Do you actually need travel insurance?

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15th June 2016
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So many people are loathe to pay out for travel insurance. Having come home from a wonderful (and largely uneventful) holiday, they feel like it was money wasted.

Is travel insurance actually worth it?

As with any insurance, it can be a bit of a gamble. Yet you don’t question paying for medical insurance or home contents cover. This ongoing payment is absorbed into your living expenses because – well, you just never know.

The good news is that you may not need travel insurance. Some life policies already cover death while abroad, and some health insurances offer emergency medical cover while you’re out of the country.

Some credit cards cover trip cancellation and offer a reasonable sum for expenses incurred due to delays such as airplane failure or bad weather. Obviously, you would have to use this credit card for the transaction in order for it to be valid.

It’s worth examining your current portfolio to check that you’re not paying out for something that you already have.

Essentially, travel insurance would be necessary if you’re traveling abroad and your health insurance doesn’t cover, or limits cover, for emergencies outside of your own country. Medical emergencies can run into hundreds of thousands of rands which is not a debt that you want to bring home with you. Just as you wouldn’t consider not having a medical insurance at home, it makes sense to cover yourself while you’re away.

Travel insurance is also a must have if a large portion of your trip is non-refundable. For example, if you are buying a costly cruise package which you couldn’t make at the last minute – can you afford to throw that money away?

Before you decide to buy travel insurance – or not – decide how much is at stake if something goes wrong. If you are traveling in winter, or during monsoon season, you can expect delays or weather issues. If you are leaving from or heading to an area where there are likely to be strikes, civil commotion or industrial action, you would definitely benefit from travel insurance.

Be sure to read the fine print on any existing cover, such as with your credit card company. Some offer list of insurances, but are they relevant to you? Are you covered only while you are on the actual plane? What happens once you get off and start your holiday?

If you are uncertain whether you need travel insurance, or you would like some timely advice, then chat to one of our brokers. They will untangle the fine print and make sure you have what you need – no more and no less.