Vacations never seem long enough when you’re working on your golf game or relaxing on a tropical beach.    But – believe it or not – a trip can be cut short or you may choose to return home earlier than planned.  When this happens, you could be eligible for a partial refund on your travel insurance.  However, there are some important requirements that you need to keep in mind to get your money back.  But if you can check off those boxes, you may find yourself with a few extra dollars in your pocket.

What do you need to know about early returns?

First off, it is important to know that all travel insurance companies are different in how they handle early returns.  Make sure to familiarize yourself with the details of your insurance policy and use the points below as general questions to consider when requesting an early return refund.

Where’s the proof?  You will need to provide evidence of the day you returned to Canada or to your home province (depending on the requirements of your insurance company).  A receipt or bank statement that clearly shows the date and location will do, proving exactly when and where you arrived.  Your airplane ticket, boarding pass, gas or grocery receipt purchased in Canada or home province are good examples.  If you are driving back home and crossing the USA border, a request for a stamped passport may be sufficient as long as your current policy allows it.

When do I provide my proof?  Timing is everything, so don’t wait too long to send your receipts to your insurance company once you are back home.  Insurance companies require you to submit your proof of return within a specified period of days.  Some may require 30 days while others will ask for 60 days.  Every company is different so double check your insurance policy wording for your eligibility time period.

What if I have a claim on my insurance?  If you had a medical emergency while traveling abroad and had to submit a claim on your policy, you will not be eligible for an early return refund.  Unfortunately there are no exceptions in these cases.

Would I benefit to request an early return refund?  A refund of any kind is always nice, but an early return refund does come with some stipulations.  Administration fees and/or minimum refund amounts are factors you need to consider before submitting your request.

It pays off to read the fine print when it comes to early returns.

You should always review and understand your travel insurance policy.  It’s easy to assume you will be eligible for an early return refund but it comes with some restrictions.  Be prepared and it will “pay off” – we promise!