Shannon Carr’s surgeon said “yes.” Allianz said “no” to her claim. Can her cruise be saved?
Question: I really hope you can help me. I recently booked a cruise on the Carnival Liberty for my niece’s wedding. I also purchased travel insurance through Allianz.
I have had previous surgeries and injuries on my right shoulder. However, at the time I booked this cruise, I felt able to travel.
In the next two weeks, I must have done something to make my shoulder issue worse. The pain became unbearable and I felt I was no longer able to travel. I saw my orthopedic surgeon, and he advised me that I now needed further tests, including MRIs and X-rays. At that time, my doctor was afraid that I would have to have another surgery.
Sure enough, I ended up having shoulder surgery a month later. I felt I had an additional reason not to travel on that cruise. You are not supposed to travel outside of the U.S. within 14 days of surgery.
I got half of my money back from Carnival, and am trying to retrieve the remaining $861 from Allianz.
During the original review of claim, I provided all the necessary paperwork. Then, Allianz sent my ortho surgeon a form to fill out and I believe the doctor misunderstood what Allianz was asking. On that form, he stated “yes” that I would have been able to travel when I purchased the cruise and policy. Due to that letter from the doctor, my claim was denied.
I filed an appeal, my doctor wrote a whole new, thorough letter outlining my medical condition and stating that he was confused on the previous paperwork that he filled out.
I just found out the my appeal was denied as well. Do you think I have any hope in recovering my money from Allianz? I just can’t believe that they denied my appeal, especially since my doctor retracted his previous statement. — Shannon Carr, Jefferson, Ga.
Answer: Many travel insurance policies don’t cover existing medical conditions. I suspect the denial had more to do with the fact that your shoulder was bothering you, rather than the fact that you doctor may have misunderstood a question on your claim.
Strangely, although your policy specifically covers existing medical conditions, the reason for your denial is … an existing medical condition. Your doctor stated that “you were not medically able to travel on the date you purchased the policy.”
Confused? Me too.
The terms of your policy can be subject to various interpretations. But the facts, as I understand them, are that you would have been able travel when you purchased the cruise. Your policy covered existing medical conditions. Therefore, you should have been covered.
You appealed this decision, which is a good first step. There are actually several layers of appeal, as I explain in my frequently asked questions section about travel insurance. You could have sent his to one of the Allianz customer service executives I list on my site.
Our advocacy team reached out to Allianz on your behalf. It reviewed your claim again and sent you a check for $829. I’m sorry you missed your cruise, and I hope your shoulder heals quickly.