Thursday, February 26, 2009

US travel insurer fails leaving customers without cover

Cruise travelers who purchased travel insurance from Colorado-based Prime Travel Protection are learning that the insurer has gone out of business. A statement on the company’s website informed customers that it had “initiated an orderly liquidation of services.” The brief statement added that customers would be contacted in writing regarding claims processing and that appointed counsel would handle all inquiries. Customers have been advised that if they hold a policy issued by Prime Travel Protection for upcoming cruise travel, they will not be covered and need to arrange for alternative travel insurance. They will need to dispute charges for any coverage purchased with their credit card company for a refund.

One particular situation that customers have been told to be aware of involves the waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions. Typically, to receive a waiver for such as condition the insurance needs to be purchased within 14 days of making an initial trip deposit.
For those affected by this provision, Access America, a travel insurer, has indicated that given the demise of Prime Travel exceptions might be possible and will be considered based on individual circumstances, according to spokesman Mark Cipoletti. One travel agency has come forward to help Prime Travel’s clients. Ron Russo, the vice president of Best Price Cruises has said that all of the failed insurer’s customers who purchased their travel insurance along with their booking with Best Price will receive a replacement policy at no additional charge, provided by the fully-licensed insurer, iTravel Insured, Inc.

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