Can I get a travel insurance refund? Meet someone who did

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By Christopher Elliott

Travel insurance is nonrefundable, right? If you think so, then meet Diane Horban. When Road Scholar canceled her tour of Russia, she asks Allianz Travel: Can I get a travel insurance refund? Find out the surprising answer.


I had a tour of Moscow and St. Petersburg booked for April with Road Scholar. The company canceled the tour because of the coronavirus outbreak. Road Scholar quickly refunded the trip. I want to compliment them on their transparency and consistent communication.

My problem is with Allianz Travel Insurance and trying to get $293 refunded for my travel insurance. According to their refund policy, when the tour company cancels a tour and I have not filed a payable claim, my travel insurance will be refunded.

I contacted Allianz to request my refund. I sent two messages through their website, but received no response. Finally, I then called and spoke to a representative on a recorded line. She suggested I send an email request to [email protected], which I did.

I have not heard anything back from Allianz. Can I get a travel insurance refund from Allianz Travel Insurance? — Diane Horban, Chicago


If Allianz Travel Insurance says your travel insurance policy is refundable, then you should get all of your money back.

But is it? I reviewed the fine print in your contract, and you’re right — if your tour operator cancels, you get a no-questions-asked refund. I hesitated to get involved because travel insurance isn’t always refundable.

As a lot of travelers have discovered in the last few weeks, some policies can be reused, but you don’t always get your money back. Most frustrating, the refund rules seem to be changing by the minute as travel insurance companies adjust to the wave of pandemic-related cancellations.

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When you ask for a refund, you have to put it in writing and then practice extreme patience. Travel insurance companies are overwhelmed with claims and refund requests. In the past, I’ve had small claims processed by Allianz within 24 hours. But more complicated claims can take extra time. Add the crushing burden of pandemic-related claims, you may have to wait weeks, or even longer. (Related: Here are the important differences between a vacation waiver and travel insurance.)

Putting your refund request in writing was the right move. While travel insurance companies record their phone conversations, you don’t have access to the recording. So you can’t prove what a representative may or may not have said to you. When you write to a company, you see every written response.

Can I get a travel insurance refund? Let’s ask Allianz

By the way, you could have asked an Allianz executive about your refund if the process dragged on for too long. I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of key Allianz customer service managers on this site. (Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance.)

I checked with Allianz on your refund. “We did try and cancel the policy but the customer service [department] said they received a refund error,” a representative told me. “This usually happens when there is some issue with refunding back to the payment method.”

You re-sent Allianz your card information, and it promptly processed your refund.

Should travel insurance be refundable?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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