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Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi Statement on Investigation of Travel Insurance Agencies Not Covering Coronavirus Related Cancellations

March 13, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Below is a statement from House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi regarding responses from travel agencies after an official inquiry about their coverage of travelers during the coronavirus outbreak:

“Last Wednesday, I launched an Oversight investigation into travel insurance companies.  I question whether insurers like Allianz, Travel Guard, and Generali are providing any meaningful protection to travelers in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.  I fear that they are profiteering off of crisis.

Though our investigation is ongoing, the early indication is that travel insurance companies are not providing the protection that consumers think they are buying.  

The evidence shows consumers are purchasing standard travel insurance products, thinking they will be covered if they cancel their trip because of coronavirus.  Yet, companies like Allianz, Travel Guard, and Generali are refusing to cover those claims.  In the process they are encouraging dangerous travel.

The companies are not clearly and unmistakably informing consumers that their products do not cover coronavirus-related cancellations.  Today, during the coronavirus pandemic, Allianz went a dangerous step further when Allianz’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Daniel Durazo appeared on Fox Business, to promote sales of travel insurance, stating that “travel Insurance typically covers those cancellations when you have to cancel your trip, you can get your money back for your non-refundable prepaid deposits.”  Despite being uttered in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic,  Durazo’s statement fails to mention non-coverage of coronavirus related cancellations.

Today’s sales pitch shows that Allianz may be putting its own self-interest about its consumers. Rather than honestly telling consumers that its product will not cover them if they cancel their trip because of coronavirus, Allianz hinted to millions of viewers that they would be covered.

This type of highly questionable marketing of travel insurance is why I opened an investigation into travel insurers Allianz, Travel Guard, and Generali.  We were forced to postpone our scheduled hearing with the CEOs of Allianz, Travel Guard, and Generali because of the emergency continuation of our important hearing on Coronavirus Preparedness and Response, but we will reschedule it shortly.  If they are taking advantage of American consumers, travel insurance companies must be held accountable for it.”

 

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