The Importance of travel insurance and why you need it

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the travel and tourism industry to a near standstill, but most indicators show that people are taking business trips again and planning leisure travel to their favourite destinations.

When it comes to booking a holiday, purchasing travel insurance is often the last thing people think of and it is usually left until the last minute.

“I am a healthy person; I never get sick – why would I need travel insurance?”  If you feel this way, you might ask the question of whether travel insurance is worth it.  Nobody wants to think about death, especially not while travelling abroad, but death is always a possibility ─ even for people who are fit and healthy. This is an extremely important benefit to have on a travel insurance policy as the cost of transporting a body to another country can cost a lot of money and without proper travel insurance, your next of kin will be faced with all the expenses related to your death. 

A case study received from TIC (the travel insurer we use) showed that a body of a TIC client who passed away in Eritrea had to remain there for several weeks due to the fact that an embalmer was not available within that country. TIC had to arrange for an embalmer to travel to Kenya and the body was repatriated only three weeks later once the paperwork had been completed. The cost of the claim totalled R400 000.

Travel insurance does not only cover repatriation but can also cover you from incidents like theft and more serious medical situations, baggage delays, missed connecting flights, denied visas as well as personal liabilities. Pre-existing conditions are usually not covered, however, limited cover is available on certain policies.  If you have pre-existing conditions, make sure you take out an insurance policy that does provide cover, even if it is limited – some form of cover is better than no cover at all.

Let’s look at another case file:

A TIC traveller suffered serious injuries when a car knocked him off his bicycle in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  The traveller was on holiday with his wife and his daughter when he was involved in the accident. His lungs were punctured, his ribs fractured, and he suffered an elbow injury. He was taken to a hospital in Dubrovnik before he was repatriated to South Africa via air ambulance. The cost of his claim came to R1,25 million.

Almost all medical aids provide travel insurance cover and if you pay your full airfare with your credit card, most banks provide some complimentary cover as well. This cover is restricted and most of the time your excess payment in the event of a valid claim is higher than on a travel insurance policy. 

When you do get complimentary cover, read through the documentation, and determine whether you have adequate cover for medical expenses as well as cover such as the reimbursement of cancellation costs and lost luggage. Your policy document will stipulate the cover provided, indemnity limits and excesses applicable.

Your travel budget might be tight already, but we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance. This will ensure that you are protected from substantial losses that may result from any unforeseen circumstances such as lost baggage, medical emergencies, disability, cancelled trips etc.

Should you be interested in travel insurance, please contact us.

Get in touch with us today!

Although all possible care was taken in the drafting of this document, the factual correctness of the information contained herein cannot be guaranteed. This document does not constitute advice and anyone planning on taking any financial action based on this document, is strongly advised to first consult with their personal financial advisor. ProVérte Risk Management is an authorised financial service provider with FSP no. 51584.

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