ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – A Florida man was denied a refund after canceling a long-awaited Caribbean cruise due to a cancer relapse.

Jack Montelbano had planned a 10-day adventure with his wife Evelyn Montelbano but had to cancel it after his cancer made an unwelcome return, forcing him to prioritize immediate treatment.

The couple had purchased standard travel insurance, assuming it would provide coverage for medical complications. However, they soon discovered that their assumption was gravely mistaken.

“I have been through so much stress with these people,” said Evelyn.

Norwegian Cruise Line, the operator of the cruise, delivered the news to the Montelbanos in the form of a letter, which read, “This claim is not eligible for payment.” The reason cited for the denial was Jack’s cancer being deemed a pre-existing condition.

The couple, residents of Ormond Beach, had relied on the travel insurance to alleviate their financial burden in the face of medical adversity.

Meghan Walch, Director of Product at Insuremytrip.com, an insurance aggregator specializing in comparing travel insurance quotes, shed light on the complex nature of such policies. She highlighted that insurance costs can range from seven to ten percent of the total trip expenses.

“If there’s anything they consider to be pre-existing which could be a diagnosis, a recommendation for treatment, any changes in your prescription, a whole bunch of things like that, there may not be coverage for those issues,” said Walch.

However, she emphasized the absence of a one-size-fits-all policy and clarified how crucial it is for travelers to meticulously review the policy wording before making a selection.

Travelers are advised to consult insurance experts, compare different policies, and seek clarification from insurers to ensure they obtain the appropriate coverage for their specific needs.

While the Montelbanos received credits for a future trip from Norwegian Cruise Line, they don’t think they will be able to go due to the battle Jack has ahead.

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