Is Travel Insurance Important?
Taking out Travel Insurance when planning a journey, whether it be business or pleasure, is highly advisable as most of us simply don’t have the available extra funds should an unforeseen emergency arise.
The exchange rate for South Africans journeying abroad highlights the need for Travel Insurance as you will receive coverage for various situations that, in many cases, are not offered by credit card organisations and healthcare plans.
It is important to ensure that you make the right choices for your Travel Insurance needs such as a business trip, a sea cruise, or if you are a student. It is advisable to purchase Travel Insurance with a well established organisation that is familiar with the places you will be traveling to.
Comprehensive coverage will afford you the necessary protection against situations where your baggage is lost, unforeseen medical emergencies, canceled journeys or even defaults by suppliers. It is important to have the peace of mind knowing that help is at hand should you need it. Although in most cases, the essentials will be covered with Travel Insurance policies we do urge you to choose wisely and be adequately covered for your individual needs. There will be limits set for each risk type and the amounts may not be adequate for your specific needs, find out whether you can increase your cover for your specific requirements.
Travel Insurance coverage considerations…
- Will you be participating in high risk activities such as river rafting, skiing or gliding? Find out what the small print says! In some cases there may be some coverage for sports dependent on whether it is for recreation purposes or professional.
- Medical coverage is extremely important, especially if you will be in a foreign country, as you will be exposed to unknown medical risks and accidents. Ascertain that costs include a flight home should you be unable to continue your journey after an illness or hospitalization.
- There are some countries and places where specialized medical needs is higher, more so in under-developed countries or where there are diseases such as Malaria.
- Do make a point of finding out what risks aren’t covered at first glance in a Travel Insurance policy so that you are can request coverage or additional coverage where needed. Examples could be: age restrictions or pre-existing medical conditions.
- Take out as much medical aid coverage as you are able to afford.
- If you are traveling as: a couple/friends/families/group – inquire as to what discounted rates are available for your particular situation.
- Make sure before you leave that you are aware of how the claim process is structured. Can you claim online? Do you need to wait until you are back home to claim? In some cases you may need statements or police reports which you may struggle to obtain if you are back home.
Final check points on Travel Insurance
Remember that in most cases automatic travel insurance cover may not include everything you need for your specific needs. Always take note of what is not covered and then look at the options available for additional coverage such as personal liability, legal costs etc.
- Do you have adequate Travel Insurance coverage?
- Do you know the details of your policy?
- Have you read the fine print?
- Is your baggage covered adequately from loss and/or theft.
- Have you checked the age restrictions?
- If you are traveling as a family do you fully understand how the coverage works?
- Is your sporting adventure covered?
- Are all your pre-existing medical conditions covered?
- Are you traveling outside of your own country: Do you have your insurance policy identity card and a form to claim should the need arise?