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Burnaby parents still out thousands of dollars after COVID-19 cancelled school trip

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Oct 1, 2020 at 11:45 pm PDT

FILE (iStock Photo)

Several Burnaby families are out thousands of dollars after a school trip to Europe was cancelled due to COVID-19

One family says they purchased travel insurance but still don't know if they'll be reimbursed

Approximately 16 students were planning on going on the trip

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – Several Burnaby families are still out $4,000 each after a school trip to Europe almost seven months ago was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marnie Burnam is a parent to a Grade 12 Burnaby Mountain student who was keen to travel abroad in March. When it was announced that the trip was scrapped due to the dire situation in Italy, she wasn’t worried.

“We were quite confident that everything would be okay because we purchased cancellation insurance,” says Burnam.

However, several months later, they still haven’t received a payout. She says she’s getting mixed messages from both the travel agency and the insurance company.

“Explorica [the travel agency], has assured us that they’ve submitted the documents necessary to file a claim with the insurance company and the insurance underwriter company [Old Republic Canada] is telling us that they have not received the required information in order to process our claim.”

Approximately 16 students were planning on going on the trip. Burnam says they chipped in as a family so her daughter could travel abroad.

“It is a lot of money. I think it’s a stressful time for everyone. We saved as a family in order to allow our daughter to have this opportunity. It’s certainly not an opportunity that I had at her age,” she says.

It’s difficult, but Burnam is still trying to remain hopeful — though her optimism is waning as the months go by.

“Would we have invested this much money knowing the financial implications of the pandemic and what that would mean in terms of the shut down? Probably not. At this stage, we’re remaining hopeful that people will proceed in good faith and that we will receive some sort of reimbursement based on the travel insurance policy that we purchased.”

NEWS 1130 has reached out to Explorica and Old Republic Canada for comment.