How do I use my travel insurance policy?

Editor’s note: This is part four in a series of posts about travel insurance sponsored by Access America. Here’s part one, part two and part three.

Congratulations, you’re the owner of a shiny new travel insurance policy. Now what?

Conventional wisdom says you wait until something goes wrong and then file a claim. But there’s a little more to it.

Your travel insurance company wants to hear from you – needs to hear from you – if you want to be a successful user of a travel insurance policy.
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When should I buy travel insurance and how much should I pay for it?

Editor’s note: This is part three in a series of posts about travel insurance sponsored by Access America. Here’s part one and part two.

We’ve already reviewed who needs travel insurance and where to find it, but how do you know if you’re getting a good deal?

There’s no authoritative buyer’s guide that can tell you if you’re looking at a bargain policy or a rip-off. That’s because no two travel insurance policies are exactly the same. They vary based on your age, state of residence and coverage.

Travel insurance typically costs between 4 and 8 percent of your trip’s prepaid non-refundable cost. However, a “cancel for any reason” policy can run you 10 percent of the nonrefundable cost or slightly higher. Your policy may be more expensive if you’re older or engaging in a risky activity that makes a claim more likely, but generally speaking, you should be in that range.
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Everything you ever wanted to know about travel insurance (but were afraid to ask)

Editor’s note: This is part one in a series of posts about travel insurance. It is sponsored by Access America and researched with assistance from the US Travel Insurance Association, a trade organization. Here’s more information about sponsored posts.

Do you need travel insurance?

A good policy can offer you peace of mind for your upcoming vacation.

If something goes wrong – if your trip is interrupted or if you have to cancel – you can recover some or all of your costs.

About 1 in 3 travelers buy insurance for their trip, according to the US Travel Insurance Association. Should you be one of them?

Before taking out a policy, it’s important to determine whether you need protection at all.
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Another lawsuit filed in fake travel insurance case

That fake travel insurance story just won’t go away.

First I got sued by a travel agency for reporting on it, along with another customer. (Both cases were dismissed.)

Then their customers sued back. And now they’ve done it again.

A lawsuit was filed yesterday in United States District Court in Miami against Revelex, a booking engine used by agents, and two travel agencies, Legendary Journeys and Four Seasons Tours and Cruises. The suit, which seeks class action status, accuses some or all of the defendants of negligence, unfair and deceptive trade practices and unjust enrichment for their role in selling what the suit calls “bogus” travel insurance.

Here’s the full text of the complaint (PDF).
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“This seems more like fraud to me”

Ken Smith isn’t the only person affected by the untimely demise of Cruise West. But he thought he wouldn’t be in the same boat as the other stranded passengers. After all, he had travel insurance.

He thought wrong.

His insurance company, Access America, said it wouldn’t cover a company for financial default. I got involved to see if I could help, and I’ll get to the resolution in a moment. But first, let’s hear from Smith.
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A no-show for my European tour? That’s no good

Shelia Oxsher was a no-show for her Trafalgar tour to Europe — at least according to her tour operator.

She sees it differently. She’d paid in full for the trip more than a year ago, showed up to the airport on time, but then had her flight to London canceled.

Trafalgar is making us forfeit 100 percent the cost of the trip. They expect my husband and I to walk off the price we paid of $7,697.

I recently retired and this was a planned dream vacation. I was assured I had all the coverage by the AAA rep. My husband and I were emphatic: We wanted all the coverage in case something would happen.

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“My riverboat vacation turned into a nightmare”

Gennaro Ottomanelli and his wife were left left high and dry when his riverboat cruise was canceled at the last minute. His AAA travel agent offered two choices: Either cancel his vacation or go on the substitute bus tour. He decided to stay home, hoping to get a refund.

He didn’t.
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Palm Coast Travel fined $2,500 and placed on probation for selling unauthorized travel insurance

Looks like Palm Coast Travel, the Boca Raton, Fla., agency accused by the state of Florida of selling unauthorized travel insurance, while at the same time trying to sue one of its own customers and me into silence, has quietly negotiated a settlement with insurance regulators.

Under the agreement (PDF), which was signed today, Palm Coast Travel, which also does business online as, has agreed to cease and desist selling unauthorized insurance and will pay a $2,500 fine as well as restitution to its customers affected by the purchase of an unauthorized insurance policy. It will be placed on 18 months’ probation and has agreed not to sell unauthorized insurance in the future.

The consent order is practically identical to a draft settlement agreement (PDF) that has been circulating between Palm Coast Travel and insurance regulators since last summer, and which I obtained after filing a public records request.
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What was Palm Coast Travel doing with its Access America policies?

Florida’s Department of Financial Services is in the early stages of a far-reaching investigation into the activities of Palm Coast Travel and its affiliated companies, according to documents released this week under the state’s Public Records Act.

The documents also raise new questions about the relationship between Access America, the largest travel insurance company in the world, and Palm Coast Travel, which also does business online as

In a prepared statement, Access America yesterday suggested its current and future relationship with Palm Coast, which is accused of selling unlicensed insurance, is an internal matter.

“Thus far we have been contacted by both customers identified in the Florida investigation and we are working to resolve each matter appropriately,” a spokesman said. “Access America will continue to take steps consistent with providing ongoing care for its customers.”
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What’s next for Palm Coast Travel? Here’s what happened to agencies that settled with regulators

As I reported last week, Palm Coast Travel and its companies, including, are headed to a hearing with a Florida administrative law judge to determine if it sold unlicensed travel insurance. This is an important story, because fake “trip protection” policies are known to have been sold to people across the country for years, potentially costing travelers millions of dollars in lost vacations.

So what’s next for Palm Coast Travel?

There are two possibilities. First, the judge could rule the agency didn’t sell unlicensed insurance. But that’s unlikely, given the customers who have already complained to state regulators that they were sold these allegedly illegal policies. Second, the court could find Palm Coast Travel guilty of selling bogus insurance.
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So where should I buy my travel insurance?

getawayWhen the subject of travel insurance comes up, I’m usually quick to say: Don’t buy the first policy you’re offered.

That’s because the first policy is normally a brochure your travel agent slides across the desk right after you’ve plunked down $14,000 for that dream safari, along with the warning, “You’ll want insurance.”

You will want insurance, but probably — and I stress the “probably” — not from your travel agent.

Agents are often heavily incentivized to sell a particular kind of travel insurance that benefits them (read: high commissions) but not necessarily you (read: lots of fine print). What’s more, they rarely take the time to review the limits of the policy and when it comes time to making a claim, only the very best agents will ensure every appeal is exhausted if you’re denied.

Read this if you don’t believe me.

(How do you know if your agent isn’t one of them? Chances are, if you’re handed two or more brochures, or are encouraged to “shop around” before buying a policy, then your agent’s one of the good guys.)

So where do you buy insurance, then?
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Hey, where’s my travel insurance check?

Question: I’m having a problem with a travel insurance claim. We went on a Celebrity cruise to the Mediterranean more than a year ago. Luckily, we all paid premiums for hospitalization insurance, because I became deathly ill with bronchitis requiring trips to sick bay to see the doctors, who administered breathing treatments, antibiotics and a chest X-ray.

All this cost $675. After our return, I immediately put in a claim for my medical expenses. After many phone calls that were never returned, I finally received a letter from another insurance company, which had assumed the original insurance company’s claims, assuring me that eventually I would be paid.

Recently, I received another letter from Universal Assurance Group saying my claim had been approved and it’s only a matter of time until I receive payment. It has been more than a year since the cruise and I think I’m just about due for my refund. What do you think? — Anita Isaia, Tamarac, Fla.

Answer: I think your claim should have been processed and paid a year ago. And it probably would have — if it had been a real insurance policy.

Had you taken a little time to read the fine print when you booked your cruise, you would have seen that this is technically not travel insurance, but “protection.” What’s the difference? Mainly, your policy is cheaper than a comparable travel insurance policy, but it’s also not regulated by the state. So if you have a problem with, say, a late payment, you could be out of luck.

I’m a little skeptical of any product that sells itself as “insurance” but doesn’t play by the same rules as the other insurance companies. As a matter of fact, I’ve followed this particular company for a few years as it has changed names and relocated to various states, always offering a form of traveler “protection.” It’s a troubling pattern.

Your best protection against a travel insurance policy that isn’t a real policy is a reliable travel agent and paying attention to the details. A legitimate travel pro will offer you several policies with a proven track record and take the time to explain the differences. It’s up to you to take a hard look at each to decide which one is right.

Why cut corners on travel insurance? It’s not as if you’re settling for a hostel when you want a five-star hotel. The only time you’ll notice a difference is when you have to make a claim. So you have to ask yourself: Do you feel lucky?

I can’t say whether the trip “protection” you had was legit or not. What I can say is that I’ve heard from many customers who are unhappy with the coverage offered by trip “protection” like yours. And that I would think twice before buying anything other than bona fide travel insurance, if it were my cruise.

I contacted Universal Assurance Group and asked it to review your case. You received a $675 check a few days later.

Colorado issues cease and desist order against Prime Travel Protection

Colorado has issued a cease and desist order (PDF) again Prime Travel Protection, the bankrupt travel insurance company based in Arvada, Colo.

The move caps an lengthy investigation by the state and comes on the heels of a similar action by Florida.

The order, signed by Colorado’s insurance commissioner, Marcy Morrison, is likely to put more pressure on the travel agents who have sold Prime Travel Protection policies and other insurance-like products offered by companies owned by Prime Travel Protection’s president, Jerry Watson. It is also likely to give some momentum to Florida investigators, who are said to be pursuing a criminal investigation related to Prime Travel Protection.

Here’s a summary of the order:


This is a developing story. Look for an update soon.

Fake travel insurance? 6 questions to ask before buying a policy

George Fredrickson never suspected the travel insurance he bought for his transatlantic cruise last year was fake.

When he paid nearly $8,000 for a Christmastime sailing on the MSC Orchestra through Sarasota, Fla.-based Legendary Journeys, an agent also sold him a $432 policy from a company called Traveler Protection Services. It would reimburse him if he had to cancel his vacation, he was promised.

But after Fredrickson’s wife needed spinal fusion surgery late last year and her doctor advised her to stay home, he learned the truth: Not only was his policy an unlicensed and illegal insurance product, but within weeks of filing a claim, Traveler Protection Services and several related companies had gone out of business. His vacation appeared to be lost.

To describe Fredrickson as upset would probably be an understatement. He’s filed a formal complaint with the state of Florida. He’s also contacted an attorney and hopes to start a class-action lawsuit against the travel agency and insurance company. “I think both of them should be held liable,” says the Davenport, Fla., retiree.

There are no statistics on the number of phony insurance policies sold to travelers. But in the last month, since the apparent bankruptcy of Arvada, Colo.-based Traveler Protection Services, Prime Travel Protection and a related company called Universal Assurance Group, there’s been a dramatic uptick in the number of insurance-related complaints I’ve received. At least two states — Florida and Colorado — are investigating the companies, as well as a network of hundreds of travel agents who sold the policies.

Earlier this month, Florida warned three travel agencies, including Legendary Journeys, that Prime Travel Protection’s policies may violate state law. And the plot thickened just last week, when it was reported that some of the agencies had a track record of selling these questionable insurance products.

Legendary Journeys insists it didn’t know the insurance it sold Fredrickson was unlicensed and says when it found out, it stopped offering it. “As far as we were told by them, [they were] licensed to sell travel in Florida and all 50 states,” says Stew Carrier, a customer service specialist and group tour coordinator. “Legendary Journeys is not in the insurance business and we only act as the intermediary for the insurance provider,” he adds.

In a letter sent to policyholders in late February from a trustee claiming to represent the three bankrupt insurance companies, holders of approved claims were assured that they’d be paid to “the greatest possible extent” over the next three years.

But some people familiar with the companies are incredulous. They believe the defunct insurance carriers are trying to buy time — time that its mostly elderly customers don’t have. And enough time to do what they claim these insurance companies have been doing for several years: to move to another state, morph into a new company and start selling unlicensed insurance through the same network of travel agents whose loyalty it buys with generous signing bonuses and too-good-to-be-true commissions.

Barry Resnick, a college professor from Orange, Calif., whose mother lost her vacation after buying an unlicensed policy a few years ago, now tracks companies that offer fake travel insurance. He says Traveler Protection Services is just the latest in a string of bogus travel insurance companies. “The perpetrator lines up a ring of travel agents, promising commissions up to four times what a legitimate insurance company would pay,” he says. “The product is masked to look like real insurance, promising compensation for specific potential future losses, in exchange for a payment.”

And then it’s marketed to retirees who are looking for an affordable insurance policy and who lack the resources to sue the fake insurance company or travel agent when a claim isn’t paid. In short, says Resnick, they’re the perfect victims who have allowed the fake insurance companies and their surrogates to get away with the perfect crime — at least until now. “A lot of the agents selling these policies are repeat offenders, waiting for the next new company to offer the same illegal product,” he says.

I asked Jerry Watson, a principal for the travel insurance companies in question, about the allegations made against his companies and several other now-defunct businesses he worked with that sold travel protection policies. Watson told me his policies were a “benefit services contract” — not insurance — and that he clearly represented them as such. “I ceased operations when I realized that there was no way that we could continue to pay claims based on the incoming revenues,” he says, adding, “I have no plans to leave Colorado and I do not have any intentions of operating any type of travel protection company.” You can see the full text of our interview here.

Insurance or not, how do you avoid buying a policy that can’t — or won’t — cover you? Here are six questions to ask before signing on the dotted line.

1. What do they call it?
The name of the plan can be a giveaway. Is it a “protection” plan or a “travel insurance” plan? There’s an important difference. Insurance is regulated by your state, according to Steve Dasseos, president of Trip protection isn’t. A clever travel agent may refer to a protection policy as “insurance” but the contract will tell you otherwise. “The phrase ‘travel insurance’ is tossed around, making it sound like every type of protection plan is a real insurance plan,” he says. It isn’t.

2. Is it backed by a legitimate underwriter?
Real travel insurance companies are backed by one or more regulated underwriters that are insured and financially healthy, says Bob Chambers, the director of operations for CSA Travel Protection. “Check the A.M. Best Web site to see current ratings for a provider.” (A.M. Best is a worldwide insurance rating and information agency, and any reputable travel insurance underwriter will be rated by it. If it’s not, walk away.) Also, check the U.S. Travel Insurance Association Web site to see if the company is a member. USTIA has strict legal and ethical standards of conduct.

3. Have you shopped around?
Don’t take the first policy that’s offered. And that’s particularly true of the one-click come-ons that you’ll find when you book a trip online. Instead, take the time to thoroughly review your options and consult with someone you trust. “In my opinion, it is always best to work with a travel professional — and you should seek and respect that person’s opinion,” says Guido Adelfio, president of Bethesda Travel Center, a travel agency in Bethesda, Md. In other words, do your due diligence on the agent you’re working with, too.

4. Is it being sold by a licensed agent?
It isn’t just important for your insurance policy to be legitimate, but also your travel agent. “If you’re unsure about the agent you’re working with, stop before signing any paperwork or writing a check,” says Michael McRaith, the property and casualty committee chairman for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “Call your state insurance department, which is easily reached by phone, and confirm the agent is legitimate and licensed to do business in your state.” You can get more information on reaching your state insurance commissioner at the NAIC Web site.

5. Did you read the policy?
Review the policy carefully before you buy. Don’t take someone else’s word for what’s in it. When it’s time to make a claim, verbal promises are meaningless. “Most travel insurance policies provide a grace period during which you can review and return for a refund if you choose to cancel the policy,” says Bradley Finkle, past president of the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. “If you have questions, travel insurance companies typically offer a customer service number to help answer questions.”

6. Are you aware of any tricky clauses?
Even if your license is backed by a quality underwriter and checks out, it may still be worthless to you. Why? Because of the clauses in your contract that are easily glossed over when you’re buying. The biggest snag is for pre-existing medical conditions. “If you have a pre-existing condition or health problem of any sort, make sure the policy covers you for that condition,” says John Wagner, the director of products and services management for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. “No insurance policy will cover you for all possible events and eventualities,” he adds.

What if it’s too late and you’re stuck with a fake policy? You have a few options. Mark Cipolletti, a vice president at insurance provider Mondial Assistance, says you should contact authorities immediately. “Call the Department of Insurance in your home state to report the problem,” he says.

If you bought your policy through an agent, report it to the appropriate state regulatory agency. Let the Federal Trade Commission know about your problem, too. You can file a report online, by e-mailing or by phoning (877) FTC-HELP.

A dispute of your credit card charges or a trip to small claims court could help recover some or all of your money, but that’s not an ideal solution.

“It is much better to check everything up front than to try to untangle problems after the fact,” says Bill Hardy, director of AAA Insurance Services.

Legendary Journeys apologizes for selling Prime Travel Protection policies, plans lawsuit against Watson

The state of Florida notified three large travel agencies earlier this week that insurance offered by Prime Travel Protection might be illegal. What does its actions mean for agencies and their customers, particularly those with policies underwritten by Prime Travel Protection and other companies owned by Jerry Watson? For an insider’s view, I turned to Al Ferguson, a vice president at Legendary Journeys, one of the agencies named in the orders.

Q: An early version of last week’s story quoted a state official as saying there was an intent to order a cease and desist against three agencies, including yours, for selling unlicensed insurance and possibly also travel. But it turns out that the state was only notifying you, Palm Coast Travel and Vacation Superstore that selling unlicensed insurance was a possible violation of Florida statutes. What is your understanding of these orders? Do you intend to contest the state’s allegations?

Ferguson: We intend to completely acknowledge their intent on Prime Travel Protection. We also will explain this notice also affects hundreds of travel agencies in Florida that sold this insurance product, and two large travel agency software reservations systems — Revelex and Wincruise — that were booking engines for this insurance product.

Additionally, we will document that we discontinued selling this insurance product when we became concerned with them in September 2008. We stopped selling Prime Travel six months before this state notice was even issued.

Q: How many of your customers currently have insurance policies through Prime Travel Protection and companies related to it, such as Vacation Protection Services?

Ferguson: We have a very small number of clients affected, because we stopped selling this product last September. We have been selling Travelex insurance since.

On Jan. 26, everyone received a notice that Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services was liquidating and declaring bankruptcy, although it is unclear what they have actually done.

For all passengers that had this insurance product with close in travel, we re-purchased insurance for our clients through Travelex. This was done immediately and then new policy was issued to clients. We did this because we were concerned, especially about the need for emergency medical and transportation for our clients while traveling.

For all other passengers traveling later in the year — a very small number — we advised our clients of Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services and new Travelex protection with Legendary Journeys certificate for payment. Even before any state notice of Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services, Legendary Journeys spent approximately $100,000 to protect our clients.

Q: How many outstanding claims do you have, and roughly how much money is in dispute?

Ferguson: We have approximately 25 clients that have this situation and we have been in contact to try to satisfy their issues. If they have not been contacted, they should contact Stewart Carrier at

Q: I think it’s important to note that just because someone had a policy and made a claim doesn’t mean their claim would have been honored, even if it was real insurance. At this point, how do you separate the claims that would be honored from the ones that normally would be denied?

It’s difficult. But Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services, and I believe any insurance product, has a mediation remedy.

Q: How long have you been working with Jerry Watson?

Ferguson: Legendary Journeys is filing legal action against Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services and Jerry Watson for fraud and misrepresentation and would prefer not to focus on the selling of a product we believed was insurance — including hundreds of agencies in the USA and the major travel agency reservation systems.

Q: How did Watson represent his policies to you? As insurance – or trip “protection” — or something else?

Ferguson: I believe Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services’ vague point is that they are not the insurance product but the selling company. However, it was always clear that regardless of what Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services said they did, the companies behind them were insurance. They have had multiple underwriters licensed to sell insurance in Florida and other states. If Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services did not have these underwriters, the issue is fraud. It is my understanding that there are many travel insurance products that are represented by companies that are not the actual underwriter.

Q: There’s been a lot of discussion about the unusually high commissions, bonuses and overrides paid by Watson to his travel agents. Some have suggested the money they were getting from Watson made them look the other way when problems started to surface with claims. Is that a legitimate criticism?

Ferguson: I do not believe so. First, most travel agencies are selling travel insurance by convenience. This insurance product was included, at various times, by major travel agency reservation software systems. One of the largest is Revelex, and there are others. This means, when making a reservation, you could add this insurance product in the booking seamlessly.

That had nothing to do with anything other than convenience.

Additionally, when we moved to our current insurance company, the commission amount is virtually identical. It was not a motivation in our selection of that insurance product. In fact, it was highly motivated because of our reservation system. Most insurance products are nearly the same commission — at least as to the commissions offered to Legendary Journeys.

Q: In reading some of the comments on this blog, it seems there are some current and former customers of Prime Travel Protection who are unwilling to believe anything you say. What is the most unfair thing that you’ve seen in the comments, and how would your respond to them?

Ferguson: It is why I do appreciate your blog. Forums need to try to stay fair and balanced. Often that is not the case.

I think the most obvious is that they don’t want resolution, but only want blood. First, we have travel agency competition that I suspect are some of the bloggers. They can effectively compete with another agency by being so negative yet be anonymous.

Others commenting are not affected at all and only have 25 percent of the facts — for example, assuming we were selling Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services to the end … again, we stopped in September.

Additionally, while this is a dramatic issue for a small number of our clients — and we will try to satisfy them — it is important to note that while a $5,000 loss is significant, Legendary Journeys had more than 20,000 clients in 2008. The number of affected clients is extremely small.

Some bloggers have difficulty looking at a big picture. We all have interest in resolving this for our small number of affected clients and that is really the only thing that matters. Legendary Journeys will.

Q: Can you give me a timeline of your company’s break-up with Watson? When did you do it, why did you do it, and what did you tell your customers who help policies underwritten by the company?

Ferguson: September 2008. First, our reservation system, as I explained before, made a change necessary as they were concerned, at the same time legendary journeys was, about valid claim payment schedules completed by Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services.

Second, you and others began to bring to our attention problems with claim payments by Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services. Both issues helped us make the right decision to change insurance products.

Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services has a legal requirement to pay valid claims. It was not until Jan. 26, when they declared bankruptcy and liquidation – it’s still unclear what they have done — hat previous clients with valid claims — again, approximately 25 clients — had an issue. Even now Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services says they are going to pay these claims.

Our actions to satisfy our clients effected is independent of their actions meaning our clients can continue to Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services in addition to what Legendary Journeys does for them.

Q: Have you had any contact with the two other travel agencies named in Florida’s intent to order a cease and desist since the bankruptcy of Prime Travel Protection?

Ferguson: I have not. Everyone is in the exact same boat and they can decide how they wish to satisfy their clients. Again, while Florida has started with the three big agencies in the state, this will affect hundreds of agencies in the same way. This will also affect the software reservation systems, the travel agency consortiums and so forth, that were selling Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services. This will affect a gigantic number of companies. Florida indicates in the notice on Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services that many agencies sold Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services policies.

Q: Legendary Journeys is the only travel agency named by the state of Florida earlier this week that hasn’t sent me a cease and desist letter from an attorney. I feel left out! Why have you decided to engage your critics on this blog and answer my questions, instead?

Ferguson: Great question. I hope our critics stop and re-read your question.

Legendary Journeys has 10 bricks-and-mortar offices in Florida. We have been around a very long time and will continue to do so. Your question gets to my point of making sure everyone has all the facts. I won’t be redundant again from above answers, but when you have 20,000 cruise and tour passengers a year … there is always, always going to be some unhappy people. I hope we can all agree that some of those complaints are going to be reasonable and some are not.

In this instance, I apologize to our clients that we sold this product. If Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services was not licensed to sell insurance via the underwriters of the product, then fraud has been committed against Legendary Journeys.

We have tried to be responsible in this situation. We made the changes when necessary, we protected our clients when necessary, we are going back to try to satisfy our clients that have not had valid claims paid.

And my communication with you and trying to silence you or anyone else would only fail. Others can make any business decisions they want, but Legendary Journeys wants to do the right thing and Legendary Journeys will.

Q: I have to tell you, my favorite lawyer letter to date accuses me of maliciously publishing falsehoods. I take it you wouldn’t be talking with me if you felt that way. Still, is there anything I could be doing to facilitate a more open and fair debate on these issues?

Ferguson: I think you have got it. Fairness and balance. You have two posters on Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services that have incredible knowledge on Jerry Watson and Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services. I am suspicious of their motives, who they really are and why they post over and over again — and by the way, it’s America, so they can.

The most important thing is that both sides be presented and then everyone makes their own decision. Information is power and information presented in forums like this are valuable for everyone … consumer and business alike.

Q: There’s been talk about a possible investigation of Prime Travel Protection by Colorado authorities, and a possible federal investigation. Have you been in touch with any other officials from Florida, Colorado, or the federal government, in regards to Prime Travel Protection?

Ferguson: I have not. We have been totally focused on our clients affected. To be completely honest, we have not even received the notice from Florida. As you are already aware — and again, I thank you for correcting your own blog — the first notice issued by Florida was sent to [your sources] before it was sent to us. And it was wrong. It had nothing to do with travel or even insurance. It only was a cease and desist on Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services — which again, we have not sold since September.

But regardless, we will cooperate in any investigation. I am willing to wait for all the facts. The very important one is: Did Prime Travel Protection and Vacation Protection Services have an underwriter and were they licensed to sell in Florida? If they did not, [then] in addition to the tragic issue of money loss, fraud has been committed.

In the short term, we can only satisfy our future travelers — and we have — and try to satisfy valid claims, which we will.