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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78450
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My travel company is refusing insurance claim for holiday

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Hi, my travel company is refusing insurance claim for holiday that was disrupted by Covid. Due to pandemic my flights home were cancelled and the country put into lockdown so I could not travel to another airport that has limited flights. I had to stay an additional 5 weeks until the lockdown was eased and I could get a repatriation flight home. The insurance helpline told me I was covered under Catastrophe section of policy, but the company refused my claim. According to their policy Catastrophe cover includes a holiday disrupted such that in order to continue my trip it covers "reasonable accommodation and travel costs". But they insist that only applies if I returned early and not if I stayed longer (I could not travel anyway due to govt lockdown of teh country nationwide (this was in NZ)
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I raised a complaint and cited their policy that says a Trip begins when you depart and ends when you return to home. Therefor the policy makes no reference to a specific return date. I also said pandemic is explicitly included in Catastrophe and that their clause "reasonable additional costs for accommodation and travel" to continue my trip covers my situation.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They offered me originally 5 days travel delay (£500 in total) vs my claim for £2823 and rejected my complaint. Then when I said I was seeking legal advice they said their original helpline response had been an error and offered a goodwill payment totalling £1600 to cover the repatriation flight only, leaving me still short by £1,283. Thank you

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Are you asking if you can force them to pay?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
because the situation appears to be covered by their Catastrophe policy clauses but they are saying that clause does not apply as I stayed longer than my original return date (I could not travel due to lockdown and there were no flights available) - but there is no written exclusion that states Catastrophe does not apply if you stay longer
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
When I called their helpline from NZ they told me I was covered and to keep receipts for flights and accommodation - now they deny I was actually covered
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Jo, are you still there ?

Thanks for the information

Sorry for the delay.

It is quite difficult to tell on this information .

I cannot immediately see how they could argue that you are not covered because you were delayed there by reasons beyond your control. I don't know whether they are trying to argue that that exceeded the insurance. Although I would be surprised that that was not covered by catastrophe .

Ultimately though if they are refusing then your only option is to Sue or complain to the ombudsman. There is no other way of forcing them to act.

But you shouldn't give in as you do have an argument here

Can I clarify anything for you?

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Jo

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Many thanks Jo. I need more precision I think to help me press on. Perhaps if I can send you their policy terms and letter to me that would help clarify. Then I can call you to discuss. I’m happy to pay the £44 cost

Yes, ok but I can't do a call tonight.

I could tomorrow?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
That would be perfect. I could do sometime between 9-10am or 11.30-12.00. Would either slot work for you ?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Or after 3.30pm

Ater 3.30pm would be good as I would need to consider the policy.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok great. How shall I send you the policy document?

You can attach it using the paperclip icon.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok I will do that now

Welcome.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Here is the policy document from Admiral, I purchased a single trip policy
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Please advise when is a convenient time for me to call you. Also, should I click the "request me again" link tomorrow ?

I can do after 15.30hrs?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok. I’ll call you at 3.45pm. Shall I click the “request me again” ?

I think you need to request a phone call?

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78450
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 days ago.
I’ve just requested a call

I am sorry but I think somebody else has accepted it.

Have you been phoned?

Pleasure just now. I have had a look at your policy and can confirm that you are covered for any additional accommodation and travel costs incurred in the event of a pandemic. To take matters forward you should now demand payment from Admiral. You can use the attached template and tailor it to your situation. If this does not resolve the situation, the next step will be to issue county court proceedings. You can do this at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Its a straightforward process and you do not need a lawyer