Metro couple warns to check travel insurance if canceling trips over coronavirus

After news of five people dying from a coronavirus outbreak on a cruise ship, many people are rethinking taking trips overseas.

ATLANTA — After news of five people dying from a coronavirus outbreak on a cruise ship, many people are rethinking taking trips overseas.

For one local woman, she says even with travel insurance, things are not going the way she had hoped.

Shanna Amoah and her husband planned to take a Feb. 4 Caribbean cruise to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary.

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The couple told Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston they also bought trip insurance.

Then more and more news of passengers on cruise ships being quarantined because of the coronavirus and ships being turned away from entering various ports began to hit the news.

“It just became a worry and a fear for me, so I discussed it with my husband and how he felt about it,” Amoah said.

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They decided to cancel their Royal Caribbean cruise because of the coronavirus.

With that trip insurance, they expected to get their $1,800 back but they got a letter instead that said, “These circumstances are not one of the specified reasons under this travel protection plan for eligibility of reimbursement.”

Amoah told Huddleston that she hit the roof.

"I was furious. I was so upset I couldn't even respond to it right away," Amoah said.

Of the 61 people in the United States with the novel coronavirus, 43 people were aboard a cruise ship.

On its website, Royal Caribbean does have a travel advisory about COVID-19 but it's for cruises near China, not the Caribbean.

The Amoahs thought with that travel insurance they were covered.

"Even if I didn't have the insurance, just out of fear and how widespread this is, I would think they would refund anyone’s money at this point," Amoah said.

Huddleston spoke with Channel 2 consumer advisor Clark Howard on Friday and he said if you’re planning a cruise or a plane trip, it’s really important to read your travel insurance policy.

The policy should clearly state what is covered and what's not. Many times, you're buying coverage in case of a death, or some fault of the company.

Royal Caribbean did offer the Amoahs a 75% discount on another cruise.