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Letters to the Editor: Travel insurers are showing their greed in the COVID-19 pandemic

A cruise ship off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico. Travelers whose planned vacations were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic have found that trip-cancellation and travel insurance policies can range from comprehensive to useless.  (Angel Castellanos / Associated Press)

To the editor: Thanks to columnist David Lazarus for his very insightful observations on the greed and avarice of certain travel insurance companies, evidenced by their consistent refusal to cover coronavirus-related cancellation claims.

I recently had to cancel a planned trip to Ireland in June. I am particularly upset because both my husband and I are 89; he also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so future travel is probably not going to be possible for us.

One company I had the misfortune to buy insurance from was Travelex. Fortunately, I agree with Lazarus' favorable view of Allianz Insurance, which is in the process of refunding my airline ticket. We have used this company in the past with good results.

I commend Lazarus for continuing to champion the causes of those of us who are at our wits' end and disenchanted with airlines and cruise companies.

Rose Evans, Rancho Mirage


To the editor: When airlines or cruise lines cancel, travelers are typically offered a voucher that can be redeemed in the next 12-24 months. This is not a reasonable restriction in the coronavirus era, as some of us are not ready to travel within that period, and some of us may have other plans that make rescheduling canceled trips impossible.

The cruise company Tauck called me last week about the cancellation of a Central Europe tour I had booked for July. I was given the option of a complete cash refund or to have the money stored in a "wallet" that is good forever, with the added incentive that Tauck will kick in an extra $250 per person.

Why can't all airlines and cruise lines give vouchers that do not expire? They already have our money, so offering a forever voucher would do them no harm while giving travelers significantly more flexibility in rescheduling our trips.

Christopher Shih, Torrance


To the editor: Lazarus' column reflects what I learned the hard way about AIG travel insurance, purchased via Orbitz.

The byzantine claims process was a never-ending series of hurdles making it clear it was really a war of attrition, as if the company hopes you will eventually just give up. I am sure many do.

So little is actually covered by AIG's policies that it is sort of like getting sharknado insurance. Never again.

Mark Magers, Honolulu