Help! My trip insurance company won’t pay to bring my husband’s body home

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By Christopher Elliott

After Talor Min’s husband dies during a trip to Malaysia, she files a claim with her trip insurance companies for the repatriation of his remains. One year later, she’s still trying to get her money back.

Question

On a trip to Malaysia last summer, my husband was hospitalized with an infection and died. We had two active trip insurance policies at the time, one with Liverpool Victoria and the other with Seven Corners. The two policies overlapped by a couple of days.

When my husband became ill, we had two days left on our policy with Liverpool Victoria. I didn’t pursue a claim at the time because I was emotionally incapable of dealing with it, but also because I had the policy with Seven Corners, which began the date he was hospitalized.

When I came home, I submitted all of the required paperwork to Seven Corners. They came back at me several times requesting more paperwork, pretty much what I’d already submitted. Months would go by and I’d get in touch to see how it was going, and they’d ask for more paperwork again and claim they were working on it.

A few weeks ago, when I hadn’t heard from them for awhile, I sent another email and got a reply that the claim had been transferred to a different person and she’s now asking me for all the paperwork again. Can you believe it? This trip insurance company won’t pay my claim.

I’m appealing to you for help and guidance. Can you help me recover the $19,166, which covers the repatriation of my husband’s remains and airfare? — Talor Min, Seattle

Answer

I’m so sorry for your loss. Your trip insurance company should have promptly reimbursed you for your expenses, which are covered under your policy.

This case is a little complicated. Your claim actually involves several parties: the travel insurance company, AMIG; a travel insurance retailer, April; and Seven Corners, a third-party administrator contracted by April and AMIG. (Related: My husband has six weeks to live. Will Princess refund my cruise?)

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Although Seven Corners is responsible for assistance services according to the policy benefits, you were in contact with both April and Seven Corners on this claim. (Here’s the best travel advice.)

Seven Corners says it processed the claim according to the applicable schedule of benefits and issued checks to you more than six months ago to cover the repatriation, funeral and other related items as well. By the time my advocacy team and I got involved in December, the reason for the missing check seemed clear: Your address had changed.

Your case is a reminder that when you’re filing any kind of insurance claim, you need to update your insurance company if your address changes. Otherwise, it could lead to a delay in payment.

Seven Corners canceled your first check and reissued a new one, which it sent to your new address. According to its records, you cashed the check Jan. 5.

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Christopher Elliott

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 three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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