Travel insurance claims cause frustrations from pandemic cancellations

Covid cancelled Carrol Colbert’s trip to Africa. She’s been struggling to figure out why her trip insurance won’t cover a refund.
Travel insurance issues
Carrol Colbert reads through her travel insurance policy from a trip she booked before the pandemic.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— Carrol Colbert loves to travel. She’s been to New York, Las Vegas, and even Egypt.

In December of 2019, she booked a trip with her sister for the following June to Morocco and Senegal through Great Value Vacations and CheapOair. Since the trip cost more than $5,000, she purchased travel insurance through Trip Mate.

As the trip approached, the pandemic ruined her plans.

“The company cancelled the trip. I said I’ll just take a refund because I have trip insurance. Well they advised me because of this pandemic we cannot give you a refund,” she said.

Colbert was surprised she wouldn’t get a refund. After contacting Trip Mate, they told her the pandemic wasn’t anticipated and it wouldn’t be a covered reason through her policy. Colbert made sure she documented everything. After reading back through her policy, she believes it should have been covered.

“There was one area that talked about being quarantined and I said we are quarantined to the United States of America. We cannot even get out of this country to go into Africa,” she said.

Kelvin Collins, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia, says Colbert took the right steps.

He recommends shopping around for travel insurance, and making sure you read through the fine print. He says it’s important to do your research.

“Make sure you look at customer reviews, check them out with Better Business Bureau. Google their name and make sure this is a company or website that takes care of their customers later,” he said.

Even though Great Value Vacations gave Colbert a trip credit, and CheapOair gave her a partial refund, she still hopes to get the refund she feels the companies owe her.

Colbert says this experience hasn’t hurt her love of traveling though. She hopes to travel to Hawaii next year to celebrate her 40th wedding anniversary.

“I will use other companies and I will continue to travel. I think traveling is great and I look forward to resuming a near normal,” she said.

The Better Business Bureau says if you’re having issues resolving a travel insurance claim from the pandemic, you can file a complaint through them. You can also file a complaint through the Attorney General’s Office.

Christopher Lewis

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