5 Things to tick off your travel insurance checklist before travelling

5 Things to tick off your travel insurance checklist before travelling

Published on 5th October, 2020 at 04:16 pm

Before you board a plane or cruise liner, make sure you do so with peace of mind. Here’s your pre-holiday travel insurance checklist to ensure you’re properly covered.

As a Reality Access for Fedhealth member, you have complimentary International Travel Insurance for claims of up to R5 million – at no extra cost to you.

Travel insurance step #1: Activate your policy

Whether you have travel insurance as part of your medical aid cover, or as a standalone benefit, it’s important to declare your plans to travel to ensure you’re officially covered. To activate your International Travel Insurance as a Reality Access for Fedhealth member, follow either of these processes:

  1. Go online and issue your own travel certificate or
  2. Call the TIC Help Desk on (011) 521 4500 during office hours and await the prompts.

Ask your broker about the co-payment structure and conditions for claims on your chosen policy before embarking on your trip.

Travel insurance step #2: Understand how comprehensive your cover is

A travel insurance policy could provide emergency medical cover only, or include cover for other travel risks such as cancellation cover and luggage cover.

The free International Travel Insurance benefit Reality Access for Fedhealth members can enjoy covers medical expenses directly related to an accident or unforeseen illness that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly while on an international journey. However, you could top up your benefits at an additional cost to include delays, cancellations and luggage.

Travel insurance step #3: Find out what parts of your itinerary aren’t covered

While immediate medical emergency treatment, including doctor and hospital bills, in- and out-patient care and medical transport is generally covered, most travel insurance companies won’t cover you if you decide to embark on a high-risk activity.

Examples are sports undertaken for leisure purposes such as snow skiing, water skiing and scuba diving. You can – and probably should – take out special cover for these kinds of activities if you’re planning to enjoy them while on your trip.

Make sure that you’re familiar with the health risks of the country or countries you intend to visit. Get all the recommended vaccinations and/or medication before travelling.

Learn more about restrictions on your travel insurance here.

Travel insurance step #4: Know how your cover works in unusual circumstances

If you contract a virus
Taking a cue from COVID-19, it’s vital to understand how you can get comprehensive cover when a pandemic strikes and you contract a virus while travelling. Travel insurance covers you for emergency medical and related expenses up to the limit in your schedule if you contract COVID-19 while you are travelling. But, be sure to activate the cover for it to be valid. You’ll need to notify your insurance provider immediately using the 24-hour emergency assistance contact on your policy.

If you opt not to return home immediately for treatment
According to medical insurer Fedhealth, if you fall ill overseas and need to return home for further treatment and you’re given the all-clear to travel, “the insurance pays for your return trip to South Africa. However, if you choose to continue your holiday and need further treatment, the costs will have to come out of your own pocket”.

If all travel is grounded
If you’re stuck somewhere for longer than 45 days due to a pandemic that may ground all travel, you could extend your medical aid travel insurance policy provided you contact your broker before your policy expires.

If you lose luggage or other possessions
According to Fedhealth, on the International Travel Insurance Top Up option, a written police or airline report must be obtained immediately in the event of luggage, cash or documents loss. Single item limits are applicable.

Be sure to ask these questions about your travel insurance before embarking on your trip.

Travel insurance step #5: Declare your pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing conditions, including anything you’ve been treated for in the six months prior to your trip, won’t be covered. These exclusions often include “a condition that you know may require treatment while you’re overseas; if you’ve been advised by a medical practitioner not to travel; or you have a terminal prognosis,” according to Fedhealth.

There will also be age restrictions on any travel insurance plan – especially if you have a pre-existing condition. Find out what these terms and conditions are before you embark on your trip.

Reality Access for Fedhealth members get complimentary International Travel Insurance for up to 45 days, valued at R5 million. Learn more about your benefit here.

Want to learn more?

We send out regular emails packed with useful advice, ideas and tips on everything from saving and investing to budgeting and tax. If you're a Sanlam Reality member and not receiving these emails, update your contact details now.

Update Now