Travel insurance for peace of mind holidays

There are many different options out there when it comes to travel insurance. Moneybags journalist, Ashleigh Brown, looks at what options are available to you.

Flights, accommodation and spending money are typically first on the priority list, while travel insurance is usually an afterthought. But if you take the time to compare products and give it the priority it deserves you could well get a good deal on your travel insurance and get the right product to suit your needs.

Travel insurance is insurance which covers you for unexpected accidents or illnesses during your holiday (both domestic and international travel). It can cover medical costs, damage to rental cars or equipment used while on holiday.

You never known when you may need travel insurance. Even professionals are not immune to accidents. Last year seven time Formula One champion driver Michael Schumacher suffered from a serious blow to the head in a skiing accident which left him in a coma for several months. He’s recently come out of hospital and is recovering in his home in Switzerland.

It’s incidents such as these that show just how vulnerable we, as holidaymakers, can become and that unknown or hidden dangers can change our lives in an instant.

Getting travel cover is relatively simple. A lot of the time, basic travel insurance can be obtained through making travel related purchases with your credit card. However, there are also independent travel insurance providers, to offer more cover, depending on where you are going and what you will be doing while on holiday.

Moneybags took a quick look at five different travel insurance options from five major providers:

  1. FNB

First National Bank Credit Card offers two types of travel insurance – Standard and Comprehensive Global Travel Insurance. Consumer Silver and Gold Credit Card holders benefit from standard travel insurance with the option of purchasing top-up travel insurance. The Consumer and Business Platinum, and Private Clients Credit Card holders benefit from Comprehensive Global Travel Insurance. This insurance covers you for the first 90 days of your journey.

The basic automatic travel insurance with FNB covers you for 90 days’ worth of travel, as well as:

  • Up to R10 million cover for medical expenses,
  • Personal liability cover of up to R2.5 million,
  • And cover in the event of personal accidents, cancellations, travel delays and lost, stolen, or damaged baggage.

Then if you want to get extra cover, such as extra baggage cover or medical aid cover for a single traveller, travelling for up to 30 days, you can expect to pay a premium between R300 and R550 on travel insurance.

For more information on FNB travel insurance, click here.

  1. Absa

Absa offers automatic cover for International travellers who pay for their travel tickets in full with their Absa credit cards. This cover is valid for 90 days, and for travellers under the age of 75.

The benefits include:

  • emergency medical expenses and associated expensesup to a maximum of R1,000,000,
  • personal accident coverup to a maximum of R750,000 and,
  • Absa Travel Assistant

However, Absa highlights that “your limits of cover are linked to your credit card and you are advised to check this before you travel to ensure you have sufficient cover.”

If you feel that you might need some extra cover, that just the standard which is offered, Absa does offer additional cover. This consists of three comprehensive travel insurance packages to suit your needs, and is valid for trips of up to 90 or 120 days. The rates are calculated on the age of the traveller, travellers and how many people will be travelling on the same itinerary.

These comprehensive offers include:

  • additional cover for emergency medical and associated expenses,
  • pre-existing medical conditions cover (for options 1 and 2 only and there is additional premium on option 3)
  • Additionalpersonal accident insurance,
  • trip cancellation/curtailment,
  • baggage loss/theft,
  •  legal expenses,
  • hi-jack and wrongful detention and
  • personal loss of money or passport, as outlined in your policy

By paying an additional premium, you can increase the limit on key travel insurance benefits, such as pre-existing medical conditions, trip cancellation and baggage delays.

For more information on Absa travel insurance, click here, or contact Absa travel insurance on 0861 227 284.

  1. Standard Bank

Standard Bank offers automatic basic travel insurance every time you buy your travel ticket on your Standard Bank MasterCard, Visa card, or Cheque card for people under the age of 76, and covers trips up to 90 days.

There are also policies in place for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Furthermore, if you are over 76 then there is senior travel insurance for you.

This covers:

  • Up to R1 million in personal accident costs,
  • Emergency medical and related expenses cover,
  • As well as assistance services.

However, if you require more cover – such as lost baggage, or travel delays cover, or even just cover over a longer period of travel, then you can purchase additional cover with Standard Bank. For a trip one to 15 days long, for a single traveller, it will cost a premium of R312.

For more information on Standard Bank travel insurance, click here. Or call on 0861 114 494 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Thursday, or 8am to 5pm on Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturday.

  1. The AA

The Automobile Association (AA) in partnership with Regent Travel offers different types of travel insurance depending on what type of traveller you are, e.g. a student, budget traveller, business traveller, or even a luxury traveller.

The budget traveller costs vary depending on how long you are going away for, and if its just you, you and your family or a group of people travelling together. However, for an individual you can expect to pay a premium of R267.30 for one to seven days’ worth of travelling. Your travel insurance on this plan will get you:

  • Up to R25 million cover for medical emergencies and related expenses,
  • R200, 000 cover for pre-existing medical conditions cover,
  • R2, 000, 000 medical cover while participating in adventure sports,
  • R20,000 cover for cancellation due to visa denied,
  • R5,000 cover for postponement of your journey,
  • Age limit is 69 years.

For the full benefits table and costs, click here.

  1. Hollard

Hollard Travel offers seven different travel insurance packages. These packages include budget travel insurance, business, comprehensive, and senior insurance. On budget travel insurance, for example, you can get up to R 5million in medical aid cover and R10 000 cover for cancelling your trip with a reason. For a full table of the benefits across the seven different options, click here.

However, the prices for the packages all depend on how long you plan to travel for, and how many people will be travelling with you, also the age of the travellers is a factor in determining price. Therefore, they do not offer prescribed premium costs. To find out how much it would cost you, click here.

Should I buy travel insurance?

When you go away it is always better to be fully covered, especially if you are going overseas. Sometimes things go wrong and it’s just out of your control. Before buying travel insurance make sure you are covered for exactly what you need. Having young children with you means that your premium will be more expensive. Premiums can also be more costly  if you have a medical condition, which was diagnosed before you left.

Shop around to get the best deal for your holiday. Travel insurance is a ‘peace of mind’ purchase and it will at least you can go on holiday knowing you are covered in the event of an accident.

Travel insurance table

travel insurance covers