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Travel Guard stonewalling

Has anybody had difficulty receiving claim benefits or even a determination from Travel Guard for trip cancellations in March? I filed a claim for airfare after two of our tours were cancelled. No response until I filed a complaint with the Insurance Commissioner. Then a request for a document I had filed with the initial claim. Still no action.

Posted by
7693 posts

I have not made a claim but you might also consider filing with the Attorney General of the state where their Headquarters are located. I suggest this because I've seen a few posts on Trip Advisor Senior Forum where people have had tour companies not refund their money (specifically Gate 1 and OAT) but got immediate refunds when the contacted the AGs of the states where they are registered. A friend was also having trouble with a Gate1 refund so I suggested this to her. She filed a week ago last Sunday and received her refund on Thursday!

It looks like TravelGuard is in NY?

https://www.travelguard.com/legal/terms-of-use

Good luck and keep us posted!

Posted by
12 posts

I purchased a Travel Guard Travel Insurance policy for a July 2020 three week planned trip, two weeks was to have been a RS tour. After pandemic travel restrictions took hold of course all bookings were cancelled. I then requested a refund from Travel Guard / AIG. After a 2 week waiting period I was offered a voucher for a future travel insurance policy. For a second time I requested a refund - same result. Yes, I have read my policy. There is a comprehensive list of reasons to cancel. World pandemic is not listed but it is not in the negated list of reasons to cancel either. My policy had a long list of conditions to "cancel for any reason". I consider my policy to be a cadilac plan, which I chose for the comprehensive medical coverage and the Rick Steves organization's seemingly good relationship with Travel Guard. Not pleased with the voucher but it is better than nothing. I have accepted the reality of the situation.

I did contact my Washington State Insurance Commissioner Department and asked if travel insurance policy cost refunds for pandemic related cancellations were in any way mandated (as airlines are mandated to refund). Essentially, I was told to "read my policy contract" and no there was no mandate.

This baffles me because had there been claims on my policy Travel Guard's pay out would have been much higher than the refund for the cost of my policy (for 2 seniors). Anyway, I am now interested to know what the New York State Insurance Commissioner has to say about Travel Guard / AIG Insurance policy pandemic related travel cancellations - vouchers, refunds and any mandates.

My situation does not involve a claim. But it does involve Travel Guard. Good luck with your claim and keep us posted.

Posted by
3263 posts

There have been many threads on the Forum with Travel Guard as a featured topic. Stonewalling is a good descriptive term for their actions.

I have been very disappointed in their response to the situation we find ourselves in these days, especially since other companies have given refunds.

One thing I learned from my last conversation with them is that New York is the only state that requires refunds if your trip is cancelled. Now I'm wondering about the fact that the company is in New York.

The rest of us get vouchers, no refunds. It appears to me that they are doing only what they have to do, not what is the right thing to do.

My post about that conversation is (now) at the bottom in this thread specifically about TG refunds:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/ireland/travel-guard-insurance-refund

Use the Search box to look for more Forum posts featuring Travel Guard. Filter by Travel Forum and then by 6 months and newer to get the most relevant results.

Note that the results may not have Travel Guard in the title, may discuss more than claims or refunds and that other insurance companies may be mentioned.

Posted by
1168 posts

All of these discussions make me leery of travel insurance, which are written by attorneys in such a way that us laymen don't quite know what we think is included. I don't see what anyone has to lose in contacting the respective state's attorney general if you don't want a voucher (assuming one is even available). Before purchasing travel insurance maybe we should have an attorney interpret it for us in plain language we clearly understand. For example, "What if Aunt Bee falls off a cliff the day before departure and I have to take care of her. Am I covered for that?"

On a side note we requested reimbursement for a cruise on Norwegian. It's a 90-day wait. We'll see. Another option included deep discounts on future cruises, but we sort of lost our desire to do that for ... awhile.

Posted by
948 posts

Thanks for the link, Tom_MN. Was your son’s school trip insured? Were you able to recoup monies beyond the partial that the toUr company refunded? I’m curious since your thread disappeared soon after I and others posted suggestions.
Most people on the forum know that I had problems with Travel Guard a few years ago and have disliked them ever since. No more travel insurance for me, except medical and repatriation. Too many escape clauses for the insurance company to deny claims.

Posted by
7693 posts

"One thing I learned from my last conversation with them is that New York is the only state that requires refunds if your trip is cancelled. Now I'm wondering about the fact that the company is in New York."

Interesting, Lo. I almost didn't put NY in my reply because I think their website is very vague. It kind of implies NY is their home BUT for some reason I thought it was Minnesota. I'm not sure why and could find nothing on the website although I just did a cursory look.

Posted by
5504 posts

The original post seems to be claiming reimbursement for unused air fare related to a tour that was canceled. Others responding to the post seem to be seeking refunds for travel insurance policies for trips not taken. This may be the proverbial apples vs oranges.

With respect to reimbursement for air travel not taken because a tour was canceled, their may be several questions related to policy terms and conditions. The first is does the policy cover air and other expenses such as extra days of travel not included in the canceled tour. The second is the value of the air travel not taken. Did the claimant receive or have the option of reviving vouchers or credit for rescheduling air travel at a later date? And the type of policy such as "cancel for any reason" coverage or not. Payment of benefits will come down to the "fine print".

We will be interested in hearing the outcome of you claim and if denied, the basis for the denial. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by
1 posts

According to the New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/travel/travel-insurance-pandemic.html, Allianz was offering refunds for unused insurance from trips that were cancelled. I, like others of this thread, have been given a voucher for our cancelled RS trip. Travel Guard's cutoff for the Covid pandemic was March 11; I had purchased my policy on March 3rd and my husband's earlier than that. I thought that certainly I would receive a refund. We were emailed the voucher instead good through June 2022.

Given the amount of business Rick Steves sends Travel Guard's way, I would appreciate it if they would pressure TG to refund insurance for RS customers. Thankfully, my Ireland tour deposit through RS was refunded. I would like TG to do the right thing and refund my money and I would appreciate RS to put some muscle behind our requests to help us out.

Posted by
2767 posts

After my RS tour to Europe was cancelled, I contacted Travel Guard where I had taken out a policy last year right after I made my first payment on my trip so that I would be covered for pre-existing conditions. I asked for a refund for the amount of what I had paid for the TG policy and was told to submit a claim via one of their email addresses. After doing that that I received a reply that I would not be getting a refund due to the amount of time since I first took out the policy. Seem my policy only has a 15 day limit on refunds. I have taken out Travel Guard policies every year since 2011 so I would have hoped that they would have refunded my payment as a good faith effort. Not so.

Posted by
3 posts

As pointed out by one of the responders, this is not about requesting a refund of policy premium. This is about honoring, or even denying, a claim for non refundable airfare paid in anticipation of subsequently canceled tours. Is anybody getting payment or denial letters for trip expenses? If so, what was the response?

Posted by
25 posts

I was also booked on a RS Ireland tour and insured with Travel Guard, and just received the reply to my request for a refund. Like others, I was send a voucher good till June 2022. Since I submitted no claims, I am baffled as to why they decline to refund the premium, and, like ppleviak1, think it would be great if the RS company weighed in to try to nudge them towards better customer care. When you read the positive press that Delta has received for timely and (relatively) generous treatment of their customers, resulting in increased customer loyalty, you'd think the insurance industry would take note. Once I have used my voucher, I won't use Travel Guard again. I would feel better if there were no expiration date on the insurance voucher. I certainly hope to be traveling by 2022 if not sooner, but who knows?

Posted by
1 posts

I haven't had much luck with Travelguard either. Just got the voucher and hope that I can use it sometime in the next two years.
I found this information on their website under FAQ? It looks like this department is working out of Wisconsin.
It might be helpful to some of you still dealing with the company.
How do I request a refund of my insurance premium? You must submit an insurance premium request either via email to tgrefunds@aig.com, or via mail to:
Travel Guard
Attn: Refund Department
PO BOX 47
Stevens Point, WI 54481

Posted by
5504 posts

For those expecting Travel Guard to refund policy premiums, I believe that their policy refunds are limited to a 15 day review period.

https://www.insuremytrip.com/popup/certificate/TGMEST/REFUNDPOLICY.html?rev=80

Refund Policy

FIFTEEN DAY LOOK: You may cancel this insurance by giving the Company
or the agent written notice within the first to occur of the
following: (a) 15 days from the Effective Date of your insurance; or
(b) your Scheduled Departure Date. If you do this, the Company will
refund your premium paid provided no insured has filed a claim under
this Certificate....

While this conditions is noted by InsureMyTrip for the MedEvac policy, I suspect that it would apply to all the AIG policies.

Posted by
478 posts

Edgar- you are correct. Refund period is real simple: 15 days. We are seeing a growing trend like that of nonrefundable deposits and that everyone in the Pandemic has to lose but “ME”. I don’t care what the contract says or the economic damage many companies are suffering from, for “I” am special and all the rules and contract terms should be waived for “me”.

I have used Travel Guard for years and found them to be highly professional. On a RS tour several years ago we had a member fall ILL and hospitalized. He didn’t have Travel Guard coverage but TC contacted him (RS Guide notified RS HQ and RS HQ notified TC) in the hospital and assisted him with a post hospital hotel and changing travel arrangements to get him home - he paid for the flight change but TC agents did the footwork for free while he was hospitalized. So yes, TC does go above and beyond for RS tour members. But expecting them to give away free money is beyond belief.

This of course does not provide any excuses for Travel Guard if proper claims for reimbursement are not properly handled. Although there needs to be some understanding- no company is prepared for the huge stoppage of income coupled with substantial demands upon staff time, especially when staff may be unavailable (lock down periods).