Report: #845538

Complaint Review: CSA Travel Insurance

  • Submitted: Mon, February 27, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, March 05, 2012
  • Reported By: Ronald — Roanoke Virginia United States of America
  • CSA Travel Insurance
    5251 Viewridge Ct,
    San Diego, California
    United States of America

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After researching many travel insurance companies I chose CSA Freestyle because of its apparent comprehensive coverage.  I paid $998 to buy a policy that I thought covered, among other things, Trip Interruption, to reimburse me if I had to return early. I had purchased airline tickets online from CheapOAir to get from my home to California, then from California to Tokyo.  From Tokyo to Okinawa. Okinawa to Bangkok.  Then from Hanoi, Vietnam to my home in Virginia.  From Bangkok to Hanoi, Vietnam we had purchased a travel package from Gate 1 travel.  I purposely did not purchase airline ticket coverage from CheapOAir because I thought this CSA policy covered that.  On the page that describes their coverage, under Trip Interruption, it states: "Provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable pre-paid trip expenses if your trip is interrupted due to a covered reason.  Also provides reimbursement for the additional transportation cost to return home or join your group."  Our trip was interrupted in Okinawa due to the death of my mother-in-law.  I filed a claim and sent in all the required documentation including the cost of the airfare from Okinawa to Bangkok ($4468.52) and from Hanoi, Vietnam to my home ($2155.48).  CSA reimbursed me for the unused Gate 1 land package and the transportation to return home from Okinawa.  They would not reimburse for the unused/pre-paid/non-reimbursable  airline tickets from Okinawa to Bangkok and from Hanoi, Vietnam to my home because, as they pointed out in their letter to me: "There are no provisions in the policy that allows payment for unused airline tickets."  And, indeed, after looking at the policy, the wording is: "...we will reimburse you, less any refund paid or payable, for unused land or water arrangements.."  I read the policy when I received and thought I understood it.  It did not occur to me that the airline tickets were not covered because their advertising clearly says that Trip Interruption provides "reimbursement for unused, non-refundable pre-paid trip expenses...".  It seems this would be an appropriate place to add, "..with the exception of airline tickets...".  So I paid for $4468.52 in airline tickets that I could not use but due to the extremely misleading advertising of CSA Travel Insurance I cannot receive reimbursement from them.  I would absolutely never buy travel insurance from CSA again and would tell anyone who contemplates buying from them to reconsider.  You are pretty much at their mercy unless you go to the additional expense of hiring an attorney to examine their policy BEFORE you buy it!
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/27/2012 04:35 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

CSA Travel Insurance engages in false advertising & makes clearly misleading claim about insurance coverage.

AUTHOR: RONGO - (United States of America)

CSA states that they "summarize" benefit description where space is at a minimum.  What they mean is that they make false advertising claims about what Trip Interruption covers.  This is what they say in their advertising about what Trip Interruption covers: "Provides reimbursement for unused, non-refundable pre-paid trip expenses if your trip is interrupted due to a covered reason.  Also provides reimbursement for the additional transportation cost to return home or join your group." (The bold italicized part is what I have highlighted. ) They could easily add "except airline tickets" after "..Pre-paid travel expenses.."   That would add exactly three words to the 35 they already have!  Therefore it still seems to me to be an effort on their part to mislead customers about what their insurance really covers.  I am not asking for an additional refund.  I am asking that they be honest in their advertising.  (Yes they do ask you to read their policy and offer a 10 day premium refund.  Like most insurance policies, theirs is very long and legalistic.  I DID read it several times, but did not notice that refund of unused airline tickets is not mentioned until I filed a claim and was informed by the person handling the claim.)  I am suggesting that adding three words to their thirty five word advertising description would not in any way violate their minimum space requirements and would make it perfectly clear what Trip Insurance did and did not cover.

Their additional statement that they reimbursed me for my travel expenses to return home, but not for unused airfare because that would "enrich him versus prevent loss expenses" is ridiculous.  How would I be "enriched" by being reimbursed for pre-paid airfare that was non-refundable.  I LOST money because I could not use airline tickets that I had paid for, $4468.52 in unused airline tickets.  By this same line of reasoning I was also "enriched" by being reimbursed for the travel arrangements I made with Gate 1.  The purpose of insurance, I thought, was to reimburse you for losses; in my case unused airline tickets and the Gate 1 travel package.  Reimbursing me for my airline fare to return home was an additional expense I incurred for which they did reimburse me.  (That was specifically covered in the policy.)  In summary I lost $4468.52 on this trip.  If you're going to respond to my complaint, at least stick to the facts.  I understand you do not have to pay me for the unused airline tickets, but there is no way that I would be "enriched" or make money if you did.  That, as I hope you are aware, is absurd!

What I am asking is, I don't think, unreasonable.  Make your advertising CLEAR.  In this case adding three words would make your policy crystal clear and I would have looked for a different company.  I plan to take this same trip later this year, but at least I know now where not to look: CSA Travel Insurance.  Here's a link with other opinions (not so good):
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Please read policy in full before purchasing and/or use 10-day free look

AUTHOR: CSA Travel Protection - (United States of America)

As Ronald mentions in his report, we did reimburse him for additional costs associated with an unexpected return home due to a death in the family. Since the policy covers the cost of the trip home, also reimbursing him for unused airfare would enrich him versus prevent lost expenses, which is how insurance is designed to help policyholders.
As he also notes, we clearly noted that Trip Interruption covers "unused land and water travel arrangements" in our policy. We summarize this benefit description where space is at a minimum, but it is spelled out clearly in our policy, and we encourage all policyholders to read their policy clearly before purchasing.
We proudly stand behind our products and services. That's why we offer a 10-day free look on all our travel insurance plans. We will provide a refund of your insurance premium if you cancel your insurance within 10 days of purchase and have not filed a claim or departed on your trip.

CSA is committed to its customers and holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
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