Back in February 2005, our family was planning a trip to Disney World. Four days before our flight, we noticed that the lymph nodes on Bailey, our West Highland Terrier, were swollen. We took Bailey to our vet the next day, and he had a strong suspicion of lymphoma. You can imagine the shock and horror that we felt! Our vet wanted to do a biopsy and start chemotherapy the following week (the week we were supposed to be in FLA). We could not stand the thought of leaving Bailey with someone else, so we decided to cancel our trip.
I contacted the airline and online travel company where we purchased the tickets. We were told that there would be allowed to cancel our flight, there would be re-booking fees when we rescheduled. We purchased travel insurance when we initially purchased the tickets, so I figured that I could file a claim for trip interruption.
In May 2005, we finally had the opportunity to go to Disney World. Bailey was responding well to chemotherapy.
Soon after our trip, I filed a claim with our travel insurance company, Access America, seeking payment for the rebooking fees that we paid. I submitted all of the required documents: a letter from our vet, credit card receipts, etc. A few weeks later, I received a letter from Access America stating that they denied our claim because "we do not cover losses due to pet illness".
They claim that in their policy that "pets are not considered family members, therefore not covered".
I am sure you can feel the same outrage that I felt when I heard this! I am sure that most pet owners consider their as pets family members. In fact, I believe a study by the American Veterinary Hospital Association found that 60% of American Homes have at least one dog, and 65% of dog owners consider their pets as children. Even Pres. George W. Bush called his dog, Barney, "my child".
At this point, I could care less about the claim. But, I would appreciate if you could contact Access America to voice your opinion. WE NEED INSURANCE COMPANY POLICIES CHANGED TO INCLUDE PETS!
P.O. Box 71533
Richmond, VA 23286
Email: [email protected]
Thank you for reading!