A Toronto man says his travel insurance claim was denied after he cancelled his trip because of mental health issues.
The man, who asked to only be identified as “John,” said he is bipolar and suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks.
When he booked a $6,000 trip overseas, he paid an additional $600 for trip cancellation insurance, a program that promises to refund your money in case you can’t travel because of sickness or injury.
“I figured, should something happen…I would be getting my money back, full refund,” John said.
Weeks before he was set to fly, he experience severe anxiety and mood swings. John’s doctor advised him to cancel the trip.
But when John submitted a letter from his doctor to Manulife Insurance explaining why he couldn’t fly, the insurer denied his claim, saying that mental disorders do not qualify as medical conditions under the company’s contract.
“We will not pay for losses for…an emotional or mental disorder (except an acute psychosis) that does not require admission to a hospital,” the company told CTV’s Pat Foran.
John said he is now out more than $6,000 and feels a documented mental health issue should be covered by travel insurance.
“I figured I was covered like anybody else,” he said, “like any normal human being without mental illness issues.”
A Manulife spokesperson said John can appeal his claim to the insurance company’s ombudsman.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Pat Foran