Travel insurance easy to buy but tough to cash in, widow warns o - KCTV5

Travel insurance easy to buy but tough to cash in, widow warns others

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The KCTV5 News investigative department got involved when it took more than five months to get a refund on Judy Cantu's canceled trip to Cancun. (Submitted) The KCTV5 News investigative department got involved when it took more than five months to get a refund on Judy Cantu's canceled trip to Cancun. (Submitted)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A widow is warning others about travel insurance and says it is easy to buy but tough to cash in.

The KCTV5 News investigative department got involved when it took more than five months to get a refund on Judy Cantu's canceled trip to Cancun.

Cantu said her husband, Larry Cantu, was too sick to travel. Doctors provided letters and her husband was placed on hospice. Larry Cantu died a few months later.

Judy Cantu says American Airlines quickly refunded the airfare, but she began a never-ending conversation with HTH Insurance, a division of Nationwide Insurance.

“There was always something else ... you know. We need to know why? When did you cancel. When did you do this?” Judy Cantu said.

She said the constant questions and conversations were gut-wrenching.

“In my heart, it just hurts. It's just one more thing makes you sad and hurt and it weighs on your mind ... OK what else do we need to do?” she said.

Our investigative unit got involved and contacted the head of public relations for Nationwide. We flat out asked if this is how travel insurance works.

Then, our investigative reporter, Angie Ricono, emailed the same information and letters the Cantu’s had already provided. She also included Larry Cantu’s photo.

In four business hours, Judy Cantu was notified she was getting a full refund.

Our unit then received this statement from Nationwide:

“Nationwide and its partners strive to treat all of our customers with respect and empathy. Once we received all of the necessary information and prior to being contacted by the news media, we completed processing of this claim and have issued full payment. We have resolved the issue with Ms. Cantu.”

The American Travel Insurance Association reports people spend about $2 billion every year on travel insurance.

Travel experts say you should never take our insurance for cheap domestic trips or buy insurance if you can afford the loss. You are making the decision to be self-insured.

Travel experts say the rules change if you are heading overseas and you really need to explore medical coverage.

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