A warning before you plan your next vacation

Travel insurance refuses couple's claim
Posted at 11:37 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 02:37:11-05

A San Diego couple booked a cruise. Then they got a devastating cancer diagnosis.

Carol and Frank Ferdon wanted to celebrate a milestone anniversary by doing something they had never done. Mr. Ferdon suggested he and his wife of 50 years take a cruise. He paid for half the trip and bought trip insurance, just in case. About 48 hours later, Mrs. Ferdon was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer.

“We were both stunned," he said. 

Their 10 day anniversary cruise would have to wait. Mr. Ferdon contacted AIG, the trip insurance company, to file a claim and get reimbursed. Then they were hit with another surprise.

“They said, we're sorry the claim is denied,” Mr. Ferdon told us.

He said AIG hired 2 private investigators. They also asked him to sign a release allowing them access to all of his wife’s medical records. Those investigators went back more than a decade. Another several weeks passed.

“I called and they said it's denied. I said why was it denied?" Mr. Ferdon said. "Well, she had a pre-existing condition, she had nausea.”

But Mr. Ferdon refused to give up.

“This is $8,000 and they're fighting this. And my wife has pancreatic cancer. And they're trying to figure out some way not to pay us," he said. 

After three claim denials, AIG told him they were done with him and would no longer accept documentation from him or his wife’s doctors.

"It made me angry." he said. "You know you gotta fight them, fight them, fight them, fight them.”  

Carol Ferdon now has 14 chemo treatments under her belt and her husband continues to fight AIG, with lawyers.  

“If they can do this to us, what do they do to anyone else?” he said. 

The case is now in the hands of lawyers for both sides. 10News called and emailed AIG but we have not heard back from the company.