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March 2012    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 27, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Trip Insurance Update

from the March, 2012 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In our January issue, we did a story on travel insurance, and how it's wise to research visas, fees and travel issues with your travel supplier, because you may not be covered if that supplier makes a mistake that affects your travel plans. That's what happened to reader Jonathan Blake (La Verne, CA), who wrote how he missed his Andaman Islands liveaboard trip because his travel agency didn't know the visa requirements, and TravelGuard wouldn't refund him his plane ticket because it was a documentation error on the travel agency's part (read the full story at www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/dive_magazine/2012 ).

In the February issue, another reader suggested that he file a case in small claims court to get reimbursed. Here is Blake's reply:

"I did take the airlines (Thai Air), the travel agent (Classic Blue Water Destinations in San Jose, CA) and TravelGuard to small claims court. After hearing my story, the judge commented that he did not understand why this case did not end up on Judge Judy. He ruled in my favor for all travel expenses against the airline and the travel agent. But because no claim reimbursement was necessary, nothing against Travel Guard (although their flimsy excuse of it being a "document" issue and not a travel interruption is still dubious to me).

"Worldwide Dive and Sail was most gracious in helping me when I was stuck in Bangkok. They offered me local diving, a rebooking of the trip or a selection of another of their dive destinations when they could have easily said it was not their problem.

"Please remind readers when buying travel insurance that they can buy an "annual" coverage package. That means no matter how many dive trips you make in one year, you are covered up to the limit of your policy. No need to buy insurance for every trip, if they're taken in one year."

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