Travelers should consider upping travel insurance in the face of depreciating rand

Personal Lines

Travelers should consider upping travel insurance in the face of depreciating rand

Published: 28 June 2016

The declining value of the rand can cause havoc with an underinsured travelers’ budget. A medical emergency in the USA can cost up to $10,000 a day which translates to a staggering R154 000 for one day’s treatment. Whereas medical travel insurance of R1- to R2-million may previously have been enough, in the current economic climate, this can quickly be exhausted.

Jason Veitch, Head: Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC), one of Santam’s specialist divisions, says most people happily hop on their overseas flight thinking that the free travel insurance offered via their credit card or medical aid is enough, “unfortunately the credit card companies and medical aids’ offer limited cover, particularly if you have a lower level card or plan.”

He said some of the free credit card services excluded pre-existing emergency medical and related expenses, “so if you have a heart condition, you will not be covered if you suffer a heart attack while on holiday.”

Generally the free travel insurance products only provide limited medical benefits and no cover for journey cancellation or curtailment, delay and luggage loss. Medical claims abroad are now topping the R10 million mark. High value medical claims are happening all around the world now whereas in the past the high value medical claims only used to originate out of the USA.

Veitch says that travellers should consider comprehensive cover from a company which specialises in travel insurance. “Our cover, for instance, extends around R50 million worth of cover to travellers for a relatively low premium starting at R460.00. The comprehensive policy includes eighteen other benefits, inclusive of cancellation or journey curtailment, missed flight connections, travel delay cover, hostage or wrongful detention, legal expense cover, cover for lost baggage and cash theft and lost document cover.

“Those individuals looking to travel to international destinations in the coming months would be well advised to review the extent of their travel insurance as inadequate cover could easily spoil the experiences of that dream vacation”, concludes Veitch.