Planning your travel
Travel can be an expensive proposition. After budgeting for flights, hotels and money for shopping, purchasing travel insurance can seem like the lowest priority. After all, ‘it’ll never happen to you’, right?
It can be tempting to try to save a few Rand by not getting travel insurance, but if a problem does arise while you’re away, the costs can be crippling. For instance: hospitalisation costs at good hospitals in Southeast Asia can easily exceed US$800 per day. A medical evacuation from the United States ranges from US$75,000 to US$300,000. And, if a trip gets cancelled, it can also mean thousands in lost deposits.
Even if you're fit, healthy and unlikely to get sick, travel insurance covers more than just medical bills. Many things can go wrong on a trip: flights can be delayed, baggage lost, credit cards stolen, or an emergency might come up that cancels or cuts your trip short. These are the disruptions that most travel insurance policies protect you against.
Many credit cards include some form of travel insurance, but most of the time, the policy only applies if you pay for the trip using the card. Plus, the benefits usually aren’t as comprehensive as the travel insurance you buy separately. Check the policy limits to ensure that you’re sufficiently covered for mishaps like medical expenses – keeping in mind that you’ll be charged in the local currency of the country which you are in.
There are a range of different travel insurance plans to suit most budgets, so take the time to find one that's right for you. For instance, some factors you should consider are:
Tip: If you're travelling as a family, a family policy is usually much cheaper per person than individual polices.
Lastly, remember that travel insurance also helps when you travel close to home. Not just for long distances. You may have existing health cover, but this may not protect you when you travel overseas.
You wouldn't travel without packing your toothbrush or passport, would you? Proper travel insurance is essential too.