travel insurance south africa

What is Travel Insurance and how do I get one in South Africa?

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What is an excess – Travel Insurance

When it comes to travelling, an excess fee in travel insurance is the money you pay towards any claim that you make on your insurance policy. The remaining amount will be paid by your insurance company.

An excess fee will be written on your insurance policy. If you are not sure about the amount that you need to pay, please contact your insurer in order to avoid some misunderstandings.

Why do you pay an excess?

When you sign up to a travel insurance that comes with an excess option, you will pay lower monthly premiums. This is not different from excess fees for car insurance. There are so many travel insurance companies with zero excess options. However, this means that your premiums will more higher than normal.

Types of Travel Insurance Excess

There are two main types of travel insurance excess and they are:

  • Voluntary excess – this is an excess chosen by you. You can decide if you want a higher or a lower excess. If you choose a higher access this means your premium will be low.
  • Standard excess – this is the amount set by your insurance company. You will need to pay this amount towards any claim on your insurance policy.

How to save with a variable excess

The better way to save is by choosing a voluntary excess. You can increase the excess fee so that your premiums will be lower. This will also help in terms of planning your budget well and it is affordable. However, in an event of any claim, you will be required to pay a higher excess. If you don’t have the stipulated amount to pay towards your claim, your insurer won’t be able to help.

Benefits of Comparing Excess Fees

The excess is one of the first things that you must look at when comparing travel insurance policies. This will help you save money. For example, if you are paying premiums for luggage replacement, it wise to choose a lower excess as it is not good value for money. You don’t want to end up paying more than your insurer for the replacement. This will cost you.

If you travel frequently, we would advise you to take out an excess protection policy. This type of policy refunds you whenever you submit a claim that goes above the excess fee on your insurance contract.

What am I Paying For?

Most travel insurances cover the following areas of risk:

  • Trip delays and cancellations – this is important. Your insurer will pay you if there are flight cancellations or trip delays.
  • Lost or stolen luggage and belongings – when visiting a country with high rate of crime, it is important to take out this insurance policy
  • Hospital and medical cover – you can take this policy when you are travelling to a country where its health care system is expensive. Good examples are USA and Japan.

Please note that excesses are different for each mentioned area of risk. Choose an excess fee that has good value for your money in your specific situation.

Can I get travel insurance with no excess charge?

Yes you can, you can opt to an extra voluntary excess so that you can enjoy lower premiums every month. Some insurers also offer an excess eliminator feature where you can avoid paying excess charge.

Does Multiple Claims Mean Multiple Excess Charges?

When comparing excess fees, you need to check if insurance companies charge per area of cover or claim. For instance, if your luggage is stolen and you chose an insurance policy that charges per claim, you will end up paying more. You would have to pay an excess fee on each claim made. You will pay for your luggage, for passport, banking cards or money stolen.

Travel Insurance FAQs

What does travel insurance cover?

It covers you for unforeseen situations, such as trip delays, travel cancellations and stolen belongings.

What is an “existing medical condition?”

This is a medical condition that you have been treated for in the past before buying the travel insurance.

Does travel insurance cover my luggage?

Yes, remember not to leave your luggage unattended and think your insurance will replace them. Be responsible and look after your belongings.

Can I get travel insurance if I am pregnant?

Yes, but not for childbirth costs, only for unforeseen serious pregnancy complications. This policy only applies to women who are less than 26 weeks in their pregnancy.

Am I covered if I work overseas?

No, you are not. Travel insurance policy is for holiday travelling and does not cover you if you work overseas.

Can I extend my insurance policy if I decide to stay longer overseas?

You can’t, you will need to buy a new insurance policy before the current one expires.

What kind of documents do I need if I make a claim?

You will need to submit receipts, police reports, and medical reports. However, you can check with your insurer for more information.

Can I get a refund if I cancel my policy?

Yes you can, only if is within two weeks after you’ve bought the policy and you haven’t made claims yet.

Image Courtesy: insurance.co.za

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