The long and the short of it: Short-term insurance essentials for life

Pic: Sunlife financial Philippines

Life happens. Some things we can predict, plan or hope for, while others aren’t always as easy to foresee. Fortunately, short-term insurance can play a consistent role in keeping your longer-term dreams, and assets safe. Different life stages within each of our journeys require different short-term insurance solutions to truly cover all bases. Here are some main considerations along the way.

Moving out of home

A student moving to tertiary studies’ accommodation, or a starter apartment renting with friends, should check what is insurable in terms of a shared home. The same can be said about moving in with a partner. Keep proof of expensive purchases for electronic goods and ensure all the goods needing insurance, are covered collectively for their true replacement value. You may need to update the address where a vehicle is based; parents of student children should note this as well, as regular driver status may need to be updated on the car insurance too. 

Buying a car

If you are paying a car off, insurance will be a standard requirement of the loan, but ensuring you can afford the required cover should always be factored into your decision to buy.  Keep shortfall cover in mind too, which is there should the vehicle become written off, while you are still paying it off.  As a car depreciates in value, in some cases insurance can be adjusted over time as the car value decreases.  Be sure to keep maintenance in check, honouring your regular services, rotating or replacing your tyres as needed, and always following the rules of the road.

Getting married

While there are many aspects to financial planning as a couple, or an individual within a couple, short-term insurance is key among them. Being able to protect your home, each of your vehicles and any of your contents, or devices like laptops and cell phones will really help, should an unexpected accident happen. You may need to insure both vehicles comprehensively if you switch cars, for example. Whatever your circumstances, insurance helps you to avoid needing to dip into savings if an emergency happens.

Buying a house

Bonded properties tend to come with standard insurance requirements, most importantly that the insurance is only for the structure. You can opt for your own insurer (it can be more cost effective to have all your insurable interests with one provider) if your bond insurer is satisfied the policy covers your risk.  When choosing what property to buy in the first place, keep in mind that some properties near the coast may warrant higher insurance, due to climate change. Don’t purchase a home unless you know for certain you can afford to insure it, wherever you choose to buy. 

The time will come when the property is paid off, but insurance is an ongoing expense. Without insurance in place, all your hard work paying your property off (or in the process of doing so) could very quickly come to nothing if a fire, or flood destroys your investment. This is why the correct replacement value of your home needs to be insured consistently, to cover you no matter what.

Starting your own business

A small operation may seem to attract small insurance risks; but this perception is rarely true. Having the right cover in place to consider your business interests at your primary residence, or a small office building you own is essential. Your whole business could come to a standstill if you can’t operate, so there are various levels of cover you can put in place, depending on your unique risks.  If renting a workspace, you need to keep your contents and All Risk cover up to date as well.

Retiring

A part of retiring often includes ensuring your home is paid off first, and it may mean that you downsize in the process. This will have an impact on your insurance too; factor moving into your budget, and remember you still have the same short-term insurance risks as someone who is still working. Insurance needs don’t ever truly retire.

Seeking some help

A financial adviser can assist you along the way, through any of the above life stages and others. Having a baby would change things, as would changing your job. It will depend on your unique circumstances as to what cover is needed for you. Considering the bigger picture while keeping insurance in place to protect it, makes all the difference to the outcome of your journey.

Article by By Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure; www.MoneyMarketing.co.za 13 Feb 2020

Vehicle Recall Scam Alert

A similar post was uploaded by ourselves 3 Dec 2019, however Insurers have circulated warnings again due to some claims that been presented. Please be aware of this scam.

In particular Hollard have advised that they are aware of a new scam to steal vehicles which they have requested that the information be circulated to all clients and platforms, particularly those who own high value vehicles such as Lamborghinis, and encourage them to be mindful and to report any suspicious behaviour to their nearest police station.

How the scam works

  • A person posing as an employee of a vehicle manufacturer or dealership (referred to as the scammer) calls the vehicle owner to say that there is a recall and that it is not safe to drive their vehicle. The scammer is often well-spoken, very persuasive and can verify the vehicle owner’s details including, for example, when and where the vehicle was bought.
  • The scammer goes on to say that the vehicle manufacturer/dealership will not take any responsibility if the vehicle is driven further and malfunctions.
  • The vehicle owner is advised that a towing service will be arranged to collect the vehicle and arrangements are made and agreed with the vehicle owner. The vehicle owner is provided with the name of the towing service and advised that the repaired vehicle will be returned within 24 hours.
  • The scammer arranges with the towing service to collect the vehicle. In the meantime, the vehicle owner is advised that the repairs are taking longer than expected and is asked to confirm if the vehicle is fitted with a tracking device. If a tracking device is fitted, the vehicle owner is led to believe that it will be temporarily disconnected while the repair is taken place.
  • The vehicle is moved to its end destination (often across the border) by which time the vehicle owner realises that the vehicle has been stolen.

This is a professional scam which several people have fallen victim too. Please always call the vehicle manufacturer or dealership back on their landline to verify the authenticity of the recall.

Hollard New Letter : 11 Feb 2020

ARE YOU EXPOSED TO ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT BREAKDOWNS?

Food Product, Printing, Engineering and any computer aided Equipment & Machinery are suitable for a Specialized EEI policy.

Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine any kind of business, no matter how large or small, that does not rely on electronics in one way or another. Sometimes business owners are not specifically aware of the fact that many devices and electronic equipment are not always covered by standard business insurance policies. Risks and perils associated with electronic equipment and devices has entered a new era where loss or damage can be excluded for various of reasons.

It is important to seek professional sound advice through your broker who will be skilled with the knowledge of suitable products available to the consumer. Policies vary from one insurer to another. Some policies are cheaper than others, but price should not always be the deciding factor. Make sure your policy provides the right spectrum of cover and extensions for your specific business to avoid being exposed.

Without a doubt technology and our dependency thereon is advancing at a fast pace. It is happening so fast that supporting innovative insurance products, are trying to keep abreast and make policies more compatible for this new era. Electronic Equipment Insurance is a core product which will play a significant role in the short-term insurance industry.

What is Electronic Equipment Insurance? (EEI)
Electronic Equipment Insurance is designed to cover most types of electronic equipment from large data processing installations to specialised installations such as medical scanners, airport radar systems or electronic simulators. The EEI policy will cover physical loss or damage of these electronics.

Often these pieces of equipment come with a substantial price tag that some businesses aren’t always able to replace immediately and by not doing so, it can impact production, productivity and ultimately the bottom line.

Causes of loss or damage that EEI covers:
• Elemental perils such as flood, wind, earthquake, lightning etc.
• Fire.
• Accidental damage.
• Power surge (Breakdown).
• Operational failure.
• Theft and / or malicious damage.

Some exclusions to loss or damage:
• Deductibles.
• Alterations.
• Improvements.
• Fraud or dishonesty.
• Consequential loss (unless otherwise provided for elsewhere in the Policy)
• Maintenance agreement.
• Wear & tear.
• Confiscation or abandonment.
• Cybercrime and liability.

For more information and advice regarding Consort’s Electronic Equipment Insurance (EEI) and how your business can benefit from their product offering, please contact your broker or intermediary.

Consort Technical Underwriters prides itself on maintaining the highest standards of reliability, honesty and ensuring that we provide products and services that is of the utmost quality.

Written by NewConsort on February 4, 2020. Posted in Consort.

Professional Indemnity: What it is and Why is it important to renew timeously?

As with all insurance, Professional Indemnity is about managing risk and in today’s litigious world and constant changes to legislation, the risks professional consultants assume can be extraordinarily high.

Professional Indemnity insurance essentially provides any professional consultant, company or organisation providing advice, design work or other professional services, with indemnity (including costs and expenses relating to the investigation and defense of any claims) in respect of their legal liability to compensate any third party for damages they suffer as a result of professional negligence, errors or omissions which occurred during the course and scope of the professional’s duties.

This insurance is on a Claims Made basis, which means that there must be cover in force when the work is performed and at the time a claims or incident is notified to Insurers. Therefore the retroactive cover must be maintained and there cannot be any interruption in cover.

The retroactive date on a policy is the date from which the Insured first incepted cover and any work performed on or after that date will be covered in terms of the Claims Made policy, provided that there has been no gap in cover and that a policy is in force at the time a claim or incident is reported to Insurers.

In the event that cover is not renewed timeously, the Insured runs the risk of losing their retroactive cover and any further enquiries for that risk will be treated as a new enquiry. The retroactive date will be inception and the Insured will not have cover for any work performed prior to the inception of the new policy. If there is no current policy in place, there is no cover. Retroactive cover can be bought, but only up to a maximum
of 3 years and it cannot be bought to fill gaps between insurance periods to reinstate the previous retroactive date.

The danger associated with an Insured losing their retroactive cover, is that Professional Indemnity is what is referred to as “long tail” business, which means that potential claims do no necessarily manifest immediately or shortly after work has been completed. Claims or incidents may only come to light 2 to 5 years (or more) after work has been completed. If the work from which the claim / incident arises was not performed within the retroactive period on the Policy and / or there is no current policy in place as the time it comes to light, there is no cover.

For Brokers this is of particular importance as it is their responsibility to ensure that cover is placed and maintained. In the event that a Broker omitted to renew the cover or ensure that it continues uninterrupted,
they may be responsible to their client for potential losses which would have been covered under their Professional Indemnity policy and the Broker’s own Professional Indemnity is then exposed to an array of
potential losses.

It is also important to note that when a company / consultant has ceased trading / operating (for whatever
reason – including death), they or their estate, still remain responsible for claims / incidents which may come to light arising out of work already performed. For this reason it is important that Brokers inform clients about
“Run-Off” cover.

Run-Off cover is essentially the same cover, but endorsed to only cover claims arising from work performed prior to the date the company / consultant ceased trading. This is very important as the necessity to have a
current, uninterrupted policy in force at the time a claim or incident is reported still remains effective for a Claims Made policy. This cover is also renewable annually.

In conclusion, negotiations for the renewal of a Professional Indemnity policy need to be concluded before the current policy expires to ensure that there is no gap in cover and neither the broker nor the Insured is
unnecessarily exposed.

Contact I&DRS for a Professional Indemnity Insurance Quotation on: +27 11 484 9401

Article information provided by Stalker Hutchison Admiral , Specialist Underwriters Brochure

Liability claims – when to notify

Typically, an insurance policy stipulates that notice of a claim must be given as soon as possible or within the time limit stipulated by the policy. While this may seem simple enough with a straight-forward assets policy, liability insurance is markedly different. The issues of when and why to provide notification of a liability claim often gives rise to much confusion. 

In the case of a liability insurance policy, the insured is required to give written notice to the insurer as soon as practicable, not only of any actual claim made against it by a third party, but also of any circumstance which could potentially give rise to a claim being made by a third party in the future. 

This requirement to notify a potential circumstance which could give rise to a claim is not always properly understood. Not understanding when or how to report liability claims or circumstances which could lead to possible future claims to one’s insurer may result in the policy not responding. 

It’s important to point out that the requirement to notify a circumstance which may give rise to a claim has nothing to do with whether you believe that you’re liable or not. It has to do with whether the insured should have been aware that a claim could arise, irrespective of where the liability is thought to lie. In this regard, it is important to appreciate that a liability policy is not only intended to settle third-party claims where the insured is found liable, but also indemnifies him or her for the legal costs incurred in defending a claim by a third party. This form of indemnity arises where the policy provides for legal defence costs and where the insurer is of the view that the claim by a third party should be defended rather than settled. Also, before the insured incurs any legal defence costs, the written consent of the insurer is usually required.

The defence of a claim by an insurer is an important component of indemnity under a liability policy, and the cost to defend a claim from a third a party could entail considerable legal costs. Thus, if the insured does not notify a circumstance which could give rise to a claim as soon as they become aware of that possibility, the insurer may decline to assist on the grounds of late notification when the letter of demand or a summons is served at a later date. 

The purpose of the early notification is to alert the insurer to the possibility of an action so that the insurer can investigate the circumstances that may give rise to a claim at the earliest possible time, and under the most favourable conditions in order to minimise its potential liability in the event of a claim. Ultimately, any delay in such notification may prejudice the insurer.

In Thompson v Federated Timbers 2010 JDR 1543 (KZD), the court pointed out that where a reasonable insured in the same position would appreciate the possibility of a claim arising, the fact that the insured in question did not notify cannot relieve it of the consequences of its failure to notify the insurer of the event in question. The Court in this case relied upon an objective test for determining whether an insured should have appreciated the possibility of a claim arising.

In situations of liability, it is better to be safe than sorry. Policyholders are advised to capture all circumstances in respect of which they have an awareness of the possibility, however remote, that a claim might arise, and notify their insurer or broker in writing as quickly as possible in order to protect their rights under the policy.

Article by Garth Rowe , Principal claims officer , Aon South Africa

Understanding how travel insurance works during virus outbreaks

With the coronavirus outbreak in China, a lot of people had to cancel or postpone their travel arrangements to the affected countries.

To date, 170 people have died from virus in China and more than 7,000 cases confirmes.

The World Health Organisation is meeting on Thursday to discuss whether to declare the coronavirus epidemic an international public health emergency.

Joanne Joseph speaks to Old Mutual insurance expert Christelle Colman about how travel insurances are affected by the outbreak.

“We have two components when it comes to travel insurance, one is medical cover in case you contract the disease and the other is cancellation cover if your travel has been cancelled or curtailed as a result of this outbreak.” 

Christelle Colman, Insurance expert – Old Mutual 

“We have partnered with an international travel company and they have representation on the ground in China and if you are in that area you do have somewhere to go and numbers to call.”

Christelle Colman, Insurance expert – Old Mutual 

Colman says some insurance companies can cover you if the epidemic was not known when or before you made your bookings.

“Now that coronavirus is known you can’t make a booking to affected countries and expect that cover to be imposed.”

Christelle Colman, Insurance expert – Old Mutual 

“Travel insurance policies excluded known viruses, incidents and epidemics.”

Christelle Colman, Insurance expert – Old Mutual 

Listen to the full interview here by 702, Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph.

Article by : 702 , 30 January 4:48

Contact I&DRS for Travel Insurance and Professional advise on : +27 11 484 9401

Here’s a resolution worth writing down: Review your insurance

by MoneyMarketing on January 6, 2020 in InsuranceNewsShort-term Insurance . *Certain section of this article have been amended.

This year, I’m definitely going to save more money.’ It’s one of the great New Year’s resolutions (along with going to gym more often, losing weight and quitting smoking). But along with cutting back on unnecessary expenses, making sure that your insurance fits your needs will go a long way towards making 2020 your most prosperous year yet.

In fact, one of the most important New Year’s resolutions you can make this year is to conduct a thorough review of your insurance cover while you’re doing your budget. It doesn’t just help you save money, it also gives you peace of mind if your home and belongings are fully protected.

“Many people set up their insurance policies, and then forget about them,” says King Price’s Wynand van Vuuren. “Bad move. If you don’t keep your policies up to date, you could be paying too much for insurance you don’t need – or worse, find yourself exposed or under-insured when it comes to claiming a few years down the line.”

Here are five ways to make sure you’re getting the right cover for your needs, at the best price.

  1. Check that your insurance reflects your lifestyle. Moved to a new house recently? Got married (or divorced)? Changed jobs? If your personal circumstances have changed in any way in the past year, it’s important – no, critical – that you update your insurance accordingly. These details could have a major impact on your claims or premium. That includes the correct addresses for where your car is parked, both during the day and at night, and that your insurer knows how much mileage you do in an average month.
  2. Make sure you’re covered on the road. Are your cars a year older, but you’re still paying last year’s premium – or higher? That’s less than ideal. It’s always worth reviewing what you’re paying for your car insurance. *Have the values been amended by your broker or insurer.
  3. Review your home contents cover. This is a great time to update your home inventory, says Van Vuuren. The key here is to make sure that you cover your home contents for their current replacement value. Don’t guess. And remember, insurers can only protect what they know about. It helps to keep the original receipts for items like jewellery, laptops and big screen TVs, so that you can prove their value if you need to claim. * To help you value your home contents correctly, request a home contents inventory form from your broker.
  4. Keep the roof over your head watertight. A building’s market value (what you buy or sell it for) isn’t the same as its insured value. Make sure you have enough insurance to rebuild your home entirely, if you need to. If you’ve made major improvements to your home, such as adding a new room, tell your insurer – or risk being underinsured. Buildings insurance should cover what it would cost to rebuild your property from the foundations up, including your boundary walls, solar panels, swimming pool, taps and tiles. * as well as add approximately 25% to value for professional fee’s such as architects etc.
  5. Combine your policies. Insurers love clients who have more than one item policy with them – and they’ll generally reward you with a discount. So, if you cover your home contents and a car, for example, with one insurer, you’ll probably pay less. You’ll also benefit from a multiple car discount if you cover two or more cars – up to 20%, in some cases.

Disclaimer: I&DRS will always offer the best advise possible , however policies and insurers do differ in some regards . Therefore, the information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice, alternatively contact our office on (011) 484 9401 for a specific needs analysis and record of advice to be done.

6 planned laws for South Africa you should know about in 2020.

Businesstech.co.za, 4 January 2020

The new year is set to be a demanding one for South African lawmakers, with a number of important pieces of legislation expected to be considered in the coming months.

Chief among these is the Constitutional amendment allowing for land expropriation without compensation, and the introduction of South Africa’s new demerit system for motorists.

While some of these bills (such as the demerit system) have already been signed into law and are awaiting promulgation, other bills are likely to face steep opposition for civil society groups and opposition political parties.

BusinessTech looked at these planned laws in more detail below.

Land expropriation without compensation

The parliamentary committee on land expropriation published its new draft bill for public comment on 6 December.

The draft bill aims to amend the Constitution to provide that, where land and any improvements on it are expropriated for the purposes of land reform, the amount of compensation payable may be nil.

However, the bill itself does not specify the circumstances when no compensation may be given.

Instead, it states that a separate piece of national legislation must set out the specific circumstances where a court may determine that the amount of compensation is nil.

Written submissions on the bill must be received by no later than 31 January 2020.

Climate change law 

South Africa is at an advanced stage with formulating its national policy on mitigating the effects of climate change.

According to Environment, Forestry and Fisheries minister Barbara Creecy, South Africa’s National Climate Change Bill is now at an advanced stage and is expected to be passed into law in the near future.

The purpose of the bill is to build an effective climate change response and ensure the long-term, just transition to a climate-resilient and lower carbon economy and society.

This will be done within the context of sustainable development for South Africa, and will provide for all matters related to climate change.

Nationalising Reserve Bank

Parliament officially revived the bill which proposes the nationalisation of South Africa’s Reserve Bank in October 2019.

The bill – that spooked investors when first unveiled a year ago – comes at an awkward time for president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is on an investment drive to boost an ailing economy.

In August 2018, the EFF tabled the South African Reserve Bank Amendment Bill, which seeks to nationalise the central bank.

South Africa’s central bank is one of the few in the world that’s still owned by private shareholders.

New law around sports, clubs and gyms in South Africa

A new draft amendment bill by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture is looking to bring all sports codes, clubs and fitness organisations under the direct regulatory control of the minister – which could mean bad news for South Africa’s participation in international events.

The bill, released by the department earlier in December, has been published for written inputs from the bodies affected.

According to the department, it seeks to amend the National Sport and Recreation Act to broadly “provide for the promotion and development of sport and recreation”.

This includes establishing a Sport Arbitration Tribunal to resolve disputes between sport or recreation bodies; regulate combat sport; regulate the fitness industry; provide for the procedure in bidding for and hosting of international sports and recreation events; provide for the delegation of powers; provide for offences and penalties; and to provide for matters connected with these.

Among the many proposed changes in the bill is the removal of the independence of sports bodies, which would now have to develop ways to promote their sports in consultation with the minister, as well as giving the minister power to step-in directly in any disputes within sports.

The department also wants to assume full control of all sports codes, with its oversight extending to “any national federation, agency, club or body, including a trust, professional league, or registered company of such a national federation, agency, club or body, involved in the administration of sport or recreation at local, provincial or national level.”

This would ostensibly include fitness groups like Virgin Active and Planet Fitness, which would have to register and be certified by the department.

The department would also be empowered to hand out penalties to organisations or aforementioned clubs if they do not comply with the prescriptions in the Act, including fines and up to two years in jail.

Demerit system

South Africa’s new Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act will be in full effect from June next year (2020), says Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

Signed into law by president Ramaphosa in August, the act will introduce a new demerit system meaning all traffic fines across the country will now carry the same penal values.

In October 2019, the Department of Transport published draft regulations relating to the Act, introducing a number of controversial changes.

According to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA), these changes are geared more towards revenue collection than actually dealing effectively with road deaths, or creating a safer driving environment in South Africa.

These include:

  • A R100 penalty that is automatically applied to each fine;
  • You will have to pay to find out how many demerit points you have;
  • You may pay for contesting fines;
  • You could end up paying for e-tolls.

NHI 

The Portfolio Committee on Health has embarked on a public participation process involving written submissions and public hearings around the new National Health Insurance Bill.

The bill promises universal health coverage to every South Africa, but will also act as form of ‘compulsory insurance’ as the NHI Fund acts as a single purchaser and single-payer of healthcare services in South Africa.

Under current legislation, a medical scheme member generally chooses the doctor, hospital and specialist and the medical scheme refunds that expense to the member, or for convenience directly to the provider of the service.

Under NHI, the Fund purchases the health care service “on behalf of the user” (mainly South African citizens and permanent residents) at accredited healthcare providers free of charge at point of care.

While the NHI is only expected to be introduced in several years time, government and regulators have already begun making major changes in preparation for the new system.

Festive Season Insurance Tips for South African Drivers

Business Report / 16 DECEMBER 2019, 3:00PM / SUMARIE GREYBE

Picture : SANRAL Stop over

DURBAN -The festive season is rapidly approaching, and millions of South Africans are preparing for the annual exodus to the summer holiday hotspots.  

Whether you are planning a long road trip through our neighbouring countries or a relaxed drive to a destination a couple of hours away, it pays to be prepared.

Here are some tips to make sure your insurer will have you covered on your holiday adventures. 

Make sure the car is roadworthy 

To improve road safety and ensure a hassle-free claims experience if something bad happens on the road, make sure that your car is roadworthy. Some things that you should check include:

1. Ask a tyre fitment centre to check that your tread isn’t worn out.

2. Check that your indicators and brake lights are working.

3. Get your brake pads checked if they have not been replaced for a long time. On average, brake pads need to be replaced every 75000 kilometres. But some brake pads need to be replaced after 25000 kilometres.

Make sure the paperwork is up to date

Your vehicle licence disc needs to be renewed once a year. Also, check that all potential drivers for your car have up-to-date driving licences. The licence needs to be renewed every five years, which includes an eye test.

Get the right insurance cover for trips outside South Africa’s borders

If you’re planning to visit neighbouring countries or to go even further north, find out whether your policy covers you outside South Africa’s borders and get a letter from your insurer that you can present at the border.

Most South African policies will only cover you for damage to your own car while you are outside of our borders. You must take out separate third-party liability insurance cover when you travel outside South Africa.

This cover provides compensation if your vehicle is involved in a road accident and causes damage to another vehicle, or injury to or death of another person in another country. It can be bought from the AA or at Borders.

Update the policy to cover the extras

If you have added expensive accessories and extras to your car – such as a roof-rack, bulbar, xenon lights, or extra sound equipment – update your policy to ensure they are covered.

Be prepared for emergencies

Keep your insurer’s roadside emergency number on hand so that you call for help if you have an accident or engine trouble. The more progressive insurers will also allow you to seek emergency assistance from their mobile app. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

Why managing travel risk is your top tip for holiday season self-care

By MoneyMarketing Dec 9 2019 , Christelle Coleman , Old Mutual

Travel insurance can cover everything, “from missed connections, loss or damage of sports equipment, injuries sustained in adventure activities, pre-existing medical conditions and even crime and terrorist attack,” explains Christelle Colman, Insurance expert at Old Mutual

Contact I&DRS on 011 484 9401 for a quote

Even if one has a medical aid or a hospital plan in South Africa, when travelling abroad, including to neighbouring countries, additional basic medical travel insurance is essential.

“In many African countries quality medical services are private, charged in US dollars and require either upfront payment – or recognised proof of cover or ability to pay,” says Colman. 

Something as simple as dental cover, for example, is also often overlooked. People regularly experience lose fillings, lost caps or teeth, or toothache while traveling abroad, “only discovering that these are not covered by their medical cover when it’s too late,” warns Colman. It is important to investigate whether dental cover while travelling is included in your medical insurance – or purchase the additional cover accordingly if it isn’t available. This is especially so as quality dental cover in many countries is either very hard to come by, or, again, requires upfront payment in foreign currency.

Travel cover, especially when travelling abroad, generally comes with travel and medical assistance. Most international travel insurance products, for example, provide 24/7 emergency numbers backed by qualified support teams. These teams are able to guide policy holders to the expertise and appropriate emergency facilities in the event of an incident. Travellers can also get pre-trip medical advice on vaccinations required for specific destinations, as well as where to access this medication ahead of travelling.

Travellers should also be aware of the specific risks posed by the adventure activities and excursions that they plan to undertake on trips. For example, if you are an amateur at hiking up the Andes or skiing – you could get seriously injured if you’re not fit, healthy or trained enough to participate. 

“Be sure to understand that taking part in activities that you don’t do on a daily basis comes with risk – and then take the appropriate measures to manage the risks associated with these kinds of unusual activities,” advises Colman. And if you are taking part in sports or adventure activities, “be sure to check that the cover you have purchased does not exclude these. Match your cover to your risk,” advises Colman.

It is also important to check that travel cover includes the costs of being returned to South Africa to continue your treatment, especially should you need to be medically evacuated back home. “Travel insurance should also cover you if you are not medically fit to fly back home and are in serious need of a relative or friend to fly out to assist you” says Colman.  In a worst-case scenario travel cover should also include, “repatriating your mortal remains,” she adds. 

Most insurers SMS or WhatsApp travel policy numbers and policy documentation to clients’ mobile phones, along with the contacts of the local South African embassy and other support details in the destination country. It is critical that the policy numbers and details and emergency contact numbers are kept on client’s phones while travelling, alternatively keeping printed copies of your paperwork is also advised. “Medical establishments and other services will require all these details on admittance or ahead of providing services in foreign countries,” warns Colman. 

It is equally important to purchase travel insurance for the ‘small things,’ which are not actually that small when they go missing. Lost passports, stolen money or credit cards, luggage, ski or golf equipment, cameras, phones and prescription glasses or lost even sunglasses, “can potentially inconvenience or ground a traveller,” cautions Colman.   

The real value of travel insurance, however, lies not so much in getting the cheapest cover, “but in targeting your travel cover to the specific risks that you will encounter on each trip,” says Colman. A skiing trip to Austria, for example, represents different risks compared with a beach holiday in India. Advising on the risks specific to each destination and activity is where insurers excel

Consumers should do themselves the favour of talking to established insurers, “working out, together, exactly, which covers they should purchase to give them sufficient peace of mind wherever they are travelling to this holiday season,” concludes Colman

I&DRS have various Travel insurance partners. Contact us for a quote on +27 11 484 9401

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