What does your travel insurance really cover?

You’ve heard it once; you’ve heard it a thousand times: travel insurance! Whether it’s your bank offering it as a benefit on the latest credit card, or the bombardment of internet advertisements which seem to come in flurries when your google search shows the slightest interest in travel or booking a family holiday, this loosely understood term is something one should seriously consider!

With all the options available to us, it does beg the questions: What does your travel insurance really cover? And are you better off with or without it?

Most basically, your travel insurance usually covers a multitude of potential outcomes, catastrophes, legal disputes and certain destination changes.

A fully comprehensive travel insurance package will see that you are taken care of in the event of an airline cancelling a flight as a result of strikes, riots or any other civil disputes, or if you miss a flight due to unforeseen delays and circumstances such as poor weather conditions, or you become ill. Your travel insurance, most importantly and depending on the cover you choose will also cover up to a certain amount of medical expenses incurred should you be injured on your trip. An important factor to also consider in your travel insurance is your personal liability cover, which covers you in the instance of lawsuits, bodily injury to an individual caused by you, or property damage caused as a result of your negligence.

Another great incentive to take out travel insurance is that it covers stolen luggage and the loss or theft of travel documents. These two situations can prove extremely stressful on an international holiday, and having this peace of mind will surely make this experience less harrowing.

We reached out to Hollard travel insurance South Africa, who advised us on some of the do’s and don’ts when taking out and claiming from your travel insurance. They said that that one must pay close attention to their travel insurances exclusions and terms and conditions as this could mean incurring huge expenses if you are not covered correctly. If you plan on doing adventure sports such as Scuba Diving or Skiing, make sure your insurance makes allowances for this, Hollard stresses. Their comprehensive plans cover all of this and more. Due to the nature of traveling and the inability of insurers to send out an assessor when a claim is made, Hollard advises that when claiming you provide as much information as possible to your insurer for them to speedily validate and pay-out your claim. This includes keeping medical receipts, police reports in the event of stolen items, or written delay confirmations from your cruise or airliner in the event of missed connection flights.

To answer the first two questions then, yes, travel insurance is an absolute must, and to summarize here is a list of what your travel insurance should cover:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Cancellation of flight on the airlines behalf, or due to poor weather or you become ill.
  • If you partake, all adventure sports.
  • Cancellation of a leg of your journey (curtailment).
  • Personal liability
  • Luggage & travel document theft
  • Evacuation, repatriation (bringing you home), return of mortal remains.

Travelling should be a seamless and stress free experience, so make sure you’re correctly covered, and travel safe!