Hundreds of customers have flooded travel insurance company InsureandGo with complaints after it rejected their requests for a refund or credit note on policies.
With their holidays cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the customers say they stand to lose up to thousands of dollars on travel insurance paid for trips now not going ahead.
“It was more expensive for us because Michael and I both have cardiac and other pre-existing health conditions,” Mrs Morris said.
With borders shut and international travel banned, it soon became apparent their trip would have to be postponed.
Mrs Morris said she could not fault the airlines and hotels they had booked with, who offered them full credit notes valid for 24 months for flights and refunds for the accommodation.
However, Mrs Morris said she was shocked and frustrated when she contacted InsureandGo to ask for their travel insurance to be deferred or cancelled and was told it would not be possible because it was past the “14-day cooling off period”.
Mrs Morris said the decision did not seem fair.
“We are not actually asking to make a claim, we are not asking for a cash refund. We are asking for a cancellation or to defer it,” she said.
“These companies need to be accountable. I can understand if people are wanting claims that are COVID related. But when you are just asking to change the date that doesn’t seem fair.”
InsureandGo Australia’s Facebook page has been hit with almost 500 comments from frustrated customers protesting their lack of a refund or credit for policies, with some even threatening legal action.
In replies to the comments, the customers were directed to lodge a complaint with InsureandGo’s complaints department, or the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
Jasmin Bishop, from Victoria, said she stood to lose almost $600 on a policy she took out with the insurer for a dream trip to Europe she had planned with her husband.
“This was going to be our first holiday without our children who are all grown up now. We’ve waited for years for Richard to have enough leave so we could travel for 7 weeks, visiting family and friends in Europe,” she said.
Ms Bishop said she was not covered by the policy for any cancellations due to the coronavirus as she took it out a fortnight after the insurer’s designated cut off of January 31.
However, when she asked for a refund for the policy itself, she was also knocked back.
“Even, if I could get a credit for the next holiday I plan to take that would be awesome,” she said.
“Mine was nearly $600, which is a lot of money and I know a lot of others are in the same boat,” she said.
InsureandGo Australia’s managing director Raphael Bandeira hinted in a statement to nine.com.au that the company was likely to change its policy in the face of customer pressure.
The company was “working towards a solution for customers” and would be in touch with people who had contacted them soon, Mr Bandeira said.
“During these difficult few weeks for the many Australians who have booked travel for the months ahead, InsureandGo has been working towards a solution for customers seeking credits or partial credits on their travel insurance premiums,” Mr Bandeira said.
“The solution will be available in the next few days, and we will also be contacting those customers who have reached out to us over the past few weeks,” said Raphael Bandeira, Managing Director at InsureandGo Australia.
Contact reporter Emily McPherson at email@example.com
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