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9 Dangers of Free Travel Insurance. Is it Adequate?

a night image of boats on a river in front of a castle conveys the need to check if free travel insurance is adequate travel protection.

1. How long are you travelling?

A boeing in the blue sky. How many people in it have adequate travel protection with free travel insurance?

Most medical aid or credit card travel cover will only give 90 days cover so if you are travelling for longer you will not be covered. When you buy travel insurance you can usually buy for the duration that you specify.

2. How comprehensive is the Medical cover for free travel insurance?

The amount of cover offered by South African medical aids ranges from 5 million to a maximum of 10 million Rand. In comparison, Travelinsure offers 50 million Rand on its Economy cover for South Africans and 100 million rand on its luxury comprehensive cover policies.

3. Does your free travel insurance provider use international medical tariffs or South African?

It is also very important to check if your medical aid will cover your medical costs at international medical tariffs or at South African tariffs. Many medical aid companies will only provide cover at South African tariffs but in countries such as the USA the cost of medical care can be much higher on average. You might be short on medical cover.

4. Are you covered for Pre-existing conditions?

Some policies cover you for pre-existing conditions, but this is highly unlikely if your cover is free.

5. Does free travel insurance insure against non-medical-benefits?

Other important areas of cover may often not be offered at all by free travel insurance providers. These include Repatriation of mortal remains, baggage cover and cancellation and curtailment. In layman’s terms this means that if you die whilst travelling, your loved ones will be responsible for paying for the costs of your remains being returned to South Africa. Not only can this be very expensive, sometimes in excess of R100,000 but the administration bureaucracy involved in releasing a body from a country can be very arduous with some form of assistance especially in time of grieving. If your trip is cancelled or delayed and you cannot travel, will you be covered? If your luggage is lost or stolen do you have some cover?

6. Adventure sports

A climber hangs precarously off the edge of a cliff. does free travel insurance give him adequate travel protection?

Some credit cards and medical aids will not offer cover for adventure sports such as skiing or kite surfing on their policies. It is extremely important to ensure you are covered before you go snow skiing for example. Travelinsure offers excellent cover for snow sport skiing and adventure sports.

7. What is the Excess you will have to pay if you claim on free travel insurance?

Medical aid and credit card cover often come with large excess payments should you need to claim. For example, treatment outside of hospital require $150 excess before treatment can be paid. Travelinsure offer an excess waiver that you can include in your policy if you wish where you will not have to pay any excess.

8. How is the free cover activated?

When is cover on your card or medical aid activated?

9. Who is covered?

With many cards and medical aids, the policy offered will only apply to the member or cardholder. In comparison on our budget and leisure policies up to 5 dependent children are covered free of charge on the parent’s or guardian’s policy.

Augment your free cover with Top up Cover