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Column: Sorry we had to cancel your trip. But we save your travel insurance money



Column: Sorry we had to cancel your trip. But we save your travel insurance money

Most travel insurance has many exceptions – including for epidemics – so I don’t usually advise people to care about coverage unless they spend a lot of money on travel, like for a cruise.

But what if you cancel your cruise, or the trip is canceled by the shipping lane, because of coronavirus? Should you be able to return the cost of your travel insurance?

However, it protects you no longer need because of circumstances beyond your control. You haven’t gone anywhere. You have not submitted any claims.

What reasons can an insurance company have for saving your money?

That is what David and Barbara Negrete asked after asking AIG, the insurance giant, to return more than $ 2,300 which they said they had spent on the protection of AIG Travel Guards.

The Huntington Beach couple bought a policy after reaching into a $ 1,500 deposit for a $ 12,000 jazz themed cruise scheduled to sail a year from now. They decided not to travel.

“We are both 67 years old,” David Negrete told me. “We will not take the voyage because of coronavirus.”

He first contacted the shipping operator, a company called Flying Dutchman, and asked for their bail to be returned.

“They said no,” Negrete recalled. “They save a deposit.”

Not surprising there. I have written about the difficulties experienced by cruise ship passengers to get refunds for cancellations. In many cases, cruise ship operators have offered credit for future trips but there is no refund.

Then Negrete contacted AIG with the same request.

“They also will not return money,” he said. “Instead, they offered us vouchers for travel insurance that can be used between now and 2022.”

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The problem is, Negrete and his wife had no plans to travel during that time. “It doesn’t seem safe,” he said. “And we don’t get younger.”

My usual response to situations like this is agreement. If you buy a service, and then you decide not to want that service, well, too bad.

But this is different. Consumers don’t act on a whim when it comes to coronavirus.

They protect themselves from a potentially deadly global pandemic that is getting worse from day to day and where they have no control.

That’s why I brought cruise ship operators, airlines, hotels and others on duty because I stubbornly refused to return money to people.

That’s why I make a smell when most vehicle insurance says they won’t give discounts to policyholders even though many people have stopped driving. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara then ordered that the discounted price be given.

I understand the company’s reasons from a business point of view – who wants to return cash that has been ordered as revenue, especially when profits are falling off a cliff because of coronavirus?

But come on What’s good for business, and then what’s good.

And if standing-up is very difficult, consider the long-term consequences of short-term greed.

Every cruise passenger and airline that I spoke to had told me the behavior of the company during the pandemic would really affect their decision making when it comes to future travel plans.

In some cases, the problem appears to be miscommunication. Pasadena resident, Howard Abrams, contacted me with the same problem that Negrete was experiencing.

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Abrams, 73, said insurance company Allianz refused to return the travel coverage he bought for the canceled July cruise he wanted to take with his son.

But when I contacted Allianz, I was told that a refund was actually provided “for a while” because of coronavirus.

Abrams tried again and, see, was told that the money would be returned. He was told that the refund process could take around a month because of a deposit guarantee.

Daniel Durazo, a spokesman for Allianz, said the company had decided to close travel cancellations for people who became ill with COVID-19, although there were exceptions to the epidemic.

“We also offer refunds to customers whose trips have been canceled by their travel suppliers because of COVID-19,” he said.

Good for them. This shows awareness about how the current pandemic is destroying many people. This is also an important way to show customers that the company cares.

AIG, for comparison, is just bullshit.

The obstinacy is even more painful when you assume that the company will collapse if not as much as $ 182 billion in cash bailouts from taxpayers during the Great Recession.

AIG, based in New York report net income $ 1.7 billion in the first quarter, up nearly 90% from the previous year.

“If you are considering canceling your trip because of COVID-19, please read your insurance policy thoroughly,” AIG to customers in March. “In general, fear of travel is not a closed event under most of our policies.”

It says refunds are only possible if requested within 15 days of the purchase of travel coverage. If it’s outside that narrow window, and you’re afraid of the tens of thousands of Americans who have been killed so far by COVID-19, the homeless, but not.

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I said above that most travel insurance comes with so many exceptions, travelers might want to think twice before spending a lot of money on protection.

Negrete’s Travel Guard policy, for example, excludes claims involving pre-existing medical and pregnancy conditions. This excludes claims related to risky holiday pleasures such as bungee jumping, as well as claims for natural disasters, pollution, and, once again, epidemics as we experience them today.

An AIG spokesperson told me that the company would be willing to discuss this issue, but only off the record, which meant I couldn’t share what they said with you. I refuse.

The spokesman then sent me a written statement from the company.

“Amid the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19, Travel Guard has mobilized significant additional resources to meet the demands of an extraordinary volume of claims, including those involving requests for refunds of premiums and recovery of travel cancellation fees,” the statement the word.

“Travel Guard will continue to look closely at the specific facts and circumstances of each individual claim, as well as the relevant policy language, in respect of the commitments made to its customers.”

As far as I know, the company did not make anything commitment to customers about refunds, but that’s what was said.

What I do know is that if I have ever been in the market for travel insurance, I know which company I trust.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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