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Visitor Travel Insurance - Cancellation FAQ
Please note that these general FAQs apply only to those plans that have any refund under limited circumstances. If the policy is not refundable (either after the purchase, or after the effective date of the policy), there is no refund even in any circumstances described below.
Q: I bought the insurance for my father for 6 months. He was in the U.S. for the entire 6 months. We didn't file any claim (we didn't use the insurance). Can I get a refund?
A: No. Refund, if any, after the effective date of the insurance, is made only in case of early departure or early termination. If you kept the insurance for the entire duration, the insurance company carried the risk for the entire duration and therefore, the premium is considered fully earned. In other words, you have fully used your insurance and there is no refund. As long as you are insured, it is considered that you have continuously used the insurance and using the insurance does not mean going to the doctor/hospital or making a claim.
You want the insurance company to pay lots of money if you get sick or injured. And if you don't, you want the insurance company to refund your premium. From where will the insurance company get all the money to pay the claims and make any profit if they returned everyone's money who didn't claim?
If you have a car insurance for years and if you don't get into an accident, you don't get the refund of all your money. Visitors insurance works the same way.
Q: I bought the insurance for my father for 6 months. The refund policy says "As long as no claims have been made since the effective date, you will get a refund for the pro-rated duration minus $25 cancellation fee". I made a claim in the first month. My father is leaving after staying in the U.S. for a total of 4 months. As I will not be making a claim in the last 2 months he is not here, can I get the refund for the last 2 months?
A: No. As long as any claims have been submitted since the original effective date (that is, first day out of those 6 months your father was insured), there is no refund.
Q: I bought insurance for 2 months and subsequently extended for 4 months. I had a claim in the first 1 month. Now, my father is going back in 2 months. However, I had no claims since the effective date of the 4-month extension period. Can I get the refund for 4 months?
A: No. When you extend the policy, everything carries over and it is considered that you have one consecutive policy for the entire 6 months, in your case. And your effective date is when your insurance was originally effective. Therefore, as long as the claim has been submitted since the original effective date, there is no refund.
Q: I bought insurance for 3 months and subsequently extended it for another 2 months. However, my father is returning home at the end of 3 months. Therefore, I would like to cancel only the extension. Would I get the full refund for the money that I paid for extension or would there be any cancellation fee?
A: Many insurance plans provide full refund before the effective date. After the effective date, many plans provide pro-rated (or some other) refund minus a cancellation fee as long as no claims have been submitted.
When you extend the insurance, the effective date for your insurance is the original effective date of the policy. Therefore, in this case, it is considered as if you had purchased the insurance for the entire 5 months. (This works to your advantage when there is a claim because everything will be looked at according to the original effective date and that is the advantage of buying the renewable insurance rather than repurchasing the insurance or purchasing the one that is not renewable.) When you extend the insurance, you get the same certificate number and that is your proof that you are extending the policy and not repurchasing the policy. (Even if your new insurance card says the new effective date, the insurance company's system keeps track of your original effective date, from the same certificate number.) As you are cancelling the insurance after the original effective date, you will be charged a cancellation fee.
Q: I bought insurance for my father for 6 months. He fell sick and had to go to a doctor and the doctor billed directly and the insurance company paid directly to him. I didn't make any claim myself. He is now leaving 2 months early. Can I get a refund?
A: No. Even if the doctor billed directly and the insurance company paid directly to him, it is still considered a claim. The doctor filed a claim on your behalf. Therefore, there is no refund.
Q: I bought insurance for my father for 6 months. We filed a claim and the claim was denied due to pre-existing conditions. He is now leaving 2 months early. Can I get a refund?
Q: I bought insurance for my father for 6 months. We filed a claim and the claim of $200 was considered an eligible expense. However, my deductible was $250 and therefore, all $200 that the insurance company agreed to pay went towards the deductible. Therefore, the insurance company effectively didn't pay anything. He is now leaving 2 months early. Can I get a refund?
Q: I bought one policy for both my parents together. Both of them are leaving early. My father had a claim but my mother didn't. Can I get the refund for unused duration for my father?
A: If you applied for both of your parents in one application, the entire policy has a claim and therefore there is no refund for your mother, even if she didn't have any claim. Therefore, we recommend everyone to make separate applications to avoid any such issues.
Q: I bought one policy for both my parents together. Can I just cancel the insurance for my father and continue just for my mother? Can you refund my father's unused premium?
A: If there are multiple people in one certificate number, the entire certificate has to be cancelled. Just one person can't be removed from the policy and refund be given. Moreover, if you cancel for both and repurchase the insurance for just one, if the person for whom you bought the new insurance had fallen sick or injured earlier, all the terms and conditions, including the deductible, coinsurance and the pre-existing conditions exclusion would start all over again, as if you never had purchased the prior insurance. Therefore, we recommend everyone to make separate applications to avoid any such issues.
A: Submission of a claim means demanding money for medical expenses or any other benefits in the insurance, either directly by you or by a provider. As long as you filed any claim form yourself or you went to the provider and showed the insurance card to them (who in turn filed claim with the insurance company), the claim is considered submitted.
A claim does not occur only when you or the provider are paid any money. That is actually the payment of the claim.
A: No. Both are independent transactions.
A: No. Cancellation fee is applied to the unearned premium to calculate the refund amount and it is not the processing
fee just to process the request.
For example, if your unearned premium is $40 and the cancellation fee is $25, you will get $15 refund.
However, if your unearned premium is $3 and the cancellation fee is $25, you will not be charged additional $22 premium. You will simply not get any refund. This would typically happen if the person wants to cancel for a very small duration such as if the person is leaving one or two days in advance of the original expiration date.
A: No. It is entirely your responsibility to send the cancellation request in a timely manner.
A simple request sent to email@example.com with the certificate number and requested cancellation date is enough to get the process started.
Insurance can be cancelled effective as early as the next day or any future date you specify in your written request. Please refer to the cancellation rule of each insurance plan in their certificate wording or brochure. In order to get a full refund (for the plans that allow it), you must send the cancellation request to firstname.lastname@example.org before the effective date of the policy. Some plans charge cancellation fee even before the effective date of the policy and some plans are not refundable at all after purchase. In order to get a partial refund (for the plans that allow it) minus the cancellation fee provided no claims have been submitted since the original effective date of the policy, you must send the cancellation request to email@example.com before the expiration date of the policy. Once the insurance has expired, there is no refund under any circumstances in any of the insurance plans.
A: No one from our office told you that you could do back dated cancellations either. Please look at the refund rules of each insurance plan.
A: All cancellation fees, if any, are charged directly by the insurance company. Insubuy® does not charge any additional cancellation fee or any other fees. It is not possible to waive the cancellation fee, as by law, all customers are required to be treated the same regarding such rules.
A: Even though the actual cancellation processing may occur after few days or few weeks, cancellation will be effective from the date you specified in your request, which is in most plans, as early as the next day or any future date you specify.
A: No. Interest is not payable during the time it takes to process your cancellation. Such expectation is not even reasonable looking at the near zero interest rates in the U.S. (Most banks give 0.01% interest for checking account. That is, if you keep $100 in bank for one year, you get one cent as interest.)
A: Of course, each insurance company is going to make the refund according to the refund rule given in the insurance policy wording. And most of what we have described here is the clarification consistent with those rules and not contradictory. Some of the FAQs here are examples of how rules would be applied to the specific scenarios people may encounter. Some of the examples given here are common sense clarification. We are not making up any additional rules and our intention is not to make any contradictory statements.
The reason you don't find exact examples listed here in the policy wording or the insurance company's web site is because as far as they are concerned, they have written very specific and accurate rule for the refund and nothing more is required. Because, as a broker, we work for you, we are clarifying those rules from our experience and what a lot of customers have asked in the past.
A: On or after the effective date, most visitors insurance plans give pro-rated refund minus $25 or $50 cancellation fee, as long as no claims have been filed since the original effective date. However, all insurance plans have to be purchased at least for a minimum of 5 days (or longer for some plans). Therefore, if you cancel the insurance 2 days after the effective date, the minimum premium for 5 days would be charged before calculating the refund.
A: That is considered cancellation.
Disclaimer: The information within this article is intended as a broad summary of benefits and services and is meant for informational purposes only. The information does not describe all scenarios, coverages or exclusions of any insurance plan. The benefits and services of an insurance plan are subject to change. This is not your policy/certificate of insurance. If there is any discrepancy between the information in this article and the language of your policy/certificate wording, the language of the policy/certificate wording will prevail.