Well, nobody is referring to this very important part of the article:
...But because of the way travel insurance policies are written, they often see the world in a binary way: yes or no, covered or not covered....Insurance providers are strictly regulated by the states where they do business. “We’re subject to scheduled and unscheduled audits or reviews of our products and claims,” he says. “When we adjudicate a customer’s claim, we must follow the policy, or the contract with the customer, because if we deviate from the contract or treat one customer differently from another, then we become subject to fines and other punitive actions — like not being able to sell in that state any longer.”
Judge Judy frequently says, "The law is bounded by the four corners of the contract." I know that everybody who purchases insurance wants the contract honored when they make a claim. They expect every penny they are entitled to. If the insurance company reduces their contractual amount by $2.50 they will scream bloody murder. But it works the other way, too. If the company pays $2.50 over the covered amount, or pays a non covered expense, or otherwise fails to follow the contract exactly, it is not behaving in accordance with the law.
A contract is a contract. As in every other walk of life you need to read the contract and understand it, or not accept it. The insurance executive is exactly right that making an exception, however small, for any one customer exposes the company to regulatory and legal problems.
The point of the article is NOT how venal and anal the insurance companies are. The point of the article is to KNOW what you are purchasing.
Incidentally, have you ever read your full passenger contract on your cruise documents? The basic contract for a cruise is that the company will "attempt to provide passage." Time and date are not of the essence, ports are not of the essence, itinerary and route are not of the essence, even the ship used is not of the essence. Legally the cruise line can (and in some cases has) change any or all of those under the contract you accept.