The Clyson household journey to Antigua final March was a redo of types. They’d already cancelled one journey to Mexico as a result of COVID-19 considerations and restrictions.
With two youngsters in tow, Rob and Kathleen Anne Clyson of Kitchener, Ont., knew it could be the final time they’d be capable to get the entire clan on a airplane on the similar time.
Kathleen Anne says the household’s first journey in three years was precisely what they’d hoped.
“The resort was lovely. The seaside was lovely. It was a pleasant, enjoyable, household time,” she instructed Go Public.
That’s, till 5 days in after they, together with all different air passengers, needed to take a speedy COVID check to be allowed to fly dwelling.
All of them handed, besides Rob.
He had solely delicate signs, however the household trip floor to a halt.
Whereas the remainder of the household needed to keep on the resort, distanced from different visitors, Rob was required to isolate in his room, and would miss their return flight.
It price $1,050 US to maintain him in an Antigua resort room for 3 nights and $627.60 Cdn for a separate flight dwelling.
Fortunately, Kathleen Anne thought, they’d loads of journey insurance coverage.
Along with COVID emergency insurance coverage — included of their Sunwing trip bundle — she additionally paid for journey cancellation and interruption protection. All insurance policies had been with Manulife.
“It was simply peace of thoughts reserving it. I imply, so far as I used to be conscious, there was no different insurance coverage I might have purchased that may have protected us,” she stated.
The Clysons’ journey agent had even known as Sunwing earlier than the household departed to make sure the COVID bundle coated any isolation bills.
The agent says she was assured it did.
Kathleen Anne recollects getting extra assurances when she opened a declare.
“I known as Manulife and the Sunwing rep. They stated, ‘Don’t fret, we’ll ensure that he is nicely taken care of. You do not have something to fret about.’ So we packed up all the things and left Rob with what he wanted,'” she stated.
The Clysons anticipated their interruption insurance coverage to cowl the 2 days of trip that had been derailed by Rob’s COVID check, and for his resort keep and flight to be coated by the COVID insurance coverage.
She thought leaving her husband by himself, in a resort room, feeling beneath the climate, could be the worst of it.
“It was terrible. It is the unknown,” she stated.
We did all the things we thought that was proper. We deliberate it.— Kathleen Anne Clyson
However the declare was denied as a result of — in response to each Manulife and the journey agent — Rob hadn’t wanted or sought “medical therapy.”
In different phrases, as a result of Rob did not get sick sufficient to warrant a hospital go to.
However that rejection seems to be in direct battle with the tremendous print in Manulife’s COVID-19 coverage, which says “therapy” contains “prescribed medicine, investigative testing and surgical procedure.”
Scott Stanley, a Vancouver private damage lawyer and insurance coverage specialist, calls Manulife’s rejection a “dangerous denial.”
He says the protection is obvious. “That is truly one of many uncommon situations when the insurance coverage coverage is definitely fairly straightforward to learn, fairly straightforward to grasp, and but we’ve got a denial coming from it,” he stated.
Stanley’s opinion is that the denial was a breach of contract.
“It is fairly apparent that it is a declare that falls throughout the 4 corners of the coverage. It is one which ought to be paid out and coated, and it is actually not dependent upon how sick the particular person is.”
After Go Public obtained concerned, Manulife modified course. The Clysons had been reimbursed $627 Cdn for Rob’s flight dwelling and $450 Cdn for the three additional nights he stayed in Antigua, totalling $1,077.
They weren’t compensated for the interruption of the ultimate two days of their trip.
Stanley says he routinely comes throughout legitimate claims which can be denied however not pursued legally as a result of the claimants cannot afford a lawyer.
Manulife didn’t comply with an interview for this story, nor did it reply any of the questions subsequently despatched by e-mail about why the Clysons had been denied within the first place.
In a written assertion to Go Public, Sunwing says its coverage was adopted when the Clysons had been instructed to pursue the matter with Manulife. It additionally stated it not provides that exact COVID protection.
The Clysons say they’re considerably glad to have acquired partial reimbursement for his or her prices. However Kathleen Anne says they’re nonetheless left questioning what they may have finished otherwise.
“It isn’t like we did not get insurance coverage and thought, oh, we must always have gotten insurance coverage, however we did all the things we thought that was proper. We deliberate it,” she stated.
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