Consumers should research before buying travel insurance - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Consumers should research before buying travel insurance


It is often recommended to consumers to buy travel insurance when booking a trip, but it didn't work out as planned for one Manchester couple.

Robert Butler, and his wife Marlene had planned their dream vacation to Europe and bought travel insurance.

"We went out and decided to book a month-long vacation, and do a cruise and do a land tour and make it a European extravaganza," Robert said.

About a month before the trip, the couple was blindsided when they learned that Marlene was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma and the trip had to be postponed.

"We didn't know how serious this whole thing was, and that's when I notified AAA that we needed to cancel," Robert said.

Thankfully, the couple bought trip insurance, Robert said he bought a complete coverage package where they could cancel for no reason.

However getting a refund wasn't that easy. There was a total of $11,000 that remained outstanding that was owed to them by the company who underwrote their insurance policy.

Robert said all the couple was getting was a runaround, so they called the Eyewitness News I-Team.

"Through your (I-Team) efforts, in a matter of one day of just sending out some emails and starting your investigation, I got a call that it had been resolved," Robert said.

Aaron Kupeck, a spokesperson for AAA, said "We have been assured by the vendor that Mr. Butler's check is being processed."

When consumers end up in a situation like this one, Attorney General George Jepsen said they should file a complaint on the attorney general's website, which then can open up an investigation.

"We have attorneys who specialize in issues like this," Jepsen said.

Before purchasing travel insurance, Jepsen said to do research on the companies, and only buy insurance that fits the consumer's needs.

For example, if a consumer is worried about illness preventing a trip, or missing a flight, make sure the policy reflects that.

"As with a lot of consumer issues, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Jepsen added,

The Butlers received their check, and Marlene has just one more chemotherapy treatment and her doctors are optimistic that soon she will be cancer free.

The couple is even planning a trip to Myrtle Beach to celebrate her recovery.

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