Whenever someone asks Joe and I if they should get travel insurance, we almost always say yes. We always say (and practice) that if it’s just a quick weekend road trip and the cost of the trip won’t “make you or break you,” then you might consider skipping it. But if you’re gone for any number of days, or flights are involved, and especially if you’re traveling internationally, YES, get the travel insurance. You just never know what’s going to happen.
I’m a perfect example. Over 20 years ago, Joe and I planned to go on a cruise. We made the reservation almost a year in advance, and I got travel insurance because we were flying to the cruise ship (we still lived in the NY/NJ area at the time; the cruise was docked at Port Canaveral), then would be in international waters and it just made sense to have it, just in case. My father had been diagnosed with cancer several years earlier but, at the time we made the reservations, was considered medically stable and nothing in the travel insurance’s paperwork suggested that would cause a problem.
Anyway, about 6 months before the cruise, his cancer came back. Despite medical intervention, he continued to decline and passed away the day before I would have flown to Florida (obviously, I had known for weeks that I wasn’t going on that trip).
So I put in a claim with the travel insurance company. I remember having to get copies of his death certificate (to prove he had really passed away), hospital records (to prove he had really been “that” sick) and medical records from around the time I had bought the insurance (to prove he hadn’t been “that” sick at that time). It all worked out for me and I was reimbursed for my airfare, hotel and cruise costs.
But some people aren’t so lucky and for whatever reason, insurance companies will say no.
Apparently, this is exactly what happened to the brother of “Snittle23,” a user on Reddit who lives in Australia. He wrote on their “ProRevenge” page about what the brother did in return. It’s classic:
In 2013, my dad passed away while my brother and I were on our own independent international adventures. I was in Spain and my brother was in Canada and we needed to get back to Australia. My travel insurance was dodgy but eventually paid out after a few complaints – which is pretty standard practice. My brother tried to claim $9k. He could only get one emergency seat on a bunch of connecting flights and with that and his flight back after the funeral etc, and other cancellations, it all added up. Shock horror, his claim was rejected. Back then, there wasn’t an industry body that dealt with travel insurance companies or if there was, we had no idea what it was.
So my bro went through the usual hurdles involved with the appeals and complaints process. Eventually they told him that his claim for $9,326.00 was rejected and their determination was final.
So, back then companies didn’t really have Twitter handles, especially not insurance companies. So my bro, ever the troll, created a Twitter handle in this insurance company’s name, complete with their official logo. He quickly set about gaining thousands of followers and legitimately began answering their questions with truthful albeit, quite negative responses. Things like:
Q- my daughter and I want to travel to Paris. What insurance cover would you recommend?
A- we would recommend you take the premium for our comprehensive cover and burn it. We don’t like to pay out on for any insurable event because it upsets our shareholders. Have fun in Paris. Etc etc
The insurance company got wind of this and sent him a cease and desist letter. My brother counter-offered with a contract for the company to purchase the Twitter account (and 2500 potential customers) for the very reasonable price of $9,326.
I thought that was just brilliant.
As of this writing, there are 80-something replies. Being Reddit, they run the gamut from how smart the brother was to how lucky he was that Twitter didn’t close his account because what he did was against their Terms of Service.
But all that set aside, again, what a way to cash in on your claim after it’s been denied, huh? Of course, I would never recommend a scheme like that – but I do admire that it all worked out for him.
You can click here to read the entire thread. Heads up that there’s some adult language here and there.
*** Many thanks to (and I quote), “that anonymous guy who sends me things” 😉
Feature Photo: Pixabay
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary