Donelan Andrews always reads the small print. This time it made her $10,000 richer.
Andrews was recently reviewing the paperwork for her travel insurance policy, CBS News reports, when she discovered a welcome surprise — a cash prize for any customer dutiful enough to have read so deeply into the contract.
“If you’ve read this far, then you are one of the very few…customers to review all of their policy documentation,” the text read. The papers then provided an email address, indicating that the first person to reply could claim the $10,000 cash prize.
Squaremouth, the company responsible for the peculiar contest, explained its rationale on their website after Andrews successfully claimed her prize.
“We understand most customers don’t actually read contracts or documentation when buying something, but we know the importance of doing so,” they wrote.
“We created the top-secret Pays to Read campaign in an effort to highlight the importance of reading policy documentation from start to finish.”
In addition to the $10,000 awarded to Andrews, the company also donated $10,000 to a children’s literacy program and another $10,000 to high schools as part of Sqauremouth’s “Pays to Read” campaign.
— Squaremouth (@squaremouth) March 6, 2019
Andrews had the opportunity to claim her prize after purchasing a travel insurance policy for a trip she was taking to London with six of her friends. The coverage would have provided reimbursement for costs if the trip was interrupted or needed to be canceled.
According to Andrews, she has always been a “nerd” and is reliably diligent in carefully reading all of the text of documents like her travel insurance policy. She points out that as a teacher she used to sneak similar tidbits into her exams to see if students were paying attention.
Squaremouth expressed a similar sentiment as the reason for running their contest. The company shared that over the years, many of their customers have made assumptions about what is included in their coverage without necessarily reading the details of the contract. This failure to understand the policy, Sqauremouth said, is the leading reason that claims are submitted for losses that are not covered.
Regardless of the reason, Andrews came out ahead.
“I am retiring from teaching on May 31, after 25 years,” she told CBS.
“My husband and I are going on a trip to Scotland to celebrate my retirement and our 35th wedding anniversary! This will cover most of that cost! And by the way, I will be purchasing trip insurance!”