I purchased Travel Guard insurance through the RS site to cover 40 day back-to-back RS tours of Italy in September and October. The tours, airline tickets and extra hotel stays have all been canceled and refunded. However, the $2400 travel insurance has not. We got a voucher that can be used through some time in 2022. That is better than nothing, but not good enough. I bought the insurance in good faith through the RS site. RS has always done the ethical thing and is one of the major reasons we travel with them. Why are they not putting pressure on these people to give us our money back? AIG was given lots and lots of our tax dollars to rescue them during the great recession when they were in trouble, and I think they were given a great deal recently. I understand that other travel insurance companies are refunding money. Travel Guard will never get another dollar from me. I hope RS removes their link, and implicit recommendation, to Travel Guard Insurance. It would be the right thing to do.
What did the Rick Steves Tours office say when you wrote them?
I tried calling. Left a voicemail. Haven't heard back.
There have been other forum posts about Travel Guard. Here's one:
You can type "Travel Guard" into the search box and find more. Maybe you'll get some value from reading those posts.
To follow up on Lane’s link up thread, please see my posting this am. Feel free to pm me if I can be of further help. Best wishes.
Insurance is not normally refunded. This has been the way things worked for decades. I am surprised that the insurance companies are even giving vouchers. But then times are unique right now and require a different resolution to many what might have been standard situations. I would be happy with the voucher, but then again maybe I look at things differently than most of the world does these days.
You buy insurance to cover losses for the things you are insuring. When you purchase automobile insurance, home owner's insurance, health and life insurance, you hope that you never have to file a claim (except for life, everyone claims that eventually). You never get a refund on those insurances if you don't end up needing the coverage because you have no losses that they cover. True, for home and auto if you cancel the policy part way through the term they will prorate a refund for the remaining period of time in most cases. Why does anyone feel travel insurance is different?
I think we tend to think travel insurance is to cover the period of the trip, whereas most general policies (not pure evacuation insurance) cover the traveler from the time the policy is purchased. I myself stand to lose the initial payment I made to TravelGuard to cover the preliminary deposit on a not-yet-canceled February 2021 tour that I assume isn't going to run. I have been receiving benefits from that policy for many months already; if I had suffered a catastrophic accident that rendered me unable to travel, that policy would have covered my trip deposit.
Excellent point, acraven.
It seems bizarre to me to think of getting a refund on travel insurance. As mentioned above, no one gets a refund on their car or renter’s insurance just because they don’t have a claim in a given year. You buy insurance to insure against the unknown.
It seems bizarre to me to think of getting a refund on travel insurance.
When my RS tour was canceled I contacted Insuremytrip.com and the insurance company, Travelex. I received a full refund of premium. I had another trip to Kauai and asked after the dates of travel Had passed if I could get a refund. That was through C&F Travel Insured purchased through insuremytrip.com. I got a voucher good until 2022. My one not so pleasant experience with travel insurance in the past was with Travel Guard. I know they are highly regarded by many and RS recommends them. I would not use them. Also, and this is pure speculation on my part, I think purchasing travel insurance through insuremytrip.com gave me a leg up. They are a large volume insurance agency and companies want their business and positive reviews on their website. And, the only reason the effective date of coverage is the day after you purchase your policy is too prevent gaming-people waiting until they have an event then purchasing and filing a claim.
I was supposed to go to London this past May. I bought Travel Guard insurance. When I cancelled my trip, I called Travel Gurard and they advised I send an email to them to request my premium back. I received my premium back from Travel Guard.
I then received a pm on this forum from another poster who could not get her premium back from Travel Guard and did not know why I got my premium back but she would only get a voucher. She questioned Travel Guard and found out that since I live in NYS, there is a law in NYS that states they have to give back the premium. She does not live in NYS and her state did not have a law that makes Travel Guard return the premium.
It all depends on the state you live in and what the laws are in that state.
I am not defending Travel Guard, but since there is no law they don't have to refund the premium nor do they have to issue a voucher. They are issuing vouchers because they do want to try to keep businsess going. Again, just stating the facts and not defending Travel Guard.
I will also say that since I had to cancel my trip, I too would have received vouchers and am not happy about that but hopefully I will be able to redeem them, not sure if I will. Some have deadlines when to use them, one is forever which is better than nothing.
Hooray! I want to thank Janis, Lane and the California Department of Insurance. I received my refund of over $2400 from Travel Guard today after filing a complaint with the California Department of Insurance following the procedures and recommendations found on the links to Form threads provided by Lane and Janis. It was all done online and took only a few minutes. Travel Guard is wrong to keep our money for tours that were canceled and I think they know it. Spread the word.
lacombej1, thanks for getting back with the news of your AIG refund. Hope this helps others as well. All the best for future travels!
I cancelled 2 trips this year covered by Travel Guard insurance. They refunded both.