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After Stroke, Tacoma Man Can’t Cash-In on Travel Insurance

Ken Morse and a friend were ready to set sail on a Fall West Coast cruise, until the cruel winds of fate blew his trip away.

“We made the down payment, and then after that is when I had my stroke,” said Morse.

Morse focused on his recovery with his niece Kim Knox.

They didn’t cancel the cruise because he had Travel Insurance.

“I had been in touch with the travel agent who had said, oh you can wait up until the last minute to cancel, that’s why you have this insurance,” said Knox.

It became a goal for Morse to get fit in time for the trip.

Morse said, “I was optimistic.”

“So we went ahead and paid for the last payment on the cruise,” said Knox.

When Morse got home from rehab, he made an about-face.

“I didn’t want to be a burden on somebody that was traveling with me that hadn’t intended to be a nurse or anything to me,” said Morse.

Knox tried to contact the travel agent, but sadly she had passed away.  And when Knox went through the claims process, it was denied twice.

“I got my last denial probably in April.  And, I was so frustrated,” said Knox.

In a letter to Knox, the insurance company, Aon Affinity, says “Royal Caribbean will not provide a cash refund if a customer cancels a cruise….due to a condition that first presents, worsens, becomes acute or has symptoms causing a person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment…during the 60 days before you purchased this waiver.”

In other words, if you have surgery two months before buying a policy and complications from that procedure six months later prevent you from taking your trip, chances are your claim will be denied.

“To me it was basically them saying well you should have known better, that you shouldn’t have said you were going to go on this cruise if you had this stoke and you knew you knew you weren’t going to be able to go,” said Knox.

Always read the fine print before you buy insurance and look for policies with clauses that are a little more forgiving should you get sick.

“It just seems like they are looking for any reason to say no,” said Morse.

In a statement, Aon Affinity said, “According to the terms of his plan, Mr. Morse has received a cruise credit equal to 75 percent of the vacation, for use toward a future cruise.”

The thing is, Morse may never be able to use it because of his health condition.

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