Travel Insurance in the post-Covid World
You’ve planned your perfect holiday for months, you’ve stood in queues for passports and visas, purchased your travel tickets.
Your bags are all packed for your long awaited journey, but at the back of your mind you shudder at the thought of disruptions that could put a complete damper on your holiday cheer.
Our latest blog takes a look at why travel insurance plays an important role in your holiday planning.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
With the easing of recent Covid-related travel restrictions, tourists may breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their holidays can proceed as planned.
But, while risks associated with the pandemic may be reduced there are a host of other unexpected events that could affect your holiday, which is why it pays to be proactive rather than reactive, especially when it comes to your travel insurance.
Considering the “what-ifs” may be unpleasant while you are getting ready for the ultimate tour of Tuscany or preparing to sun yourself on our nation’s beaches this summer.
The last thing you want to think of is your luggage or travel documents getting lost or stolen, your accommodation falling through or the unfortunate reality of illness, injury or even death while on vacation.
Unfortunately these things can and often do happen, which is why we advise that you should always be prepared for any eventuality. Whether you’re travelling locally or internationally for leisure or business, travel insurance should be one of the key factors in your budget – before car rentals or glamorous AirBnB.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL
Travel insurance provides a wide range of policies with different types of cover. For instance, the cover for a business trip may be different for a leisure holiday. An adventurous – and risky – holiday skiing in the Alps is very different to a corporate getaway with colleagues, so the travel insurance cover will be different for each kind of trip.
Consider that you may also travel more frequently for business, so your travel insurance may have a longer coverage period.
Be sure to check in with your employers if they have a corporate travel insurance policy for their employees so that you don’t end up with duplicate cover.
Both business and leisure travel insurance provide cover for range of expenses, including:
- illness or injury and medical and related expenses
- accidental death
- international journey cancellation
- personal liabilities
- luggage, including luggage delay
- car rental excess waivers
With the pre-pandemic collapse of Thomas Cook at the end of 2019, the realities of the risks of travelling uninsured hit many travellers who had holiday bookings fall through thanks to the collapse of the household travel name. With many business and leisure travel insurance policies, you would be covered for this type of travel supplier insolvency.
LOCAL IS LEKKER – WHEN YOU’RE COVERED
Local travel was embraced by many when international borders were shuttered during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and following the easing of these restrictions both local and international travel are returning to normal levels.
Recent data from Airports Company South Africa show that traveller confidence is on the rise led by domestic movements, while according to Stats SA, more overseas travellers visited South Africa in the first three months of 2022 than at any other point since the pandemic.
Experts believe that international travel will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024 at the earliest.
Source: United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Travel always involves risk, and this applies equally to local trips as it does to journeys abroad. However, local travel insurance is not something which is often considered, perhaps due to smaller financial commitments than international trips or a feeling of reduced risk when not venturing abroad.
WHAT ABOUT EXCLUSIONS?
Regardless of whether you’re travelling tens of kilometres or thousands, we now know the toll that even small changes or restrictions can take on our holiday plans, and travel insurance remains a necessity.
As with any insurance policy, it is good practice to check not only what is included, but what conditions are excluded from the policy as well. Although every policy is different, some of the most common travel policy exclusions are:
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Civil and political unrest at the destination
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Coverage for those engaging in risky activities such as bungee jumping, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, etc.
THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM
While many of us plan our holidays months, even years ahead, this is normally limited to buying those expensive plane tickets or securing the accommodation you’ve always dreamed about.
It’s far easier to leave things like travel insurance to “closer to the time”, along with packing and organising the house and pet sitters, right?
Wrong – it pays to get your travel insurance arranged as soon as possible, with some travel Insurance policies limiting the amount or type of cover provided for purchases that were not made more than 48 hours prior to the trip’s departure date.In simple terms, the sooner you buy the cover, the more cover you might have.
Our take away from this is that it’s far better to be proactive when it comes to your travel plans by ensuring you and your loved ones are covered against the unexpected.
Speak to us about your upcoming holiday plans and we will find the cover that is most suitable to what you need.