An unavoidable expense when planning a holiday, particularly if you’re going overseas, is travel insurance.
If you have booked your flight using your credit card, you might have automatic travel insurance benefits. However you need to read the fine print.
Free basic travel insurance when you book with your credit card is usually limited to some medical, accidental death and disability cover.
But the majority of travel insurance claims are related not only to medical costs but cancellation expenses and luggage losses which may not form part of your basic cover.
That basic insurance will not cover you for a pre-existing health condition or if you are over the age of 75. It is also likely to have low limits and only include emergency medical treatment and personal accident cover.
So it’s worth looking at topping up your cover for pre-existing conditions, lower excess payable on claims and additional benefits such as loss of baggage, travel documents and cash.
You can top up your free basic insurance with your bank, or it could work out cheaper to simply take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Just make sure the cover offered is relevant to your needs.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Activate your travel insurance the moment you book your tickets in order to be covered for cancellation due to illness or an emergency.
- Make a note of the relevant contact numbers should you need to contact the insurer urgently.
- If you lose your luggage, cash or documents, you need to obtain a written police or airline report as soon as possible.
- Inform your medical scheme that you’ll be travelling abroad – they will cover medical expenses up to a certain point and may also offer free travel insurance.
- Inform your bank you will be overseas as any transactions on your card outside of the country may trigger a fraud investigation and you could find your card has been stopped.