You should probably purchase Covid insurance before traveling
(Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy / Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
- Travel insurance can be a reluctant purchase, but it can be useful if your trip doesn’t go as planned.
- Although many insurance companies have excluded expenses related to Covid-19 from their policies, some now cover a few basic costs such as quarantine and cancellations due to the pandemic.
- They are also not particularly expensive and include other more traditional travel insurance benefits.
- A week of coverage will likely cost you around R500.
- Here’s how three options compare in South Africa.
- For more stories, visit www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
International travel remains difficult for South Africans, but it is not an impossibility. Several countries, mostly African, have kept their borders open to travelers with negative PCR tests in hand – and the low number of tourists means that many travel-dependent companies are offering very good deals.
But even though travel is slowly starting to reopen for some, there are still some risks, especially in the event that you contract Covid-19 after paying or halfway through a trip.
In the aftermath of Covid-19 trip cancellations, many insurance companies quickly distanced themselves from any claims resulting from cancellations or quarantines. But there are now at least three insurance companies in South Africa that will partially insure you against some or all of the costs associated with Covid-19 and the trip – whether it’s trip cancellation, hospital treatment abroad or prolonged quarantine in a foreign hotel.
Even in the best-case scenario, travel insurance policies are laden with terms and conditions, but that’s even more a reality with those that include Covid-19 coverage.
Many policies will not cover travelers for Covid-related expenses if they are over a certain age, have co-morbidities, or have a body mass index above a certain level, for example.
Choosing a travel insurance company that includes Covid-19 coverage is therefore complex – and requires a careful reading of the terms and conditions to find the ones that best suit your particular trip. But Business Insider South Africa has found at least three companies willing to offset some of the costs associated with things like mandatory quarantines and cancellations. And for a weeklong trip, these usually won’t cost more than R500.
The prices shown in our comparison use the scenario of a single traveler under 70, taking a trip in the first week of August and purchasing the most comprehensive package available. A change in any of these conditions may result in higher fees or no policy.
Here’s how three travel insurance companies in South Africa stack up against Covid-19 coverage.
TIC provides coverage for expenses related to Covid-19 – but will not cover you in the event of trip cancellation, reduction or postponement due to the pandemic.
TIC will however cover the medical costs related to the subscription of Covid-19 during a trip, up to the maximum of the policy taken out; on their most comprehensive package, this coverage can reach R100 million.
They will also pay for quarantine accommodation, either the lower cost of 3 star quarantine accommodation, or R 2,500 per day, up to a maximum of R 25,000 This is the biggest advantage in this regard. that Business Insider SA was able to find locally.
The company will also cover the cost of economy class travel up to a maximum stated in the quarantine policy document.
The TIC Leisure insurance package for one week starts at R545.
Allianz provides Covid-19 coverage for certain related expenses under all of its policies, although coverage does not extend to Covid-19 related cancellation or reduction.
The Allianz Travel Extra Cover is its most comprehensive Covid-19 package. This includes R10 million in emergency medical bills and associated expenses, and R15,000 (less a surplus of R1,000) for 10 days of quarantine accommodation.
Allianz’s Travel Extra insurance package for one week starts at R271.
Hollard covers some Covid-19 expenses in most of its packages – and it is one of the few that offers cancellation and interruption coverage for testing positive before departure.
However, their policy has strict exclusion clauses. They do not cover, for example, people over the age of 66, those with a body mass index of 35 or more, or those with a combination of diabetes and high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Their most comprehensive Covid-19 package includes coverage for medical costs resulting from illness caused by infectious diseases up to R100 million and R50 million for hospital expenses.
Mandatory quarantine accommodation must be booked or authorized through Hollard, and their most expensive plan will cover this up to a maximum of R15,000.
If you are forced to quarantine after testing positive before departure, Hollard will pay up to R60,000 for losses incurred, such as airline tickets and accommodation, on their most expensive package.
Hollard will also pay R 2,000 for the cost of a Covid test when it is positive, and if a city is isolated due to a Covid-19 outbreak, it will pay 75% of the loss suffered, up to a maximum of 10,000 R.
The Hollard Covid-19 travel insurance package for one week starts at R450.
Here’s how the three travel insurance options stack up:
Covid-19 Travel Insurance Comparisons