Hamilton Travelers Story
Ernie Ceres, a Kitchener man, learned in a hard way that alcohol could nullify his insurance coverage when visiting his family in the United States. Ceres’ girlfriend, Lucy Reis stated that Ernie was drinking with his brother before leaving to spend a night with his son. While with his son, Ernie fell down up to ten to twelve stairs. Being unconscious, Ernie was rushed down to the hospital and was diagnosed with bleeding in his brain.
Reis flew down to New York on hearing the news and then called the Canadian Automobile Association to file a claim. Irrespective of the fact that Ernie was a frequent traveler and had bought CAA’s multi-trip annual plan travel insurance for the past four to five years, CAA denied his claims, stating that Ernie had too much alcohol in his blood at the time of the fall.
CAA cited their insurance policy which states that the provider is not under obligation to cater for the medical expenses if the injury, sickness or death is related to alcohol, drug or abuse of any medication or toxic substance. The policy also indicates that alcohol abuse denotes a blood alcohol level above 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood (that is over 0.08%). Although Cere’s blood alcohol level was not clear when he was admitted to the hospital, CAA will deny the claim if it is over 0.08%.
According to Reis, CAA did not inform Ceres that drinking could render the coverage void. She argued that the company ought to pay for the coverage because of that. However, CAA’s president, Will McAleer, stated that it is the responsibility of the insured to take time and read his policy document and also understand it. Furthermore, Marvin Ryder, a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship with the Degroote School of Business in Hamilton, advised that the insured should know what he is buying.
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