September 23, 2023
Journey insurance coverage large refuses payout, claiming Ontario man’s COVID not extreme sufficient

The Clyson household journey to Antigua final March was a redo of kinds. They’d already cancelled one journey to Mexico because of COVID-19 issues and restrictions.

With two youngsters in tow, Rob and Kathleen Anne Clyson of Kitchener, Ont., knew it could be the final time they’d have the ability to get the entire clan on a aircraft on the identical time.

Kathleen Anne says the household’s first journey in three years was precisely what they’d hoped.

“The resort was stunning. The seashore was stunning. It was a pleasant, stress-free, household time,” she informed Go Public.

That’s, till 5 days in after they, together with all different air passengers, needed to take a fast COVID check to be allowed to fly residence. 

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 friends, 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 residence.

Fortunately, Kathleen Anne thought, they’d loads of journey insurance coverage. 

Along with COVID emergency insurance coverage — included of their Sunwing trip package deal — 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 might have protected us,” she mentioned. 

A man and younger woman paddle a kayak in a tropical setting.
Rob and his daughter Grace kayak in Antigua. The household had taken out each journey interruption insurance coverage and emergency COVID protection. (Submitted by Kathleen Anne Clyson)

The Clysons’ journey agent had even referred to as Sunwing earlier than the household departed to make sure the COVID package deal coated any isolation bills. 

The agent says she was assured it did.

Kathleen Anne remembers getting extra assurances when she opened a declare. 

“I referred to as Manulife and the Sunwing rep. They mentioned, ‘Don’t be concerned, we’ll ensure that he is effectively 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 mentioned. 

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.

A woman with dark blonde hair wearing a black t-shirt looks directly at the camera.
Kathleen Anne spent weeks making an attempt to get reimbursement from Manulife for the disruption of their trip and Rob’s separate resort room and return flight. (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

She thought leaving her husband by himself, in a resort room, feeling underneath the climate, can be the worst of it.

“It was terrible. It is the unknown,” she mentioned. 

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 line with 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 high-quality print in Manulife’s COVID-19 coverage, which says “therapy” consists of “prescribed remedy, investigative testing and surgical procedure.” 

Scott Stanley, a Vancouver private harm lawyer and insurance coverage specialist, calls Manulife’s rejection a “dangerous denial.”

He says the protection is evident. “That is truly one of many uncommon cases when the insurance coverage coverage is definitely fairly simple to learn, fairly simple to grasp, and but we’ve got a denial coming from it,” he mentioned.

A slim man with short brown hair, wearing a collared shirt and black blazer, looks directly at the camera. There is a bookshelf behind him.
Scott Stanley, a Vancouver private harm lawyer, says Manulife’s resolution to reject the Clysons’ declare was a ‘dangerous denial.’ (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

Stanley’s opinion is that the denial was a breach of contract.

“It is fairly apparent that it is a declare that falls inside 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 individual is.”

After Go Public received concerned, Manulife modified course. The Clysons had been reimbursed $627 Cdn for Rob’s flight residence 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.

WATCH | Rob Clyson obtained journey insurance coverage, however was denied reimbursement: 

Household denied reimbursement regardless of COVID-19 insurance coverage | Go Public

An Ontario household says they had been denied reimbursement from Manulife after one in every of them fell in poor health with COVID-19 whereas on vacation, regardless of having bought COVID-19 journey insurance coverage.

Manulife didn’t conform to an interview for this story, nor did it reply any of the questions subsequently despatched by electronic 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 informed to pursue the matter with Manulife. It additionally mentioned it not provides that individual 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 might have carried out in another way.

“It is not like we did not get insurance coverage and thought, oh, we should always have gotten insurance coverage, however we did all the things we thought that was proper. We deliberate it,” she mentioned. 

Submit your story concepts

Go Public is an investigative information phase on CBC-TV, radio and the online.

We inform your tales, make clear wrongdoing and maintain the powers that be accountable.

You probably have a narrative within the public curiosity, or should you’re an insider with data, contact [email protected] along with your title, contact data and a quick abstract. All emails are confidential till you resolve to Go Public.

Observe @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.

Learn extra tales by Go Public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *