In the past, many travellers would likely have agreed that travel insurance was somewhat of a grudge purchase. But now we’re all a lot smarter and know that we shouldn’t be travelling anywhere without a solid travel insurance policy.
However, choosing the correct policy for your needs can be yet another confusing process.
The Flight Centre South Africa team unpacked the different types of travel insurance so you have a better idea of what is best suited to you. Insights provided by Flight Centre’s travel insurance provider, Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC).
Here are a few travel insurance categories:
I have free insurance cover on my credit card or with my medical aid – Free cover is limited. Ensure that you boost it with a comprehensive policy.
I’m applying for a fairly pricey visa – Did you know that you can get a visa denied cover? This is essential cover for South African passport holders should your visa be denied. Please note that your passport must be valid, you cannot have a criminal record, applications must be submitted in the prescribed time and all related documents, as specified, must be in order.
I’m aged 70 and over – Ensure about exclusions for cardiovascular diseases, cerebro vascular diseases and pre-existing illnesses for travellers aged 70 and over.
I have a pre-existing illness – If you have a pre-existing illness, make sure you inform your advisor and choose a product that contains pre-existing illness cover, which covers you for hospitalisation as a result of your pre-existing illness. For travellers up to the age of 69.
I’m travelling to a malaria area – check that your policy covers you for tropical diseases.
I will be doing manual labour on my travels – Manual labour related injuries are usually excluded from cover. If you are a business traveller and you plan to engage in manual labour, make sure you purchase a policy that will include cover for any injuries.
I’m travelling with my kids – With a TIC policy, your accompanying, dependent children up to age 21 are covered and will share in your limit of liability.
I’m going skiing – Leisure skiing is covered as long as the traveller isn’t participating in a competition. But be sure to check upfront it’s covered in your chosen insurance product.
I’m renting a car in Europe or the States – Enquire about car rental excess waiver. This policy inclusion covers any specified excess that is payable in the event of a car-hire insurance claim. This could prove especially handy when you’re travelling on Rands in Europe or the States, and the exchange rate is a decided issue. Pay a bit extra upfront on your travel insurance policy and, in the case of a car accident or other vehicle-related claim, be assured that there’s no excess to pay upfront before your insurer coughs up for the damages.
Taking part in sports? You need sports inclusion – This is a policy for the young, fit and adventurous in which the sporting events you are keen on taking part in overseas are automatically covered. Relevant sporting activities include mountaineering, rugby, motorbike touring, professional sports and more – when you “Add Sport” to your cover options on application.
Here are TIC’s general different types of travel insurance:
The Leisure Standard product is geared towards travel to neighbouring states, where the Rand has a decent exchange rate. This policy offers cover for Cancellation and Curtailment, accidental death and disablement, travel delays, missed connections, luggage issues, and personal liability – but excludes cover for pre-existing medical conditions, which you can take as an add-on, if needed.
The Leisure Comprehensive offering, on the other hand, ensures travellers have the most comprehensive benefits in place – including hospitalisation for those pesky pre-existing conditions. Additionally, this product goes highly recommended for travel to first-world destinations where the Rand exchange rate is high.
What about if you’re a business traveller? Have a look at the tailor-made benefits under the TIC Business Administrative policy, here Hot-shot add-ons include economy-class travel for a replacement employee to complete the assignment, should you be unable to; cover for damage/loss of trade samples; and full malaria cover – should your work assignment take you into a high-risk malaria area.
Local insurance – People may think that medical aid will cover them for local travel, however, there are other risks that you need to consider, i.e. lost luggage, liability, travel delays, journey curtailment, journey cancellation. Enquire about local insurance cover.
How can I purchase travel insurance?
If you book a travel package with a travel consultant, you’ll often have the option to add travel insurance to your package. Alternatively, you can do your own research and compare the various providers and their offerings based on your budget and unique requirements. But be sure you are looking at a reputable insurance provider and seek advice on the right policy for you.
Important to note
“Travellers are advised to read the inclusions and exclusions thoroughly on the policy quote,” says Antoinette Turner, General Manager Flight Centre Travel Group South Africa. “If you’re struggling to understand the industry jargon used in the documents, contact the insurance provider directly for a thorough explanation regarding the specifics.
Your Flight Centre Expert cannot offer advice as they are not an insurance broker. However, they will assist you by pointing you in the right direction, advising on the necessity of travel insurance, and putting you in touch with a TIC consultant to advise on the best policy for you. Your Travel Expert will be able to then purchase the right policy on your behalf.”
Disclaimer: This article provides general information only, subject to terms and conditions and is subject to change at any time without notice. It does not constitute insurance advice.
Visit www.flightcentre.co.za for more information on TIC travel insurance.