“I retired this year and I planned on traveling a lot.”
Jay Goff’s sentiment is very relatable in 2020.
“Well, I was in IT most of my career, so I was really looking forward to retiring and getting out of the corporate world,” Goff said.
Goff, of Stafford Springs, was planning on retiring, but not this soon.
He lost his job at the start of the coronavirus crisis.
So, he canceled his booking on a cruise down to the Panama Canal and submitted a travel insurance claim.
That claim led to a long, frustrating back and forth with the insurance company, his travel agent, and the cruise line, according to Goff.
"I would say I was getting the runaround most of the time,” he said.
For months, he sent emails and made calls, and then he reached out to NBC CT Responds.
“I’ve seen spots on your television station that there was some assistance getting refunds, so I contacted NBC,” he said.
After NBC CT Responds got involved, the insurance company eventually reimbursed him the nearly $5,500 he paid for the cruise. It took quite a few more emails from our team and Goff.
“I didn’t know if I was ever going to get the money back,” he said.
In Goff’s case, his circumstances qualified him for a claim through his travel insurance, but just because you buy travel insurance does not mean you’ll automatically qualify for a refund if you want to cancel your trip.
Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection Deputy Commissioner Arunan Arulampalam urges people to read and understand the terms of their purchase agreements.
“Don’t just hit the accept button on the website or sign the piece of paper. Read line by line and understand what the refund policies are, what the cancellation policies are, what the change policies are. Understand if there are any extra fees associated with it,” Arulampalam said.
And as Goff suggests, learn from his experience. Make sure to research what travel insurance you're considering buying too, especially during the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis.
“I think a lot of these circumstances that might have been unforeseeable in February or March of this year are less unforeseeable now. And so airline companies might be less forgiving if numbers spike and you have to cancel plans than they were six months ago,” Arulampalam said.
The coronavirus crisis has kept many of us home on our couches.
Travel plans put on pause because of the pandemic.
NBC CT’s Responds team has been receiving a huge number of consumer complaints.
Have a problem? Call our responds hotline: 1-844-303-RESP.
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