Travel In­sur­ance: What you Need to Know

Premier Magazine (South AFrica) - - Contents - Text: Grant Sand­ham, Group Sales & Mar­ket­ing Man­ager of Premier Ho­tels & Re­sorts Im­age © istockphoto.com

It is the time of year for road trips and fam­ily va­ca­tions. Thoughts about what to pack, the best route to take, and whether you have booked all the ac­tiv­i­ties for your trip takes pri­or­ity in the minds of most peo­ple at this time of the year. How­ever, there are some not-so-fun things to think about when go­ing on a trip: what could go wrong.

What is your big­gest fear when trav­el­ling? Your trip be­ing can­celled or cut short? Los­ing your lug­gage? Get­ting se­ri­ously ill? Be­ing in an ac­ci­dent? An act of ter­ror? Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters? Many of us do not like to think about these pos­si­bil­i­ties, but they can and do hap­pen. For this rea­son, re­gard­less of whether you are go­ing on a quick do­mes­tic trip or an overseas ex­pe­di­tion, travel in­sur­ance is a must.

What does travel in­sur­ance cover?

There are a va­ri­ety of pack­ages to suit ev­ery type of trav­eller, but most of these cover hos­pi­tal bills payable in for­eign cur­ren­cies, costs in­curred due to the un­ex­pected can­cel­la­tion of trips, lost lug­gage, de­layed flights, per­sonal li­a­bil­ity, and ac­ci­den­tal in­juries re­quir­ing med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion. Some in­sur­ers also of­fer ad­ven­ture cover, de­signed for ac­ci­dents that can hap­pen dur­ing risky ac­tiv­i­ties like scuba div­ing and ski­ing, while oth­ers have poli­cies for se­niors over a cer­tain age.

When should I buy travel in­sur­ance?

Make sure you pur­chase your cover as soon as you have paid for your ticket – prefer­ably on the same day. Should you need to can­cel your trip be­fore your travel date, you can then re­cover some, if not all, of the costs you have forked out.

Where can I get travel in­sur­ance?

Travel in­sur­ance can be bought from in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, bro­kers, travel agents, tour op­er­a­tors, and even credit card providers.

How much should I pay?

Shop around to find the best deal for your bud­get. The cost of travel in­sur­ance gen­er­ally de­pends on the du­ra­tion of your jour­ney, the level of cover you need, and your age, but may be lower for busi­ness or group trips, de­pend­ing on the in­surer.

How do I claim in the event of an in­ci­dent?

Should mis­for­tune strike, con­tact your in­surer im­me­di­ately be­fore pay­ing any bills and they will ad­vise you on your next steps.

While buy­ing travel in­sur­ance usu­ally is not on top of every­one’s to-do lists be­fore a trip, it can give you peace of mind dur­ing your time away and may even save you some money, not to men­tion your life.

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