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Read the Fine Print. You Could Win Yourself $10,000

March 11, 2019
2 mins
Cute seniors having a dance party in their living room

The devil is often in the details. And sometimes you'll find a guardian angel in there, too.

In today's world, it's difficult enough to get people to read newspapers and magazines. As a matter of fact, walk into any doctor's office or other waiting areas, and notice the marked absence of old-school reading material. Everybody— well, at least 95% of people killing time while waiting for appointments have their faces glued to their smartphone screens. It's a wonder Time, Newsweek, and Vanity Fair even exist in print editions in 2019.

So imagine the shock waves rippling through cyberspace when it was recently reported that a 59-year-old Georgia woman pocketed a tidy $10,000 sum for reading her entire insurance policy? Honestly— who does that?

The policyholder endeavoured to read her entire travel insurance contract and buried in the cumbersome policy language was an interesting proposition. In among clauses and policy conditions sat a request for the reader to immediately email the insurance carrier upon reading the policy. It seemed the first person to respond would walk away with 10K. The Georgia schoolteacher drafted an email, hit send, and days later received word from the insurer that she indeed was the winner of the contest. Chalk up a win for detail-oriented insurance shoppers.

Maybe the company thought no one would win but that's not the case. Rather, the carrier used a clever marketing campaign to stress the importance of a valued policyholder understanding all the nuances of a travel insurance contract. Furthermore, the company uncovered that less than 1% of travel insurance buyers actually read the whole booklet. It doesn't exactly make for a compelling page-turner, but understanding where your premium dollars go and how you're protected is a worthy pursuit.

Many travellers just don't understand all the ins and outs of their trip cancellation policy. So while the company was scooping up a little publicity, it was also beckoning customers to know which situations are covered under the policy—and which are not. Along with a bit of lighthearted marketing, the company also sought to minimize any confusion with policyholders before claims get filed.

Regardless of whether you purchase policies that include trip insurance, auto insurance, or homeowners coverage, it's prudent to know how the policy works from A-Z. Undoubtedly, the verbiage isn't the easiest to sift through, but a complete read-through will give you a better idea of coverages, exclusions, and policyholder duties in the event of a claim. If you encounter any especially baffling terms or conditions, consider consulting with an insurance professional to help make sense of it all.

In anyone's world, knowing exactly what you're paying for and what you're getting in return makes a good practice— in insurance matters or all other semi-complex business transactions. There is a familiar organization whose slogan wisely tells us all that "reading is fundamental". That's solid advice no matter which way you slice it. In that Georgia educator's book, reading turned out to be financially rewarding as well.

Before you can read that fine print, you need to choose the insurance policy that's right for you. Compare travel insurance rates today to get started!


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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