Trip insurance could prove critical in midst of Discovery Tours crisis

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - An attorney for the owners of Discovery Tours, the travel company that suddenly closed and canceled school trips, said the business is working with its insurance company to reimburse hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to schools and parents.

"You trust a company that has a long standing reputation, you trust them, you build a trip itinerary, and next thing you know, there's nothing left," said Jonathan Breech, LaMuth Middle School teacher.

Lester Potash, an attorney representing the Cipolletti family, which runs Discovery Tours, said they have a tour operators and travel agents policy with Zurich Insurance. Right now, they're reviewing claims to try to cover costs.

"I think a lot of those trips were around $900," said Ann Huber.

Huber is the president of Landfall Travel in Rocky River. She said she's seen too many people lose money when their trips fall through.

"I've had people lose thousands of dollars," she said.

Huber tells all her customers to buy trip insurance.

"So many people say, oh I don't need insurance, I'm really going to go. Well, that's not always the case because nobody knows what could happen," she said. "You should ask, do you have insurance available? How soon do I need to buy it? If I don't buy it within two weeks, what's covered? What's not covered? And, most important, does it cover financial default?"

Huber said knowing those answers will protect you and your hard earned money, in case something goes wrong.

The attorney representing Discovery Tours' owners also said the company notified the insurance company about the need for potential claims before filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy trustee is reviewing the claims and will determine what will happen with the money families paid.

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