Trip Cancellation, Trip Curtailment or Trip Extension?
Puan Siti (not her real name) was on a holiday in the United Kingdom and extended her stay due to the passing of a relative. She subsequently bought additional flight ticket to return home and submitted a claim to the Insurer for the costs incurred in purchasing the said ticket.
Insurer A had assessed the claim under Trip Cancellation and repudiated the claim on the grounds that this provision only covers any alterations/cancellations made before the departure from Malaysia.
Puan Siti contended that her claim should be assessed under Trip Curtailment.
Investigation and Findings
In assessing the dispute, the following findings were observed by the Case Manager:
a) Policy definition on:
i) “TRIP CANCELLATION (PRE-DEPARTURE)
Alteration of your trip (pre-departure)
If it is necessary and unavoidable that You have to alter your trip as a result of one (1) or more of the covered events listed under Section A3, we will pay up to the sum insured limit shown in the Schedule of Benefits, the reasonable and necessary additional costs incurred and paid by You to re- schedule Your Trip.
ii) “TRIP CURTAILMENT (does not apply to domestic annual multi-Trip or domestic Single-Trip Plans)
Additional Trip alteration expenses specified below:
- additional cost of a Common Carrier economy class fare (unless a higher grade of travel is confirmed medically necessary by Us) to return You Home.
- Additional accommodation costs (room charge only) reasonably and necessarily incurred and paid by You.”
b) For the claim to fall under trip cancellation, the cancellation has to occur before departure of the trip. Additionally, cancellation for this provision refers to cancellation of the whole trip, not cancellation of a singular flight.
c) For the claim to fall under trip curtailment, there is a prerequisite for curtailment to occur (i.e. to cut short the journey and return to the home territory).
d) In this case, Puan Siti was already in United Kingdom for her trip and later extended her stay. There is no coverage in the policy for expenses incurred in extending a trip.
Puan Siti accepted the finding and observation by the Case Manager and withdrew the claim.