Mara Bronstone and her husband were forced to cancel an upcoming cruise because of her husband’s serious health condition. Based on advice from our website, they always purchase travel insurance and recently changed their provider to Allianz. The cruise line refunds the entire cost of the cruise because the cancellation was within the cancellation period. Can we help her also get reimbursement for the travel insurance?
Question: I canceled a trip that was to take place in January on Oct. 4 as my husband can no longer take lengthy trips. I called the number listed on my Allianz policy and was told that I could not cancel. I sent a letter to Mike Nelson, CEO and did not receive a response.
I then called the main office and was told to send documentation that I canceled the trip and received a refund from the travel provider. I sent the documentation and checked the status 10 days later.
Allianz told me the documentation was received and that I would receive the refund in three to five business days. I didn’t receive the refund and called again 10 days later. I was told that they did not receive the documentation and that I needed to send it again. I sent the documentation again but have little faith that I will receive the refund. Can you help me get the refund? — Mara Bronstone, Los Altos Hills, Calif.
Answer: I’m sorry that you are receiving inconsistent responses from Allianz while trying to obtain a refund.
When purchasing travel insurance, most companies provide between 7 and 21 days to cancel after purchase. Once that period is up, they normally will not offer a refund as they would be obligated to pay any covered claims after that period. You purchased the insurance on Aug. 18, 2017, and your correspondence shows that you called to cancel on Oct. 4, 2017 — more than a month after purchase.
The insurance policies that you bought in the past did not require full payment at the time of purchase. Allianz requires full payment at the time of insuring the trip — no later than 10 days after making the reservation.
Before contacting our advocates, you could have used the company contacts we have listed on our website for Allianz
Although you did not provide the terms of your insurance policy, it is important to understand those terms when purchasing insurance. In this case, Allianz provided the refund.
On Nov. 1, 2017, Allianz asked you for verification that your trip was canceled and that you received a full refund of the trip costs. Our advocates then asked Allianz to respond to you with a decision. We learned that your policy was canceled and the premium refunded.