Refunds are Company and Policy Dependent

Refund policies will vary depending on the type of insurance policy you have purchased, and the company you have purchased it from. There is usually a ten day 'right to examine' period for the purchaser to review the policy and if not satisfied with coverage, ask for a full refund. However, if the coverage comes into effect before this ten day period is over, for example when an annual plan or a trip cancellation policy is purchased, a full refund will not be possible.

Each company clearly states its refund policy in the insurance policy wording. You can easily view these prior to purchase by clicking on 'summary' on your quote presentation. 

Most companies charge an administration fee and have a minimum refund unless you qualify for a full refund. 

Multi-trip (Annual) Policies:

In general, companies do not offer refunds for multi-trip annual policies, once the effective date (the first day of the year of coverage) has passed. They need to avoid dealing with refunds for people who might buy a multi-trip plan, use it for the first three months, and then ask for a 75% refund.

Super Visa Insurance Policies:

Usually, refunds are not a major concern as people tend to use the entire amount of coverage they have purchased. However, Canada's Super Visa requires applicants to purchase a 365 day policy, even when travel plans may only be for a shorter period of time. As long as no claim has been initiated on the policy, a partial refund for the unused portion of the insurance is usually possible, although different conditions apply according to the policy purchased.

Claims:

Refunds for unused insurance (upon an early return home) are usually allowable only if no claim has occurred or will occur on the policy at the time of refund. For this reason, people who plan to call off their trip early (like some Super Visa holders) may not want to submit smaller claims in order for them to remain eligible for a refund. Also, it may be advisable for couples to purchase two separate policies to ensure that if a claim is made on one policy, refund eligibility remains for the other person who may also return home early after their travel companion has to make a claim. Some companies automatically issue two separate policy numbers for a couple - others don't.