A Guide to Buying Travel Insurance
International travel can be an exciting and rewarding experience but buying travel insurance is often overlooked.
Here is a guide to help you choose the best travel insurance to meet your needs and travel plans.
Incidents that good travel insurance normally covers:
Trip-Cancellation or Interruption Insurance
This covers the traveller, companion or family if they have to cancel or cut their trip short due to illness, injury or death suffered by the main insuree or their immediate family. This cover offers reimbursement for non-refundable travel charges should you cancel your trip.
This covers medical treatment in a hospital or clinic, and includes any prescription costs that you may incur while you are travelling. This is important and will cover if you have an accident.
This type of insurance will cover you in the event of an accident or medical emergency where you need to be evacuated to a medical facility or if you need to be medically repatriated to your home country.
Baggage insurance covers you if your luggage is lost, damaged or delayed. This cover offers reimbursement for the loss or damage of your luggage, or the costs to purchase any necessary personal effects if your baggage is delayed for more than 12 hours.
Vehicle and Motorbike Insurance
If you intend to rent a car, motorbike, jet skis or any motorised vehicle while on holiday, excess cover will safeguard you in an accident or against any loss to your rental vehicle.
Travel Document Insurance
This kind of insurance would cover you in the event that your important travel documents are lost or stolen.
Now that you know what travel insurance is available, consider the following:
Travel insurance costs can vary between 5% and 12% of your total trip.
Prior to making a purchase, look at what insurance you currently have. You may find that your medical aid offers cover for medical attention if you are abroad or that your valuables are covered in your household insurance for loss while travelling. Furthermore, many credit card companies (mainly gold cards) offer certain cover if a customer purchases their travel tickets via their credit cards.
Length of Trip and Activities
Consider the length of your trip and any activities you may partake in. Most policies specify a period of 120 days, and certain insurers will not cover you for injuries from specific adventure sports.
Understand the excess you will need to pay if you have a claim. In most cases, the higher the excess is, the lower the premiums.
If your holiday is through a tour operator, weigh the pros and cons as this insurance may not cover you if the tour operator goes out of business or is declared insolvent during your holiday.
Best suited for frequent business and leisure travellers, this option of cover is for an unlimited number of trips within the policy year.
Read the fine print so that you are well-informed of what you are covered for, inclusions, exclusions and the excess for each policy.
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