Let’s face it: travelling is stressful. Whether you’re jetting off for a sun-soaked getaway in Ibiza or making the arduous journey to Singapore on that career-defining business trip, you’re often completely burnt out before you ever arrive at your destination. Throw in the stress of exchanging currency, dealing with the language barrier, finding transport and handling a myriad other small details and you may end up wishing you had never booked that flight.
Over and above all of this is one crucial factor that many of us dread thinking about: travel insurance. We’re inclined to view travel insurance as expensive, unnecessary and more hassle than it’s worth, but the simple fact is that if something does go wrong on your trip you’ll wish that you had played it safe and secured that cover.
In the interest of ensuring that your next trip is as safe and stress-free as possible we spoke with Absa’s Travel Insurance Manager, to give you the low-down on travel insurance and how to ensure that you’re covered, no matter what.
Why you should always book your return tickets with your Absa credit card
When you book your return flights with your Absa credit card you are instantly eligible for automatic basic cover for trips of up to 90 days, provided that you’re under 75 years old. This cover is limited to medical and personal accident cover for emergencies that has a cover limit determined by the credit card used to purchase the ticket.
It is recommended comprehensive cover be purchased. In order to purchase this cover you can simply call the Absa Travel Insurance call centre number on 0861 227 284. It’s strongly advised you purchase your optional cover well in advance of your trip so that you have ample time to go through the policy documents and ensure you have a good understanding of what you’re covered for. You are also covered for cancellation prior to your trip when buying optional cover.
Additionally, if you book return tickets for multiple passengers (up to 15 individuals) on the same credit card, on the same itinerary, they will all be covered by the policy.
You can extend your cover with a range of additional top-up cover options
Everyone’s insurance needs are different and you may find that the automatic basic cover doesn’t quite meet your requirements, in order to cater to your unique needs there are a number of top-up cover options, which can extend your cover limit to 19 million rand. The various top-up packages include additional cover for emergency medical, pre-existing medical conditions and associated expenses, personal accident insurance, trip cancellation/curtailment, baggage loss/theft, legal expenses, hi-jack and wrongful detention and personal loss of money or passport. Additionally you can purchase a cover extension for trips of up to 184 days.
Unfortunately seniors over 75 years old are not eligible for the automatic basic cover and are required to purchase the seniors cover package, which encompasses all of the areas listed above, except for pre-existing medical conditions.
Once you’re covered you can claim from anywhere in the world, at any time
When you activate your cover you will be provided with a claim number and your cover sets in from the moment your outbound flight takes off. Should you need to claim at any point during your travels, you can call the Absa Travel Insurance claims call centre managed by Europ Assistance on + 27 11 991 9521 no matter where you are in the world and the call centre team will talk you through the process and documentation required for your claim. You can also contact the Emergency Medical Centre on +27 11 991 9521.
If you have a medical emergency and the circumstances of the situation make it impossible to return home before the end of the cover period (90 days on basic automatic, up to 184 on extended), this will be taken into account and you will be covered for this, as well as being covered for the additional costs of accommodation, travel etc. until you are in an acceptable state of health to fly home. The Absa Travel Product Manager states that if you are hospitalised, you would be required to submit proof of admission to the hospital/treatment centre and your expenses will be handled. However, should an emergency situation covered under this policy require you to pay immediately for treatment out of your own pocket, you will be reimbursed for this cost.
Ensure you understand what isn’t covered and situations in which you can’t claim
In order to avoid any situations in which you might be left in the lurch without cover, it’s always a good idea to understand what isn’t covered and what you can’t claim for. Instances and circumstances excluded by your cover are outlined below:
- Any pre-existing medical condition (and the complications thereof that may arise during your travels) is excluded in the automatic basic cover
- If you have purchased the pre-existing medical condition top-up cover you must be hospitalised as an in-patient for more than 48 hours in order for the pre-existing medical condition cover to apply
- Any cardiac, cardiovascular or related conditions will not be covered for you or any person who is 70 years of age or older
- Non–emergency medical treatment is not covered
- Any claim made because you do not feel like travelling any longer
For more information and the full list of exclusions you can check out the Absa website here.
Rather have it and not need it
“Travel insurance is very important. People often have the belief that ‘it will never happen to me’, but why take the risk of such an eventuality? Get yourself additional cover over and above the automatic cover. Also make sure that you read your policy documents thoroughly before travelling to ensure you know exactly what you’re covered for” The Absa Travel Product Manager said in parting, advising that, the additional top-up cover is also something you should seriously consider purchasing.
Now that you know how travel insurance works, and considering that you get automatic cover when you book your tickets with your Absa credit card, make the smart choice next time you travel. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it, after all.
Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.