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How to force a refund?
Old 11-18-2017, 09:39 PM   #1
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How to force a refund?

A company is holding on to about $9K of my Dad's money and is taking their sweet time refunding it to him.

How can I pressure the company to speed things up? What kinds of things actually work - complain to BBB, file a complaint with the Attorney General, other?

Anyone know what the laws require? We requested the refund nearly 45 days ago. There are several complaints against this company for slow pay of refunds, sometimes up to 3-4 months and longer.

Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:40 PM   #2
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More info would help.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:47 PM   #3
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If it's a local company, go to the consumer affairs type person at a local TV station. They sometimes like to have features on how they helped the regular person their viewers can identify with against a big bad business.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:03 PM   #4
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More info is really needed... the best path may vary dependig on how the company is regulated if it is. Small claims court or a nastygram from your lawyer might be a place to start if it isn't regulated.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:59 PM   #5
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It's a travel insurance company in another state.

My Dad booked a trip with a travel company and bought the travel insurance. He ended up needing surgery before the trip and wouldn't recover in time.

We provided all of the documentation - proof he bought the insurance, proof of the trip cost, doctor's note, hospital bill, and completely filled out forms. They agree they've received it and don't need anything else.

I've phoned them a few times and they give a timeline then ask for more time after the previous timeline has passed. They claim they're swamped with claims processing because of the hurricanes (presumably Harvey and Irma). I'd rather not have it take six months to get my Dad's money back.

I've expressed my displeasure directly to the travel insurance company and also made my opinion clear to the travel company. I just want to be prepared to escalate to the next level if needed but not sure really what that would be.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:20 PM   #6
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Not much you can do....

My sister put in two claims when she went into the hospital.... one company required LOTS of stuff and even a note from a doctor... the other was not as bad...

One paid in 3 months, the other in 6....

You can try and complain to the insurance board in the state they are located, but even that takes time...
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:25 PM   #7
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You have to be willing to name the company or they feel no shame.

You could go on facebook and ask "why do they take so long to pay out claims ?".

If its an insurance company, look up who regulates them and file a complaint with the insurance regulators.

They are hoping you go away and they never pay.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
You have to be willing to name the company or they feel no shame.

You could go on facebook and ask "why do they take so long to pay out claims ?".

If its an insurance company, look up who regulates them and file a complaint with the insurance regulators.

They are hoping you go away and they never pay.
I never thought much about Facebook and the power of social media, but it's definitely something to consider. I had tried to get a small refund for my mother, and the company was refusing. I posted on Facebook telling people how this company was ripping off an elderly lady and to please not do business with them. In less than five minutes someone who was married to someone who worked at the company contacted me. He took care of things and we had a refund the next day. It's definitely worth trying.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:49 PM   #9
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My first thought is insurance companies are regulated by each state so maybe file a claim with the Insurance Division of the state you live in.....that is if travel insurance is regulated like other insurance companies.
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:13 AM   #10
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I worked with an ex-insurance office person, not a sales person.

She told me they got bonuses based on how many claims they denied.
The best way to deny was to delay, you would be surprised at the number of people who give up.

The biggest case she knew of was a man died with a life insurance policy, they denied the claim to the wife for years, finally she died. The clerk thought he was getting a big bonus, but the children via the dead mother's estate continued on the claim.

My friend quit before the ending was known.
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Old 11-19-2017, 06:31 AM   #11
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If the transaction took place in Idaho I would try contacting the State Attorney General . www.ag.idaho.gov

They may cave in and give you the refund if the State Attorney General gets involved. Something to try anyway. The AG is Lawrence Wasden.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:33 AM   #12
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Travel insurance IS regulated by the State Insurance Commissioner and they take consumer complaints seriously. I've typically gotten responses from recalcitrant companies just by threatening to go to the state Insurance Commissioner. Here's a directory.

http://naic.org/documents/members_membershiplist.pdf


You may get help at this Forum on FlyerTalk, too. I've never posted a question about travel insurance but the moderator will move it (and let you know) if you post it in the wrong place.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz-176/
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:42 AM   #13
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We filed a claim with World Nomads in mid-September for reimbursement for rental car damages pursuant to our trip to Italy this past summer. The entire claims process has been handled online that allows policyholders to check their claim's status. A couple of days ago I checked their website and it shows that ours has been "closed and paid". Not sure when the proverbial check will arrive in the mail (we are traveling outside the U.S. right now).

Over the years, we've filed several claims of varying amounts (from $500 - $2K) with different travel insurance companies for various reasons. All of our claims have been reimbursed and the claims' processes as short as 4 weeks in duration all the way up to 12 weeks. It could be the amount of your claim that is slowing down the process, however, if it has been 2 months since filing, that doesn't sound out of the ordinary based on our current and past experiences.

YMMV
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:43 AM   #14
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+1 with Athena53. Tell them that if you do not receive a check for the full amount of the claim wihtin 5 days that you will file a formal complaint with the state insurance commissioner. That may get them moving.

If they don't act... file a complaint.
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Old 11-19-2017, 09:45 AM   #15
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I wouldn't just threaten to file a complaint. Delayed payment is a valid issue. I filed a complaint once, it was very easy to do and I got a prompt response. Although it was not in my favor, at least the insurance company had to justify their rejection of my claim.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:42 AM   #16
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The backup due to hurricane claims appears like a reasonable excuse. Not saying it is correct, but any action you take will be countered with the voluminous number of hurricane claims. 45 days is nothing for a property and casualty insurer. I do not think that shaming them on social media at this point is wise. I think asking them for a reasonable date is all you can do. I would keep a record of the failed due dates they have given you in the past.

I think you begin taking action at somewhere between 75 and 90 days.
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Old 11-19-2017, 10:50 AM   #17
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Technically, you are not seeking a refund from the travel company, but a payment on a travel insurance claim from the insurance company. You can complain to the Idaho Department of Insurance here https://doi.idaho.gov/consumer/complaint You can also complain to the Idaho Attorney General here Idaho Office of the Attorney General - Consumer Protection Complaint Form
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:09 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone for the input.

@Gumby, yes, I understand that it is an insurance claim that has not yet been paid, not a refund. My original language was lax.

@Sunset, the claim hasn't been denied. It's just "in processing" or "under review" or some such phrasing. I get the sense they want to either (a) hold on to our money as long as possible, or (b) hope we forget/go away/give up/die.

@UnrealizedPotential, thanks. I think my Dad knows Mr. Wasden personally. He's a good guy IMHO.

@Z3 I have been keeping records. So far they asked for 30 days and missed that, then asked for a week and a half longer and that will end in a few days.

Does anyone think contacting the insurance department or AG in the state in which the business is located would be logical and/or effective? I think the company is in the midwest somewhere.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:15 PM   #19
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I do not think that shaming them on social media at this point is wise. I think asking them for a reasonable date is all you can do. I would keep a record of the failed due dates they have given you in the past.
Agreed that SecondCor needs to keep better records but I wonder why you think shaming them on social media is unwise. I think it is a great idea. If they're taking more than a couple of weeks to pay a claim after all the needed documentation is there I think that's absurd foot-dragging and flat-out stalling. I also wouldn't hesitate to file a claim with the AG in the state were the company is based, and perhaps in the state where his father lives if they'll take it. Since the company is doing business in that state the AG in that state may have jurisdiction too.

As far as the excuse that the hurricanes caused a backlog, I think that's absurd too. That's what temp agencies are for and they should be fully geared up for handling those claims by now. The insurance company just needs to get off their complacent butt and make an effort to honor their contracts.
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Old 11-19-2017, 02:02 PM   #20
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Does anyone think contacting the insurance department or AG in the state in which the business is located would be logical and/or effective? I think the company is in the midwest somewhere.
No, you need to file the complaint with whichever government entity regulates insurance in the state where your Dad lives, not the state where the company headquarters is located.
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