Donelan Andrews is a teacher who's always emphasized on the importance of reading the fine print on every document and finally her own advice came in handy to her!
We've all got important documents stashed away, right? We promise ourselves we'd read them, but it just seems like too much information. So all we did was skim through it and forget about it, right? It definitely is a mundane task, but that task has been worth it for a teacher from Georgia. As a teacher, she's been telling her students for years to read the fine print on everything- from something as simple as a question paper or a slightly more complex document, according to People. Donelan Andrews herself has always been attuned for detail, as she tells the Washington Post, “I have a folder for everything.”
The 59-year-old teacher decided to plan a holiday with a few of her girlfriends, and all of them decided to purchase travel insurance, as their age meant they all had someone that was sick or elderly in their lives. She purchased them through the website Squaremouth for $454, which was the lowest price she could find to cover all of her travel costs if she needed to cancel.
Being the methodical person she is, Donelan sat down to thoroughly read the insurance documents that were sent to her by Tin Leg — a subsidiary of Squaremouth. She said, “I always read all the fine print. " She mentioned that her major in college was consumer economics. “I know I sound like a nerd, but I learned to read contracts so you don’t get taken advantage of,” she added.
She was on the seventh page of her insurance policy when she noticed something surprising. Pays to read, it said on the document. It continued: We estimate that less than 1 percent of travelers that purchase a travel insurance policy actually read all of their policy information — and we’re working to change that. The document mentioned how the first person to mail the company and mention the fine-print contest would win $10,000. She immediately mailed the company!
Donelan also thought of how she used to write high school tests, where she'd sneak in bonus points for students who always read the fine print. Something as simple as 'circle the point ten three times to earn bonus points'. “About a third of the class would read it and the rest would get mad,” she said. “The lesson they learned is they need to read the directions.” She was right, wasn't she, about reading the fine print?
It was on February 11 that Donelan mailed the company about the contest being hidden in her contract. A day later, a representative from the company called to tell her she'd won the $10,000! “It was my lucky day,” she said. The company started the contest only a day prior to Donelan mailing them about it, and they'd sent out 73 policies to different customers who had purchased them and Donelan was the first to mail them.
Donelan, who was thrilled to win the contest, told her friends and family about it, and they were not even surprised. "Most of the comments from people close to me have been, ‘that doesn’t surprise me at all, you’re that kind of person.’ Particularly in my family, I’m the one who gets things straight,” she added. But isn't is a bit confusing as to why an insurance company came out with this competition? Wouldn't they want their customers to skip the fine print?
Squaremouth claims it's because they want their customers to know things before they file a claim, as this makes it all easier for everyone. “We want people to read it because we want people to understand what they’re covered for and not covered for,” spokesperson Jenna Hummer said. “It makes everybody’s life a lot easier.” She said she and the others thought this contest would go unclaimed.
In addition to $10,000 Andrews won, Squaremouth has also donated $5,000 each to the two Georgia schools Andrews works for, as well as another $10,000 to Reading Is Fundamental, a children’s literacy charity.