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Washington files suit against travel insurance company

KIRO Seattle logo KIRO Seattle 5/7/2021 Essex Porter

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed a lawsuit against one of the world’s biggest travel insurance companies.

He’s alleging deception and discrimination against people with mental health issues.

That’s what Ashley Oman, who bought travel insurance from Allianz, experienced when she planned two plane trips to Detroit to visit art schools.

Oman told us she lives with anxiety and depression from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It turns out that I was having some issues when I was out there, and I wasn’t going to be able to make the second trip out,” she said.

Allianz refused to pay her claim for the second plane ticket she couldn’t use.

“You aren’t covered for any loss that results directly or indirectly from any mental or nervous health disorders like anxiety, depression, and others,” it stated in a letter, denying the claim.

Oman lost $424. She said she didn’t know about the mental health exemption.

“No, I did not. That was not clear when I purchased the policy,” she said.

The alleged deception is just one of the reasons Ferguson has just filed a lawsuit against Allianz.

“If you get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis after you bought this insurance and after you bought your plane ticket, and you have a doctor proving you should not travel because you have that Alzheimer’s diagnosis, they won’t refund your money. You know, I don’t know what kind of a company does that, but it’s not right,” Ferguson said.

And whether it’s travel insurance or anything else, Ferguson said Washington Civil Rights law bans discrimination on the basis of mental health.

That’s why Oman supports the lawsuit.

“It’s so important because with, with these types of loopholes in these companies, that is, it’s just unfair, and it’s a scam,” she said.

Allianz has yet to respond to our request for comment.


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