website and it does state terrorist violence. Maybe acts and violences aren't the same? Maybe travelguard's out is the wording "at high risk". Here is the sentence from the website "U.S. citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence" and it was posted on 16JUN2014. If I were you, I would keep appealing their decision and ask to speak to their supervisors.
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Jul 11th, 2014, 07:58 PM
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Can you ask the airline for help on the ticket that is coming up. They might at least help you with the ticket that is not past the date yet.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 01:30 AM
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Wow, so sorry to hear about this milletali.

In Travel Guard's glossary of terms, they define terrorism as follows:

"Any act of violence that results in loss of life or major damage from a person acting in a way to overthrow a government or gain control of it.

"Terrorist Incident" means an act of violence, other than civil disorder or riot (that is not an act of war, declared or undeclared) that results in loss of life or major damage to property, by any person acting on behalf of or in connection with any organization which is generally recognized as having the intent to overthrow or influence the control of any government.

Coverage can vary by plan. Please see plan's Description of Coverage for eligibility and limits."

If there's one thing I learned working in the insurance industry is that policy interpretation is seldom black or white, just many shades of grey. This feels very grey to me. I'd ask them specifically how they arrived at their decision and what it was based upon. If you still feel they owe coverage at that point, then you can always appeal.

In the meantime, I'm with Cali on being pro-active and seeing what you can do about the booking for July 15.
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Jul 12th, 2014, 01:34 AM
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This might help:

http://elliott.org/blog/7-tips-for-w...urance-appeal/
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Jul 12th, 2014, 09:02 AM
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Since the travel warning uses the word "terrorism", I think you just have to be very, very persistent with Travelguard. Call them when you have lots of time and insist on speaking to a supervisor, over and over. Eventually, you may reach a decision maker who can actually help you. Send emails, as well. Make it clear you won't give up.

You might also consider writing The Haggler at the New York Times, or contacting your local TV station if they have that program where they intervene on your behalf with companies that are being unreasonable.

It's situations like this that give the insurance industry a bad name.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Thank you very much to everyone for the suggestions. I will keep trying and I have contacted the senators office to see if there is anything they can do. Also any new information I get on Iraq's situation I gather up and send to them.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 07:14 PM
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I know that he is asking about travel ins., but would the airlines not refund the money due to a change in the country and in the US warnings re the dest country? Just curious.
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Jul 15th, 2014, 05:05 AM
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>would the airlines not refund the money due to a change in the country and in the US warnings re the dest country?

Generally whether an airline is still flying to a country is the main criteria. If they are going, they will not refund all bookings unless that's permitted by the individual ticket. Just a government warning not to travel is not sufficient for free cancellation.

Of course, if they stop flying there completely, it's different and they are required to refund everyone.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 04:35 PM
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If I read this correctly, they have never given you a written notice that your claim is denied. Demand one. Very often, if not always, the formal written denial will include information on how you can contest their decision. Often that means going through arbitration. It sounds to me that by giving you oral notice, they have tried to evade what might be a difficult arbitration.
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Jul 17th, 2014, 05:43 PM
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Others have reported that one way to get through to Orbitx is to contact

Stephen Sedlak
Director, customer relations
[email protected]
(312) 416-0018
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Jul 17th, 2014, 05:43 PM
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sorry wrong thread!
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Jul 18th, 2014, 05:58 PM
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Make sure that you make a written request for coverage under the policy and make sure that they give you a written response, so that it can be appealed. You may have to demand arbitration, or you may be able to go to court on an issue of contract interpretation. You might want to consult a lawyer who has experience with insurance and contract interpretation.
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Jul 19th, 2014, 07:39 PM
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Just a question: the threads mention US State Dept and declare safety concerns for US citizens. Are you a US citizen? Could Travelguard be denying you since or if you are not a US citizen and the warnings would not apply to you? Could that be the out?
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