Heading abroad? No matter how meticulously you plan your trip, any seasoned traveller will tell you that you also need to prepare for the unexpected. If something happens to you while you're away – such as falling ill, losing your luggage or getting mugged – your carefully organised travel itinerary can quickly be disrupted. Even worse, the unexpected costs of dealing with the situation can eat into your travel budget. Luckily, travel insurance can help soften the financial blow should something go wrong. Here are six key reasons why you need it.07 January 2015
Heading abroad? No matter how meticulously you plan your trip, any seasoned traveller will tell you that you also need to prepare for the unexpected. If something happens to you while you're away – such as falling ill, losing your luggage or getting mugged – your carefully organised travel itinerary can quickly be disrupted. Even worse, the unexpected costs of dealing with the situation can eat into your travel budget. Luckily, travel insurance can help soften the financial blow should something go wrong. Here are six key reasons why you need it.
1 Your flight is delayed
Dangerous weather, technical glitches, airport strikes – all of these can delay your flight and the time you arrive at your destination. If you have travel insurance in these circumstances, you'll be reimbursed for the costs of missing connecting flights, staying in hotels while you wait for your flight, and changing your accommodation bookings. If you need a visa for the country you're visiting, travel insurance can also cover the costs of a cancelled trip should your visa be denied at the last minute.
2 Your trip gets cancelled
If for some reason your trip has to be cancelled before you leave, for example if you fall ill or have a family emergency, you could be left out of pocket. After all, certain non-refundable items such as the cost of accommodation, tour packages and plane and cruise tickets can quickly add up. Having travel insurance in place at least ensures that you will be able to claim for the non-refundable unused portion of your travel and/or accommodation costs.
3 You get sick while you're away
If you get sick or are in an accident while you're outside the country, most South African medical aids won't cover you. But, with the medical coverage portion of your travel insurance policy, you'll be covered for emergency medical expenses while you're away. You will also be covered for medical evacuation and repatriation back to South Africa. If you have a preexisting condition, you can still be covered for it while abroad as long as you confirm with your insurer prior to departure that your condition is covered and the suitable insurance is purchased.
4 You're a victim of theft
Crime is a reality in every country around the world. Tourists, especially, can be easy targets for theft, as they're often distracted and not familiar with their surroundings. Should you have something stolen from you, such as your wallet, camera or cash, travel insurance will reimburse you up to the limits of your policy. Remember that you'll need to report the incident to the police and get a case number so that you can make a valid claim.
5 You lose your passport
If you lose your passport while you're overseas, replacing it in a foreign country can be a logistical nightmare. Hunting for a foreign embassy, getting police reports and paying for courier costs all take time and cost money. With a proper travel insurance policy in place you can at least claim for the non-recoverable money you spent replacing it.
6 Your luggage gets lost
Few things are more frustrating than arriving at your destination and learning that your airline has misplaced your luggage. This is especially true if you're going away for a short time only and you could be nearing the end of your trip by the time the airline gets your luggage back to you. Travel insurance can help you by providing baggage delay as well as lost/stolen luggage cover, depending on your circumstances.
Most travel insurers also offer a 24-hour helpline you can call from anywhere in the world in any of these situations. While you can't get back the time you spend fixing something that goes wrong, a comprehensive travel insurance plan will provide you with financial peace of mind, leaving you to enjoy your well-deserved break.
Planning a trip abroad and looking for travel insurance? Nedbank Insurance offers a comprehensive travel insurance policy that protects you and your wallet from unforeseen events.
Benefits depend on the plan chosen. Terms and conditions apply. Insurance underwritten by AIG South Africa Limited (FSP No 15805).
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