Yes, your travel insurance policy can be canceled.
Maybe no one bothered to tell you. Maybe your travel insurance company and your travel agent want you to think your money’s gone. But maybe, just maybe, it isn’t.
First, a reality check: travel insurance is usually nonrefundable. For example, I remember Kathryn Scott’s recent case. She purchased a policy for a spring break vacation and then had second thoughts about taking the vacation.
“I had bought travel insurance through the tour company,” she explains. “The tour company has refunded my deposit, but I am still out of pocket for the insurance cost for a trip I am not taking. Is it reasonable to expect either a refund or transfer of that expense?”
Unfortunately, no. Most insurance companies offer a two-week “free look” review period, after which the policy is nonrefundable. However, if her tour operator had canceled the trip, she might have had a stronger case for at least some credit with the travel insurance company.
So when is travel insurance refundable — and when isn’t it? I asked the experts.
You have at least a week, maybe two, to call the whole thing off
That’s the assessment of Damian Tysdal, who publishes the site Travelinsurancereview.net and reads thousands of policies. Typically, the “free look” period lasts between 10 and 15 days. “I think, ideally, this period of time is used by the insured to fully understand what they are covered for,” he says. “I always advise travelers to purchase insurance sooner rather than later, for multiple reasons. However, by trying to purchase sooner and lock in coverage, you might not have time to read and understand your coverage 100 percent.”
There’s a fee—and some paperwork
While some travel companies reimburse in full, the majority of them will deduct a “processing” fee. “This is usually around $5 to $8,” explains Julie Loffredi, the Travel Editor of InsureMyTrip.com. And you can’t just make a phone call to cancel. Companies like InsureMyTrip require an email from you as proof that you are requesting for the policy to be canceled.
If the credit card used to purchase the plan has expired, you also need to call and provide the company with a new number. Cancellations are typically processed within 24 to 48 hours, but a premium refund usually takes three to seven business days to appear on your credit card statement.
There are exceptions to the rules, but they’re rare
“To cancel a policy after the free trial period is usually much more difficult,” says Alan Rosen, president of S&C Travel, a travel agency in Boynton Beach, Fla. “It is extremely rare that an independent insurance company will refund the premium after the trial period. However, most insurance companies that we have worked with will give the client a credit that can be applied toward a policy for another trip.”
So when can I expect a full refund even when I’m outside the “free look” period?
None of the insurance pros I interviewed would go on the record to answer this thorny question, but it’s something I can answer as a consumer advocate. Insurance companies consider refunding policies on a case-by-case basis, weighing the circumstances carefully.
Businesses don’t like to give refunds, and insurance companies are no exception. But I’ve seen them consider refunds for extenuating circumstances, which may include the death of a policyholder, a serious illness, or a trip cancellation that’s no fault of the policyholder. Also, it helps to have a consumer advocate hold the insurance company’s feet to the fire—which, of course, is not always possible.
The takeaway: Review your travel insurance policy very carefully when you book your trip and buy your policy. You have at least a week, maybe a little more, to determine if it covers you. After that, the best you can reasonably hope for is a credit. Full refunds on a policy outside the review period are exceedingly uncommon. You shouldn’t count on getting one.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
Canada’s housing prices expand and encourage debt crisis
Changing the Internet of Things with blockchain
TV stars earn as much as A-list movie actors and actresses
4 big names investing in biotech you should know about
London beats New York in attracting Norway’s property investments
One of America’s oldest gold mines enters the crypto-century
Harbinger Research recommends ‘phenomenal’ PotNetwork as ‘Strong Speculative Buy’
This hemp market player’s growth is about to go into overdrive
CBD stocks emerge strong in the growing cannabis industry, marijuana legalization
Essential format components to include in your newsletter
Promoting women’s football in Malta by UEFA projects
Euro NCAP marks its 20th anniversary with two crash tests
European Parliament’s International Trade Committee backs CETA
The American Heart Association has released four new PSAs
PwC presents 20th global CEO survey results in Switzerland
Commodities1 day ago
Graphene market-leader Elcora Advanced Materials Corp. is about to disrupt the Lithium-ion energy storage market
Auto4 days ago
Mercedes-Benz to unveil new SL-class soon
Crypto5 days ago
Uber co-founder designs new cryptocurrency
Featured5 days ago
Here are the 4 most widely used online trading platforms today
Crypto2 days ago
Say bye to Bitcoin: 7 other cryptocurrencies to invest in
Entrepreneurship3 days ago
Woman to Watch: 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki
Crowdfunding2 days ago
Crowdfunding platform RedCrow gives healthcare startups some leverage
Crypto4 days ago
Will cryptocurrencies soon replace traditional money?