Unpacking domestic travel insurance during Covid-19 times
Domestic travel insurance. Three words I would have never associated with pre-Covid-19.
Why would someone want to spend money on travel insurance when they are exploring their country? Well, the world of travel has changed significantly, and securing domestic travel insurance is one thing you should be adding to your bucket list.
IOL Travel reached out to a few companies in South Africa to find out whether they offered travel insurance for local travellers now that inter-provincial travel is allowed and borders remain closed.
Many companies offered insurance for travellers leaving the country (international travel is currently banned under level 2), but not for those exploring South Africa.
There is one company that offers domestic travel insurance, which is comforting for those who want to travel but are sceptical.
Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC) created the Local Travel insurance, which is suitable for South Africans travelling within the country. Some of the benefits include cancellation and curtailment cover, burial expenses, car rental excess waiver cover, car hire benefit for vehicle breakdowns, medical transport and evacuation to hospital, and the Daily Inconvenience benefit cover for each complete 24 hours a traveller remains hospitalised. They do not cover in-hospital expenses as you would need to have your medical aid.
The cover does detail that it only covers holidays more than 200km from home, offers journey cancellation, excluding flight cancellation due to Covid-19 and travel bans, and will reimburse you if your luggage is lost or stolen. The cost of the policy depends on the number of days you are travelling. The maximum cover period is 45 days.
"If you travel without travel insurance, you open yourself up to amassing crippling medical expenses," TIC says on its website.
The need for travel insurance
While local travel insurance seems like another expense for South Africans, it does protect you should a travel emergency arise. With that being said, a traveller must weigh the pros and cons of taking travel insurance.
Always ask questions and read the fine print. When I tried to claim for an incident that happened during an international holiday, the insurance provider made excuses for not covering the damaged item.
Always be aware that you should take pictures and keep receipts if you want to claim during and after a trip.