Travel Insurance Policy Pro rata Cancellation

I bought Worldwide Travel Insurance from Avanti in October. I needed to include Thailand on my policy at short notice in December which was quite a steep payment, nearly as much as the original cost. I no longer require this and was hoping to get a pro rata refund with no admin fee. 

I chatted online and was told that I could only upgrade the policy not downgrade so I asked if I would get a pro rata refund if I cancelled the policy. No claim has been made and it was paid upfront. I was advised to call Avanti. When I called the recorded message included there is flexibility to change on line with no fee. I tried this but there was no option to cancel.

This is stated on their website:

How do I cancel the contract?

You can cancel this policy at any time. If you cancel within 14 days of receipt of your policy documents, we will cancel the policy and refund your premium, less any applicable fees and charges, provided that you have not already taken your trip, made a claim or intend to make a claim. To cancel the policy, please call the Avanti Customer Services Team on 0333 006 3213.

I called Customer Services and was told a "pro-rata" cancellation is only done in specific instances where the underwriters give us permission to do so if a situation arises where you are no longer covered by us due to referral outcome obtained based on pending medical surgery/scans or an undiagnosed condition.

Cancellation with a full refund can only be done  if you are inside the cooling off period

I asked if I was paying in instalments I could cancel in effect giving myself a prorata refund but I paid upfront. He agreed!

Surely this is not right. Please can anyone advise.

Comments

  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,255
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    edited 9 January at 5:53PM
    Fairly normal for travel insurance, I think.
    It’s not calculated on a pro rata basis, so many insurers didn’t give pro rata refunds.
    it would have been in the terms and conditions somewhere when you signed up. 
    Most policies are pretty clear that if you cancel outside of the 14 days you don’t get a refund
    I’m not sure of the information you were given about being able to cancel on monthly payments was accurate either. 

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,255
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    It is pretty clear on their website as well on the main travel insurance page.

    Can I change my policy after I’ve bought it?

    After you’ve bought your travel insurance policy, you can log into your My Avanti account to:

    • Update your personal contact details
    • Update your health conditions
    • Change travel dates on your Single Trip policy (limits apply)
    • Change your holiday destination
    • Upgrade cover with add-ons for example winter sports cover, gadget cover
    • And more.

    You can only cancel your policy if you’re within the 14 day cooling off period since buying it. After that point, you won’t be able to cancel, or decrease the level of cover you’ve chosen.

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,055
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    Rubyd69 said:

    I bought Worldwide Travel Insurance from Avanti in October. I needed to include Thailand on my policy at short notice in December which was quite a steep payment, nearly as much as the original cost. I no longer require this and was hoping to get a pro rata refund with no admin fee. 

    I chatted online and was told that I could only upgrade the policy not downgrade so I asked if I would get a pro rata refund if I cancelled the policy. No claim has been made and it was paid upfront. I was advised to call Avanti. When I called the recorded message included there is flexibility to change on line with no fee. I tried this but there was no option to cancel.

    This is stated on their website:

    How do I cancel the contract?

    You can cancel this policy at any time. If you cancel within 14 days of receipt of your policy documents, we will cancel the policy and refund your premium, less any applicable fees and charges, provided that you have not already taken your trip, made a claim or intend to make a claim. To cancel the policy, please call the Avanti Customer Services Team on 0333 006 3213.

    I called Customer Services and was told a "pro-rata" cancellation is only done in specific instances where the underwriters give us permission to do so if a situation arises where you are no longer covered by us due to referral outcome obtained based on pending medical surgery/scans or an undiagnosed condition.

    Cancellation with a full refund can only be done  if you are inside the cooling off period

    I asked if I was paying in instalments I could cancel in effect giving myself a prorata refund but I paid upfront. He agreed!

    Surely this is not right. Please can anyone advise.

    As per the text you copied, your right to cancel was in the the 14 days after purchasing the policy, this is long passed given you say you bought it in October. 

    You, and the agent it appears, have misunderstood paying the premium in full -v- paying in instalments. When you pay by instalments you are still buying the same annual policy with the same commitment to pay the full premium however the insurance company, or in some cases a premium finance company, give you a loan for the value of the premiums. You aren't really paying the premiums in instalments but repaying the loan in instalments. When it's done via a premium finance company the loan will appear on your credit history like any other debt.

    By paying in instalments you'd have had no further rights to cancel the policy... now you could have cancelled the repayment of the loan which may or may not have trashed your credit history with defaults and it may be questionable if the insurer would actually go as far as getting a CCJ against you -v- voiding your policy and barring you from buying from them again. Obviously having to now answer "yes" to have you ever had insurance cancelled would mean tripling your Home, Motor, Travel etc insurance costs for the rest of your life. 
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