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Hurricane Katrina insurance refunds;Sea Princess New ENgland 2005


denfarwell

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(1) Did anyone have trouble getting their refunds from their insurance companies? My mom and I evacuated with six cats to Houston from New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina.I tried nonstop to reach my insurance company to tell them we obviously could not make the trip and certainly qualified for reimbursement under our particular circumstances. When I finally reached them I requested forms be sent to us in Houston. However, the mail system between New Orleans and Houston remained an enourmous mess for eight months, and New Orleanians have just been allowed to receive any mail other than first class. In New Orleans, not in the neighboring areas that were also heavily damaged. Those people have to travel to get mail from a distant post office. I spent my time in Houston taking care of my mom and survival issues so obviously I did not have time to pursue this claim within 60 days. Eventually I was able to get her admitted to a hospital. She lived on her own in her house and was cleared by her doctors in late July after thorough testing and received clearance for travel. No senility, regular heartbeat, etc. Her stockbrokers took notes from her! Alas, the stress was too much for her and she died in late October, as so many of our older friends did. and Katrina continues to kill. The older people can not take this type of crisis. I came back to New Orleans to bury her her and to stay.

My computer was looted. The cable company only recently was able to rewire the neighborhood for internet (after I had to buy a new computer). The laptop I bought with an air card would not work for months at the house. It never gets more than 1/5 the signal. I did not get a land phone until the end of Decmber. People in my neighborhood are still wiating on the coompetitor. 800 cell phone towers were damaged so our cell phones do not always work. We still get brownouts and blackouts. I have done nothing but work 24/7 with insurance companies who will not pay out what they even agreed to, gouging contractors, etc. My attorneys have their hands full. Now I am going to write the trip insurer. The insurer said to file the claim and write an explanatory letter why they should pay out after the time limit of sixty days. Anyone else have trouble reaching/getting reponses from their insurer after Katrina??

 

(2) We were set to sail the Sea Princess's New ENgland fall foilage cruise from Quebec City to NYC in early October 2005. I lost track of how many times mom had sailed Princess (12?) but we had been taking a Princess cruise together almost every year since Dad died in 1997. How was it? Love to hear from people.

 

Dennette Farwell

denfarwell@cox.net

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... We were set to sail the Sea Princess's New ENgland fall foilage cruise from Quebec City to NYC in early October 2005. I lost track of how many times mom had sailed Princess (12?) but we had been taking a Princess cruise together almost every year since Dad died in 1997. How was it? Love to hear from people.Dennette Farwell

denfarwell@cox.net

So sorry to hear about your loss and the passing of your mother. Hopefully your insurance company will understand the delay and compensate you.

 

We were on that cruise on the Sea Princess from Quebec City to NYC. What cruise isn't wonderful?! The fall colors in the countryside around Quebec City were spectacular. This was the place to see the fall colors and a tour outside of the city to Lac Beauport, located in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains, and Isle d’Orleans is a must to see the colors.

 

There were some problems with poor service in the dining room and food was not prepared as we have become accustomed to on a Princess ship - good but not great.

 

There was a delayed docking in Boston and a missed port in RI. Princess failed to notify the port authority in Boston of their planned arrival the required number of hours prior to scheduled docking. Our arrival time had to be delayed hours because of this and many shore excursions were cut short eliminating some of the planned activities. Princess did compensate for the shortened tours. The weather was so bad when we were scheduled to tender into Newport RI that the port had to be eliminated completely.

 

Wonderful cruise and hopefully you will be able to take it in the future.

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Have you contacted your state Insurance Commissioner's office to file a

complaint against the Insurance Company. They will get involved and

I believe you can even file the complaint on line. Best of luck to you.

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I just want to say how sorry I am........

 

What insurance company are you dealing with? I have only dealt with insurance once and I had one year to file a claim. Even if they gave you a 60 day limit, this is one of those cases where exceptions should be made.

 

Good luck in this matter and keep us informed.

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Please, please, please, don’t take this the wrong way. We were not affected by Katrina in anyway. However, we have had to cancel a cruise due to medical reasons. One phone call to the T/A who let Princess know, made a written record of our conversation, faxed the info to the insurance company, gave me case number and phone number to follow up. In contacting the insurance company, I was asked if I wanted claim form mailed or faxed to me. Within 45 days case was settled.

 

Your cruise was not affected by the storm. Did your mother die just days before the trip? These are facts that have bearing on your claim. Princess headquarters is in California and was manned 24 hours a day before, during and after the tragedy. Insurance companies have back ups of policies scattered across the nation. In the event of a major claims event, they usually have multiple claims centers in the area.

 

If your insurance company is truly ripping you off, get an attorney. Juries love to stick it to the suits. However, if you fell down in making your own claim, I don’t see how anyone other is at fault.

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Thanks to all for your great advice. The company is InsureMyTrip. I contacted my agent who let Princess know and Princess was wonderful about refunding us $400/person without my even asking and not carrying the Princess insurance. My compliments to Princess. Delta Airlines refunded our airfares with mom's death certificate. We also had a trip to Hawaii planned for Christmas/New Year's and Delta refunded those fares as well.

 

It was very difficult to get through to InsureMyTrip because I had no access to a computer so I could not file online. My computer was looted as well as the hardware case containing my software. There was no time to pull the hard drive out because the storm headed for us so suddenly. There was a third person traveling with us in another cabin and his papers were destroyed by flooding. I called many times in the middle of the night but the phones were always busy even then. There were so many people who had ruined cruises because of Katrina. My heartfelt sympathy to so many people whose cruises were affected. I know the insurance company was overwhelmed. I was just hoping they wouldn't go bankrupt with claims.

 

When I did get through to the insurance company I was told I would be sent the forms to file by mail. Much of my mail has been forever lost via U.S.Postal Service. I was never assigned a claim number (should have gotten one). I called sometime around January to ask what to do. Just write a letter. No claim number. Will call and work on claims for the three of us. We just need the balance of the cruise fares and reimbursement for 3 tickets for a Broadway play. So you can see I have been extremely busy!

 

I was able to get Mother admitted into the emergency room at a Houston hospital hours before Rita's effects hit that area (Sept 24). I first found out about Rita in another emergency room that was in a panic and refused to even run tests on her. I have a letter from her cardiologist at the excellent hospital St.Luke's (where I was eventually able to transfer her to) attributing her death October 20 to Katrina and Rita (I obtained her medical records that included a regular heartbeat from the 24 hr holter test, etc). She died of heart failure. She is a statistic. She did not have a leaky heart valve prior to Katrina. The stress did it.

 

If I have any trouble with the claim, I will certainly go through the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner's office. The estate attorneys are overwhelmed as it is fighting my insurance companies as well as handling the sucession, and other's legal problems from the storm. I am executrix of the estate.

 

Thanks to all for your timely responses. Love ya Princess cruisers!

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denfarewell, my heart goes out to you for the heartaches you have suffered, and continue to suffer. None of us sitting comfortably in our air conditioned safe homes can really fully appreciate the horror you have endured. It is unbelievable that the affected areas have not yet been made whole. Hurricane season starts again next week!!!!!!! :eek: :eek:

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Insuremytrip.com is an agent for multiple insurance companies. They are not an insurance co. Are you dealing with them or direct with an insurance company?

 

Hate to tell you what is still to be faced by the Katrina victims. Our house was severly damaged by Jeanne in 9/04. We were in a FEMA 8X27 ft. camper trailer for 10 months before our house was repaired to the point we could move in. And 10 to 20% of damaged Florida houses are still not done. Many reasons for that no doubt, but lack of good help is one of them.

We are waiting for permanent hurricane shutters for our house. Its a 40 plus week wait. So we will board up again this year if one heads our way.

So we are not quite done with the house rebuild yet and we had zero insurance problems. They paid as the work progressed even tho the cost exceded the market value of our house.

And Katrina did many times more damage than Florida got. If they are not whole 5 years from now, I won't be suprised. I hope I'm way off but 2 years is certain. Many good contractors have found that newbuilds are far more profitable and easier than rebuilds and have gone back to their normal businesses at home. Too many hassles in the devastated areas and no good workers available.

And here comes another season predicted to be active. UGH!

 

Dan

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Dan, thanks for reminding me. I bought directly the CSA Travel Protection Comfort Plan from InsureMyTrip. "Thank you for purchasing your travel insurance from InsureMyTrip.com and CSA Travel Protection". and I put it on American Express. I did have my paperwork with me in Houston so it is CSA I called. In fact, the only way I ever finally reached them when I tried was by calling the emergency number! I imagine things have calmed down by now (I hope). Our third party got around to calling last January but it took him some time to get paperwork and get it to me. CSA would not let me get a claim number for him. So somewhere under tons of Katrina-generated paperwork must be a claim number for mom and me that I must have gotten last January.

 

If anyone wants to see an interactive map of the timeline inundation of New Orleans, it may be found at

http://www.nola.com/katrina/graphics/flashflood.swf

You will first be directed to nola.com, click again and voila!

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