5 reasons why travel insurance is vital for globetrotters

A traveller enjoys views of the mountains after climbing a boulder. l UNSPLASH

A traveller enjoys views of the mountains after climbing a boulder. l UNSPLASH

Published Jun 24, 2024


Travel has many associated costs beyond accommodation and flight tickets. Embarking on a journey without travel insurance could land you in more financial stress than originally intended quickly putting a damper on any future travel plans.

According to Linah Mabena, the chief executive at Standard Bank Insurance Brokers, those travelling outside of the country should always be cognisant of these expenses and put measures in place to protect themselves.

“While travel insurance might not be top of mind when putting together your vacation checklist as it may not seem necessary, a comprehensive travel insurance plan can quite literally be a life saver,” said Mabena.

Here are the top reasons why the insurance expert believes that travellers should consider cover for their next voyage.

Prevent financial losses

According to Mabena, one of the biggest reasons why travel insurance is important, is that it can help prevent financial loss for the traveller.

“The last thing you need is to be burdened with financial losses arising from a medical emergency, trip cancellation or delays and lost luggage while travelling,” said Mabena.

Cover mishaps

She noted that since life has its own twists and turns at the best and worst of times, it’s crucial to be always on guard by taking out travel insurance that will cover you against mishaps that can ruin a good holiday.

“A dream vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare without a safety net to fend off emergency scenarios,” added Mabena.

Medical expenses

The insurance expert noted that a travellers health is important and data from the Travel Index shows that 73% of payouts for all Bryte insurance claims are attributed to medical expenses ranging from hundreds of thousands of rand to several million.

She said that travel insurance could cover essentials like hospitalisation and related medical costs, as well as a possible emergency evacuation.

“One should also be aware of their age, physical condition and destination as this might have an impact on travel insurance and any additional extras that might be needed to the plan,” advised Mabena.

Back up for risky activities

She also said that in light of young globe trotters and individuals ticking off activities from their bucket lists, travel insurance also needs to match the risks associated with planned activities.

“Island hopping, adventure sports, music festivals, and even business activities all have their own set of risks that may not be adequately covered under a generic travel insurance plan,” said Mabena.

Unforeseen circumstances

And finally, the insurance expert said that it is advisable that travellers interrogate their travel insurance plans so that they are adequately covered for any unforeseen circumstances that could happen, including climate-change risks.

For example, when wildfires broke out near popular resorts in Greece, the biggest ever evacuation had to be orchestrated. Mabena noted almost 20 000 people, most of whom were tourists staying at a hotel, were moved to safety as fires swept through.

“With all travel plans, whether domestic or international, it is essential to be prepared. Travellers should educate themselves on what makes up the best comprehensive travel insurance cover and speak to their insurance broker to get the best possible cover for travel insurance,” she said.