What actions can I take if my flight insurance does not refund me? Read details before you answer.?

  • by David R
  • Sep 20,2017
  • 6 answers

I booked a flight to China in April and purchased flight protection through Tripmate. The policy I received said that it covers any delay/interruption/cancellation due to a natural disaster.
Well fast forward to mid August. I fly to my destination without any interruptions. Vacation at its end. Few days before my return flight, hurricane Irma comes, and directly hits my home in Florida.
I arrived at the airport and went to check-in. Person at counter informed me that my 3rd transfer from NYC to Florida had been cancelled by Delta. Note, my first 2 flights were by China Southern. Delta went ahead and cancelled all of my flights without contacting me, or my airline. Not only that, Delta didn't even bother to re-book.
At this point I wanted to return even to NYC where I had family I could crash at. I fought with Delta for hours and they finally re-booked and paid for my return flight with a layover in Detroit.
I was stranded in Detroit with a 3 day delay before I could even get home. I finally just said to hell with it and asked them to fly me to Atlanta and I would just drive a rental back home after the storm had dissipated.
What am I legally able to do if this company refuses to refund me hotel fees, and my unused return flight (with another company)? Remember, Delta cancelled my original flight home I had paid for out of pocket. They paid for my return flight home separately.
Any Ideas?


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Insurance Answers (6)

H. Marie 2 months ago

when they have made all the needed changes to accommodate you and your booked flight when you changed your mind and decided to go it on your own then the coverage ceased

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Casey Y 2 months ago

Did you call the insurance company during this process? They would have had procedures and potentially even assistance to help you. What does your contract say about filing a claim?
It sounds like you haven't even filed yet and are awaiting a declination...submit and see what happens before you get all "what are my legal rights?"

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A Hunch 2 months ago

You have a lot of details that are kind of not part of the story:
Did you have two separate (roundtrip) tickets - one with Delta and one with China Southern? or did you have one (roundtrip) ticket which included legs on Delta & China Southern?
= I'm not talking layovers, I'm asking about actual tickets.
Once you provide that detail, we can provide you more information.
Additional information:
The standard TripMate policy I found on their website is $150 per day for delays over 12 hours with a $750 maximum. Is this what you would like to get? What is the status of your claim with TripMate. If you haven't been denied, you are jumping the gun on what to do next.
Regarding the Delta / China Southern flight.
a) I've been to China. I know people in the travel industry speak English but not like a native American. Do you speak Cantonese or Mandarin? Did something get lost in translation?
- when your outbound flight was cancelled to NY, why didn't China Southern rebook those legs of the flight?
b) If you had a China Southern ticket, why did you go through Delta to rebook it?
c) I'm confused why you say Delta didn't rebook the original trip? Anytime you re-book you get a new ticket number etc.
But let's say that is was a completely new ticket, no relationship to the original ticket or flight = you would not be eligible for reimbursement for any flight from TripMates. You didn't have any out of pocket costs for the 2nd flight. Delta provided this to you (I'd say it was "comped", you can say "they paid for it" = either way, you didn't).
We'll you might have had costs from DET to somewhere but it sounds like you agreed to that.
Additional info #2:
Is the problem the Cheapoair ticket? Have you read the terms & conditions of the original ticket? Cheapoair usually sells consolidator ticket which have different cancellation & rebooking rights, then airline direct or through a standard travel agency (expedia, AAA, etc) purchases.
When in college we use to fly with consolidator tickets. We knew we could run into problems but were willing to deal with it for the 50% reduced fair. Luckily, we never had problems.
It's likely that Delta provided you move than they needed to.
It goes back to, at this point you might be worried about nothing since the claim hasn't been denied yet.

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Judy 2 months ago

Delta ended up paying for your China-NY flight, so you're entitled to nothing for that, you aren't out anything.there. You paid the fare once, and you got a flight even though it was a different flight. If you had to pay for the Detroit - Atlanta flight out of pocket, you might get reimbursed for it, but not if the airline paid for it.

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Insurance Pickle.com 2 months ago

The question is what do they cover and how do they cover it? I don't know what your policy covers, but at the first sign of an issue, I would have been on the phone with the insurance company right away to find out what I should be doing. I was flying from Miami to Mexico and our plane hit a bird on take off and shattered the windshield of the plane. We returned to the airport and waited until they found us another plane. During the wait, I called my insurance company to learn how long we needed to be delayed, what proof they needed, what do I do if X happens, Y happens, etc... We ended up getting a plane within the time allotted to qualify for a paid delay, but I knew that and didn't bother with a claim as none would have been paid.
Point being, if you didn't in this case, in the future make sure you're using the insurance company to advise you as you're more likely to get extra expenses covered if they're walking you through the process. At this point, just be sure to read your policy and understand what is covered and how.

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lucy 2 months ago

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/t...
I agree with poster Insurance Pickle, that while you were trying to get rebooked and home, should have also been on the phone with Tripmate on the procedures or guidelines on submitting a claim.
You live in FL, but was not expecting a hurricane? The season starts on June 1 and ends in November, so you knew there was a possibility of coming home to a hurricane. Once you ended your vacation, then either at the airport or (prior) to leaving China must have been aware of Irma approaching, or had already hit FL. So, then many airports shut down and suspended till it was safe to open or fly. It would be one thing to be leaving FL, but you needed to get their which is your home, which is more problematic, so getting (any) flight to anywhere, but to FL, most likely still would have had delays.
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Jeanne of Rochester, NY on June 20, 2017
I purchased travel insurance for a trip from NY to FL in March. NY was hit with Winter Storm Stella, a State of Emergency was declared and everyone was asked to stay off the roads. Our flight was canceled; we rebooked for the next day and it was canceled again. Trip Mate denied our claim because in order to receive a refund we needed to be hijacked, quarantined, our home destroyed by fire, we had to be in a car accident on the way to the airport, the airline went on strike, we were called to active military duty or our city was hit by a terrorist attack!! Honestly, Winter Storm Stella and a State of Emergency wasn't good enough to get a refund. Stay away from this company!!!!
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ynette of Tahmoor, Other on July 24, 2017
I took Trip Mate Insurance on my flight from Sydney to London through CheapOair cost $79. The return leg of the flight was canceled by the airline. So I canceled that flight and booked an alternate flight a few days different to the first flight. Asked CheapOair to transfer my insurance to the new flight. The consultant was adamant I had to change it with Trip Mate. As I found out today Trip Mate do not cancel and alter insurance plans. Trip Mate can have the $79 for nothing, but I promise you this, I will NEVER deal with Trip Mate again. What a scam. I bought this policy in good faith. Totally disgusted.
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DianeMarie of Vero Beach, FL on Sept. 2, 2017
(I only copied the last paragraph on this comment)
Recently, I received a letter and two checks – each for $1000 (for Diane ** and Gerald **). The letter states that, "As there was no cessation of services for 12 hours we cannot review under trip cancellation or trip interruption. Maximum benefit has been met." The Comments on the reverse side of the letter were as follows: "1. Expenses incurred for your return arrangements were prepaid through the assistance company. 2. The policy does not provide for reimbursement of the original unused airline tickets." This is double-speak because we did not arrange our own transportation. We booked everything through Avalon. We are extremely unhappy and disappointed. The reason for purchasing trip insurance is for situations such as this. We spent the entire day at the airport and were looking forward to the vacation. We will continue to pursue this. I sincerely hope that Globus can make this right and stand by one of their customers.
So, you may have an uphill battle with them, per the comments/exclusions etc per just 3 I picked up of 186 reviews that all are current w/in the last 6 months. Per the one comment, there could be a possibility that since Delta or whoever changed the tickets and you did not notify Tripmate, they could state you was not covered, since you did not ask to carry the insurance.
Either way, it appears that (any) settlement of this claim will take months per the comments and you can only hope that they do in fact settle.
good luck

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