Travel insurance South Africa
Are the exotic adventures of South Africa calling you? What are you looking forward to the most - the stunning beauty of Table Mountain, the wildlife safaris in Kruger National Park or the pulsating vibe of Cape Town? Tough choice! But what should not be a difficult decision is buying the right kind of travel insurance for South Africa. Read our detailed guide below to learn about the dos and don’ts of travel insurance for South Africa, use Mozo’s free travel insurance comparison tool and shortlist the best overseas insurance policy for your trip.
Why do I need travel insurance for South Africa?
So that you can chase the adventurous experiences in Africa’s south knowing that in case of an unforeseen situation, you have something to fall back on and cover if you need it. Here’s a list of some such circumstances where South Africa travel insurance could come to your rescue:
Flight delays or cancellation
Whether it’s the airline that announces a last minute change to your flight or you are caught in personal situation where you need to alter your flights, if you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy you’ll be able to file a claim for delays or cancellations. This one of the main reasons why it’s always recommended you buy your international travel insurance as soon as you book your tickets and not wait until you’re leaving for the airport.
The major cities in South Africa offer good medical infrastructure and having a medical cover will help you get access to the best facilities without having to worry about the upfront cost. Do remember though, if you have any kind of pre-existing medical condition, you should let your insurer know in advance so that you know for sure whether you are covered for it under the standard travel insurance policy or if you will need to pay more for an additional cover.
Loss of luggage
Theft and robberies aren’t exactly unheard of in South Africa, so it goes without saying that you should take care with all your belongings. In the case that your stuff gets stolen during your holiday, travel insurance will help you to recover your losses. But make sure you read the fine print, some insurance providers can refuse to reimburse the cost of lost or stolen articles if you leave your bags unattended or in an unmanned car. It is always good to keep copies of receipts and items that you’ve got in your bags (even take photos) so that if you need to claim you can prove you owned the item.
If your bags are delayed by the airline by more than a specified duration (generally 24 hours), you could be eligible for reimbursement to purchase emergency clothes and toiletries depending on the policy you have purchased. Of course this is meant to cover basic requirements, so don’t go about splurging on designer wear and expect to be reimbursed.
Death or disability
In case of the unfortunate circumstance of death or disability while in South Africa, travel insurance can also cover for certain essentials for you or your family.
If you are caught in a situation where you have accidentally injured someone or damaged a property during your holiday, personal liability can be of help.
Should I get extra cover for South Africa?
Depending on the kind of South Africa holiday you have in mind, you may need to purchase additional insurance cover. Some options include:
South Africa is famous for adventure activities like bungee jumping. Unfortunately, many extreme sports are not covered under standard insurance so if you’re planning to get an adrenaline high, don’t forget to get that extra sports cover.
Driving along Garden Route in South Africa would be any roadtripper’s dream come true. Just make sure however before jumping in a rental car you are licensed to drive that particular vehicle. Also check if your travel insurance policy includes rental car excess cover. If it does, you can say no to this expensive add on at the rental car showroom.
If you are planning on taking expensive camera, video or computer equipment with you on your South African adventure it is important to ensure you’ve got the right level of cover. The same goes for sports equipment like surfboards. Some policies will have limits on single electronic items so you might need to get extra cover for more expensive items.
If you are planning a family vacation many insurance policies cover kids for free when your children are travelling with you. Just be aware that some policies will have different medical or luggage limits for families, compared with single policies, so make sure that the family travel insurance cover is appropriate for everyone’s medical needs and belongings.
How much will it cost for travel insurance to South Africa?
The total cost of your travel insurance for South Africa is calculated based on various factors such as the duration of your trip, your age and if you go for extras like sports or pregnancy cover.
Check out some examples of costs for South Africa travel insurance, using Mozo's travel insurance quote comparison tool. But remember that prices and terms of policies are subject to change so always check the updated costs.
Basic Cover:King Cover - Joey
$5,000,000 hospital and emergency cover, no luggage and personal effects, no cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Budget Direct - Comprehensive
Unlimited overseas hospital and emergency cover, $7,500 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
Family of 4 - 2 adults (35), 2 kids (10 & 6)
Basic Cover: GoInsurace Travel - Go Basic
$10,000,000 hospital and emergency cover, no luggage and personal effects, no cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Birgin Money - Comprehensive
Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $20,000 luggage, unlimited cancellation fees
Basic Cover: Travel Insurance Saver - Bare Essentials Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $2,000 luggage and personal effects, $5,000 cancellation fees
Comprehensive Cover: Southern Cross Travel Insurance - Single Journey Unlimited hospital and emergency cover, $25,000 luggage, $50,000 cancellation fees
South Africa travel must knows
The Smart Traveller website advises travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in South Africa due to the high level of crime. It’s recommended to pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media and other sources about possible security risks.
Travelling with the family
If you’re going on a holiday with the kids, you’ll need to carry and produce on request, a full (unabridged) birth certificate as well as a valid travel document (passport) for children under the age of 18. The birth certificate must identify the parents of the child. If an original cannot be produced, a certified copy can be provided, but the certification must be less than three months old.
Australian passport holders don’t need to apply for a visa for travelling to South Africa. But, to enter South Africa you need to have a passport valid for at least 30 days after the end of your intended stay plus at least two completely blank pages on which your entry permit can be endorsed. However, visa requirements are subject to change so you must check the updated conditions when you plan to travel.
How do I make sure my claim won’t be rejected?
Just buying a good travel insurance policy is not enough. You also need to carefully read the complete terms and conditions of the policy prior to departing to make sure you know how to file a claim and what you’ll need to make one in the time of need. Many people don’t bother reading the fine print and end up paying the price for it by having their claim rejected. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, we’ve listed out these important claims must-knows:
- Let your insurer know about any pre-existing medical conditions such as a heart condition or pregnancy, so that you know exactly what you’re covered for prior to departing for South Africa.
- Always keep copies of receipts or photographs for any precious items that you might be carrying with you. You could need these in case something is lost or stolen. Similarly, if you buy anything expensive on your trip, safely keep the invoice just in case you need it later.
- If anything does get stolen, report the theft to the local police within 24 hours and get a copy of the report so that you can attach it with your insurance claim. If you don’t have an official police report or something similar from a security agency your claim could be rejected.
- In general, if an incident takes place for which you might need to file a claim, it’s a good idea to call the travel insurer’s hotline to inform them of the situation. If you are unsure of the requirements for the claim it is better to double check at this point so you can follow the requisite procedure.
- File your completed claim as soon as possible on your return. Generally, the simplest and fastest way to do this is to fill up the form online and attach all relevant documentation. Don’t forget to keep a copy of the claim for your own records.
How should I shortlist the best travel insurance policies for South Africa?
If you’re thinking that looking for the best travel insurance policies for South Africa is going to be a long drawn process, don’t worry! Mozo can help you find the best policies in a flash.
Travel insurance comparison tool
Use Mozo’s insurance comparison calculator, which can instantly shortlist the best priced policies based on your travel plans. All you need to do is enter in basic information like your travel dates, the number of people travelling and if you need a special cover and we’ll list out insurance providers that will cover you for your South Africa holiday.
Travel insurance reviews
Once you’ve got a shortlist of potential insurers you can consider, look up reviews by real travellers who have used those products before. Mozo has collected a whole list of travel insurance reviews so you can have access to unbiased opinions and make a more informed decision.