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Can You Cancel Travel Insurance and Get a Refund?

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Senitra Horbrook
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Senitra Horbrook

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Senitra Horbrook is a frequent solo traveler who began using points and miles in 2012. Formerly credit cards editor at The Points Guy, Senitra has also contributed to Forbes Advisor, AwardWallet, Insi...
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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Keri Stooksbury

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Travel can require extensive planning, from picking the destination to deciding travel dates, selecting your hotel, and booking tours and activities. There’s a lot to keep track of, but travel insurance is an aspect of travel planning and decision-making you should handle from the start.

Hopefully, you’ve spent time researching travel insurance options to find the best policy before purchasing it. However, if you made a hasty decision or didn’t thoroughly read the policy documents, you may only have a short time after paying the premium to cancel your policy.

We’ll discuss whether travel insurance can be canceled for a refund and explain why you shouldn’t let too much time lapse if you’re reconsidering your travel insurance purchase.

Can Travel Insurance Be Canceled?

Most travel insurance companies offer a money-back guarantee or free-look review period after you purchase a policy. The review period typically lasts 10 to 15 days, but it may be longer, depending on your state. 

The 10 to 15 days give you time to review your policy documents and ensure the coverage you’ve purchased meets your needs. Should you decide to cancel your policy during this period and you have not departed on your trip or filed a claim, you should receive a 100% refund of your premium.

Here’s a look at the cancellation periods for several well-known travel insurance companies (terms apply):

Bottom Line:

Yes, you can cancel your travel insurance. However, you will only receive a refund if canceled during the company’s money-back guarantee or free-look period.

What To Review During the Free-Look Period

Woman signing paperwork
Make sure to read your policy’s fine print. Image Credit: EKKAPON via Adobe Stock

If you purchased your travel insurance without thoroughly reviewing the policy documents or didn’t understand everything included, the free-look period is your opportunity to read all the fine print and make sure the plan meets your needs. 

For example, if you’re planning to go scuba diving on your trip, this is your chance to confirm your insurance will cover the cost of any medical services or medical evacuation. You may find that it’s not covered, and you need additional coverage specifically for scuba diving.

Here are some details you should verify when reviewing your policy:

  • Your travel dates
  • The covered reasons for a trip delay, trip interruption, or trip cancellation claim
  • The length of delay needed for trip delay coverage to kick in
  • Dollar limits for reimbursement
  • The plan’s exclusions
  • If the plan has any deductibles to pay, and if so, whether the amount is affordable for you

If you feel like you rushed into purchasing your policy and didn’t shop around enough to compare quotes from other insurers, this is your last chance to do so. You can use a travel insurance comparison website like Squaremouth to get quotes from several travel insurance companies.

Reasons You May Want To Cancel Your Travel Insurance Policy

In addition to reviewing your policy details, consider these scenarios that may result in you deciding to cancel:

  • The coverage you purchased doesn’t meet your needs. The policy may have too many exclusions or restrictions on what is covered. Or maybe you need a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance policy for more flexibility.
  • You’re switching to a cheaper plan from a different insurance provider. Switching could make sense if you’ve found similar coverage with another insurer at a lower cost.
  • The trip is canceled or postponed to an undetermined date. Maybe you’ve quickly changed your mind altogether about traveling, or something has come up that makes you unable to travel on the dates you booked.
  • You’re over-insured. Travel insurance is ideal if you have significant out-of-pocket expenses that wouldn’t be refunded if you don’t take your trip. However, you may realize after booking that you don’t have many prepaid or nonrefundable expenses. So, if your trip were to be delayed or canceled, you wouldn’t have much financial loss to make the cost of an insurance policy worth it.
  • You realized you have other travel insurance coverage. Your credit card or personal health insurance may cover you while traveling, but check the details of each to be sure. Credit card travel insurance and personal medical insurance will also have exclusions, so make sure to determine whether they fit your travel needs. You’ll also want to ensure that you booked your travel with that credit card for coverage to apply.

How To Cancel a Travel Insurance Policy

The steps to cancel your travel insurance policy vary by provider. In some instances, if you have an online account with your insurer, you may be able to directly cancel the policy within your account. In other instances, you may have to call, send a written request by email, or submit a form on the company’s website. 

The insurer should inform you if you’re eligible for a refund of the premium you paid and when to expect the refund. If you cancel your policy, there may be a small processing or administrative fee of $5 to $10.

Consider Changing Your Policy Instead of Canceling It

If you’ve verified the plan you’ve purchased meets your needs, no further action is needed. However, if it does not, you can take a few different routes. You can cancel the policy and purchase a policy from a different insurance company. Or, you can see if your current insurer will allow you to change your policy and add to your coverage. Adjustments are often allowed during the free-look period, but double-check your policy terms, as they should specify whether any changes to your coverage are permitted.

Is Travel Insurance Refundable if the Trip Is Canceled?

Typically, travel insurance is nonrefundable once the free-look period has ended, even if you later change your mind and decide not to travel. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you have other options. If you can’t receive a refund, the insurance company may offer you a credit to apply toward a future trip policy. Even if the company doesn’t explicitly allow this, they may consider it case-by-case.

Final Thoughts

When you purchase travel insurance, time is of the essence if there’s any chance you may want to cancel it. Read your policy documents thoroughly to understand what is included and what the cancellation terms are. If you wait too long to cancel, you likely won’t be able to get your premiums refunded.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is travel insurance refundable?

Yes, travel insurance is refundable, but only during the money-back guarantee or free-look period and as long as you have not made a claim.

How long do you have to cancel trip insurance?

Most travel insurance providers offer a money-back guarantee or free-look period of 10 to 15 days. A few states offer a longer time period. The clock begins on the date you purchase your policy.

Is travel insurance refundable if not used?

If you have completed your travels but did not need to use your insurance, congratulations on a successful trip. However, you cannot receive a refund of the premiums simply because you did not make a claim. Insurance is designed to cover you in case of travel troubles, but there is no guarantee anything will go wrong on your trip that you will need to make a claim.

Can you get a travel insurance refund for any reason?

If you are within the free-look period, yes, you can cancel your travel insurance and get a refund for any reason. You do not need to explain to the insurer why you are canceling your policy. Beyond the initial review period, most policies are nonrefundable for any reason.

Can you cancel travel insurance after the review period?

You should review your travel insurance documents for your insurer’s cancellation policy. In most cases, yes, you can cancel after the review period, but you likely won’t get your premium refunded. So it may be best to just keep the policy. If you’re still traveling, it may come in handy if anything goes awry on your trip.

Senitra Horbrook's image

About Senitra Horbrook

Senitra Horbrook is a frequent solo traveler who began using points and miles in 2012. Formerly credit cards editor at The Points Guy, Senitra has also contributed to Forbes Advisor, AwardWallet, Insider, among others.

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