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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I bought insurance for 2 months and subsequently extended for 4 months. I had a claim in the first 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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
No. As long as the claim has been submitted, there is no refund.
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?
No. As long as the claim has been submitted, there is no refund.
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 mother?
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.
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?
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.
What exactly do you mean by a claim has been submitted?
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.
If I cancel one plan bought from you and buy another plan from you also, can the cancellation fee be waived?
No. Both are independent transactions.
If the cancellation fee is higher than the unearned premium (typically the remaining premium for pro-rated duration), would I be charged additional amount due to the cancellation fee?
It depends on the USA visitors insurance plan you have purchased, as different plans have different rules for cancellation.
In some plans from IMG or Tokio Marine HCC MIS that are cancellable and refundable, the cancellation fee is applied to the unearned premium to calculate the refund amount. 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 a $15 refund. However, if your unearned premium is $3 and the cancellation fee is $25, you will not be charged an 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.
The cancellation and refund rules for some Trawick International Plans (Safe Travels USA, Safe Travels USA Cost Saver, Safe Travels Visitors to the USA, and Safe Travels USA Comprehensive) are a bit different in that you would be charged the difference if the unearned premium is less than the $25 cancellation fee. So, you can either let the policy continue and terminate automatically on the last day of coverage, or you can pay the difference to cancel.
For example, if your unearned premium is $40 and the cancellation fee is $25, you will receive a $15 refund. However, if your unearned premium is $20, you will have to pay $5 to cancel your insurance.
In most situations, it will make more sense to let the policy continue and terminate on its own. However, if you are cancelling to purchase another plan and want to have only one insurance plan, then it could make more sense to cancel on the date requested and pay the difference. Contact us for assistance at ofni if you're not sure what the best option is. We'll be happy to review, explain the differences, and help you decide.
For any plan, it is best to review the cancellation and refund rules before you purchase the coverage.
My parents left the U.S. around 3 weeks ago. However, I forgot to contact you to cancel the insurance. Can you back date the cancellation of their insurance?
My parents never visited the USA. I was busy and therefore, I could not send a cancellation request earlier. Can I get a full refund now?
No. It is entirely your responsibility to send the cancellation request in a timely manner.
A simple request sent to [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 protected] 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.
No one informed me that I could not do back dated cancellations. Therefore, why can't you do back dated cancellations?
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.
I see that in some cases such as if I cancel the insurance after the effective date, there is a cancellation fee. Who charges this fee? Is it possible to waive this?
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.
I received an email that cancellation may take up to 3 weeks. Will the cancellation effective date be from the date you process the cancellation (which may be up to 3 weeks after I request) or from the day I request?
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.
It seems that you are going to keep my refund money with you until you cancel the insurance. Are you going to pay me interest for the duration you keep my money?
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.)
I don't see so many rules regarding cancellations in the insurance policy I purchased. I didn't find these rules at the insurance company's web site either. Are you sure these are the rules? Or are you making up these rules yourself?
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.
I cancelled the insurance 2 days after the effective date. Why was the premium refunded after keeping 5 days premium and cancellation fee?
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.
I don't want to cancel the insurance. I just want to reduce the duration of the insurance coverage dates.
That is considered cancellation.