Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trip Cancellation Insurance: No Coverage For Pre-Existing Medical Condition

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We examine the case of Dombrovskiy v. Travel Guard, 2016 WL 5335258 (N.J.A.D. 2016) in which the plaintiff “paid $3,176.10 for a weeklong trip to St. Lucia for himself and his family. On March 19, 2014, two days before his scheduled departure date (plaintiff) made an on-line purchase of travel insurance from Travel Guard. The policy offered trip cancellation coverage. On May 20, 2014, which was the policy’s effective date and just one before his departure (plaintiff) felt a ‘very strong continuous pain on the left side of [his] mouth’ and sought treatment that same day. His dentist diagnosed him on May 20, 2014, with acute pericoronitis. Following his dentist’s advice not to travel, (plaintiff) cancelled the trip to St. Lucia and, when he was not successful in obtaining a refund for the trip, filed a claim under the travel insurance policy for reimbursement of his expenses. Travel Guard denied the claim under the policy’s pre-existing medical condition exclusion. “Under the policy, a pre-existing medical condition was defined as a medical condition that manifested itself 180 days immediately preceding the policy’s effective date, and included the effective date of the policy. Because (plaintiff’s) illness occurred on May 20, 2014, the policy’s effective date, it constituted a ‘pre-existing medical condition’ as defined by the policy, and was thus excluded from coverage”.

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