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I am supposed to be writing a post right now saying that in four short hours, I will find myself in the beautiful cosmopolitan gem of the the Mediterranean Middle East, Beirut to visit my dear dear friend, Kelly.

Unfortunately, eight days ago there was a car bombing in the city, killing 8 and injuring 80 others. One of the dead includes Lebanese chief of intelligence, Wissam al-Hassan. Hassan was in the midst of investigating the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri.

Because of the heightened chance of danger in a city that has remained pretty stable since at least 2008, when it saw its last major explosion, my family and I made the tough decision for me to stay in Aix this week, my fall vacation. Unfortunately CSA, the agency from which I purchased my travel insurance, will not reimburse me for the cost of my unused plane ticket. Just because I am upset and have nowhere else to vent, please consider the following when purchasing travel insurance for your next trip:

The  business practices of CSA are misleading, deceptive, and unethical. One of their agents informed me that the car bomb was not what their company would define as a “terrorist attack,” even thought the US Department of state and the UN Secretary General publicly declared it as such. Because CSA did not “consider” this event a terrorist attack, it was not covered under their policy, even though the policy expressly states that a “TERRORIST ACT means an act of violence, other than civil disorder or riot, (that is not an act of war, declared or undeclared) that results in loss of life or major damage to property, by any person acting on behalf of or in connection with any organization which is generally recognized as having the intent to overthrow or influence the control of any government.”

Even though their own policy directly stated that they cover terrorist attacks, and even though this attack was labelled a terrorist attack by the US Government and the United Nations, for pete’s sake, I received an email saying that CSA simply did not “consider” this event to be a terrorist attack, so I would not be reimbursed for my unused travel expenses.

That being said, I have found some fun stuff around France to keep me occupied for the next 10 days, including a 4 day trip to Paris (whoo hoo!). However, I am still bummed that something terrible happened in a city I was very excited to visit. 

Let this be a lesson to anyone considering spending $600 on a plane ticket two months in advance, that the world is a volatile place and anything can happen, anywhere, at any time. And you are much better off not buying travel insurance because it is a false sense of security and will likely not do anything to help you out in the future. You should just make sure your own insurance company covers medical treatment abroad, and be aware that it's simply a gamble with the rest of your expenses. At least then you won't end up feeling tricked or cheated by people, just God.
Love and miss you, miss Kelly T. PS I stole your photo.


01/05/2013 9:46pm

aw i love that you used my photo... i was so sad that you couldnt come i'm so sorry that political events unfolded as such.. and now we are in the same country and its still not easy to see each other.. thats so ridiculous that your ticket wasnt refunded i'm so sorry. i love reading all of your posts madison youre so fun to read and i'm so incredibly proud of you for experiencing france as you did.. love you forever


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