Claim denied despite positive COVID-19 test, need to quarantine family
KANSAS CITY, Kansas – A Wichita, Kansas, woman has filed a proposed federal class action lawsuit against the company that serves as the Vrbo travel website’s exclusive travel insurance provider. The lawsuit alleges that CSA Travel Protection, the American affiliate of Italy-based Generali Group, has refused to honor its policy and refund more than $3,500 for a properly cancelled booking of a beach house in Rockport, on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Audra Sanchez made a reservation through Vrbo in May 2020 for the accommodations for her husband and four children for a weeklong vacation, planned for July 24-31. When booking the property, Ms. Sanchez paid more than $250 for a travel insurance coverage plan from CSA. At that time there were no reports of widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the Wichita or Rockport communities, and both state’s governors had lifted stay-at-home orders.
However, on July 13, Ms. Sanchez’s 12-year-old daughter was directly exposed to COVID-19 while playing at a friend’s house. Ms. Sanchez, who has an autoimmune disorder, was immediately concerned and contacted her doctor, who directed the family to conduct a two-week quarantine. The doctor also wrote a letter, which was submitted to CSA along with her trip cancellation claim, requesting that the insurer “release [Ms. Sanchez] from her obligations to her vacation package at this time” because the doctor directed them to quarantine until at least August 1.
CSA responded by email five days later that the claim was being denied, and only offered a refund of her insurance premium.
“Ms. Sanchez did all the right things, took all the right precautions, and fully expected this company to honor its commitment,” said Tim Sifers of the Kansas City office of the Potts Law Firm, who represents Ms. Sanchez. “These denials by Vrbo’s insurance provider are widespread, and a class action is the most efficient and effective means to gain compensation for those who purchased these policies in good faith, only to be wrongfully denied.”
The case is Audra Sanchez et. al. v. Generali Group et.al., Case 2:20-cv-02380-SAC-TJJ, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in Kansas City.