Letter: Feel misled by Vail’s ski pass insurance (Opinion)

I feel totally misled by Vail’s ski pass insurance

Dear Editor:

I feel totally misled by Vail Resorts regarding the ski pass insurance for the 2020/2021 ski season. Perhaps I just did not understand the small print, but I was under the assumption that if I had to cancel my ski passes for any reason, I would be covered. Under this guise, I was constantly urged by Heavenly to purchase my ski passes. This certainly has proven not to be the case.

Vail assigned this insurance to American Claims Management who continuously denied any claim I put forward. Since I filed my first claim on Jan. 26, ACM has denied coverage because:

The stay-at-home orders for El Dorado County by Gov. Newsom did not apply since I am a Texas resident.

Although Harris County, Texas had a stay-at-home / Red Alert guidance in place from Dec. 23, 2020 up to and including April 15, ACM does not consider this as a mandatory order.

Although I have had cardiovascular issues since 1996, when my first pacemaker was implanted. ACM considers this a pre-existing condition. ACM has rejected my cardiologist’s letter stating I should not travel

The facts are:

Under California law, pre-existing conditions are conditions that develop within six months prior to, or after issuance of an insurance policy.

I have skied every year since 2005 without incident.

My heart conditions have never, before COVID-19, impacted my ability to travel to South Lake Tahoe and ski.

When I purchased my 2020-2021 ski pass, I assumed that the COVID-19 issues would improve but was under the impression that I would be covered by insurance if the conditions did not improve.

Because of the Red Alerts and stay at home orders issued by Harris County, Texas, and El Dorado County, California’s travel bans, my cardiologist felt that I would be at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and directed that for health reasons, I should not travel.

On March 22, I wrote a letter to Heavenly General Manager Tom Fortune soliciting his help in obtaining a full refund for our Senior Tahoe Value Passes. I did not get a response from Mr. Fortune. After several phone calls (which is almost impossible to talk with any human at Heavenly), I was told to refile my claim with ACM. On April 9, I received another denial.

Is this how Vail / Heavenly Mountain Resort treats their most loyal skiers?

Charles Hancock, Texas

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