If SAA flight cancellation taught us anything, it’s the importance of travel insurance. Picture: Pixabay.
If SAA flight cancellation taught us anything, it’s the importance of travel insurance. Picture: Pixabay.

Flight cancelled? Why you should have taken travel insurance

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 21, 2020

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You wake up in the morning, eager to catch your next flight. 

That excitement is short lived when you find out that your flight has been cancelled. 

With no travel insurance to save you from this unforeseen predicament, you have to wait until the airline shares new information to you via social media or email. 

Travel insurance, whether its a weekend getaway or a month-long trip, is essential in events like this. 

Vera Nagtegaal, the executive head of comparison website Hippo.co.za, said that one needs to take insurance according to their needs. 

For example, a basic form of travel insurance is often provided by your bank when purchasing an air ticket using your credit card. 

However, she warned that this cover may not be sufficient as it often places caps on age, costs, services and certain destinations.

“Most travel insurance offerings cover includes emergency medical expenses, hospital cash benefit per day, personal accident cover in the event of death or permanent disability, emergency travel and accommodation, legal assistance and personal liability cover, among others.

“However, not all policies are the same and there are various ones to suit different travellers,” she said. 

Nagtegaal said that in addition to taking out the correct travel insurance for your trip, travellers should also be wary and alert while abroad to prevent accidents.

“Whether you’re travelling to a neighbouring country or further afield, for business or leisure, in a group or alone, make sure that you have the right cover for your specific needs."

She suggested that travellers make a list of your particular needs and compare the various quotes to ensure the best value for money. 

“Travel insurance is there to protect you and to offer you peace of mind if you require medical attention, evacuation or suffer financial loss,” added Nagtegaal.

Nagtegaal shares insight into the various types of insurance: 

Business insurance: There are two categories to consider for business insurance, namely business administrative and business industrial insurance. Business administrative insurance supports people who are typically travelling to a meeting while business industrial insurance is more suited for travellers who perform a service or manual labour. This type of insurance generally provides cover for aspects like delayed or cancelled flights, lost passports and medical cover.

Senior citizen travel insurance: For those over 70, this insurance covers things like medical expenses, a visit from a family member if necessary, missed flights or cancellations and lost or delayed luggage.

Student travel insurance: This type of insurance caters for younger people travelling for work or leisure. It includes cover for emergency medical costs, injury or damage to a third person or their property, cancellation of an entire trip and missed flights.

Group travel insurance: If more people travel as a group to the same destination, group travel insurance may be the perfect option. This type of insurance generally includes cover for medical costs, cashback for lost or delayed luggage, flight cancellations and missed flights and cover if a third person is injured.

Cover for unsafe areas and or adventure activities: Ask your travel insurance about which cover is best for travelling to unsafe areas or for adventure activities. These could be terrorism, health epidemics such as malaria or cholera outbreak or incident caused via adventure activities such as skiing, kayaking, bungee jumping, scuba diving and mountain biking. 

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