Travel Insurance - An Essential Extra Cost!

30 May 2018

Travel Insurance; don't book without it!

As part of Yellow Zebra’s Terms & Conditions, it’s our policy that every client purchases travel insurance at the time of booking a holiday.

We are often asked why we hold this policy, as travel insurance can be viewed as an extra and potentially avoidable cost. I’d like to stress that we do not sell travel insurance. YZ policy includes the condition that our clients purchase insurance to protect them from eventualities that can arise when arranging an expensive trip or when travelling to an adventurous destination like Africa. We don’t profit from our advice – we just want to see our clients covered as well as we believe they ought to be.

Unfortunately, due to legal reasons, we can’t advise on the suitability of any particular travel insurance policy. However, we can explain why taking out a policy is essential – please read on.

Be covered from the moment you book a safari. A safari is usually expensive. Purchasing travel insurance at the time of booking your trip ensures that, if it is necessary for you to cancel your holiday due to accident or illness, you will be able to recoup the booking costs. If you do not take out insurance and subsequently cancel your booking, we shall have to charge you as per our Terms & Conditions, section 5.

Medical treatment and repatriation. We advise that you and any fellow travellers take out insurance to cover all events that might have a detrimental effect on your holiday. Of course, we very much hope that you will have a trouble-free trip. However, it is far better to be safe than sorry, so any policy should cover medical treatment and repatriation due to accident or illness.

Extreme sports, walking safaris, microlights, etc. If you are planning to take part in sports or other adventurous activities during your holiday, we recommend that your policy covers you for any injuries sustained as a result of these activities. Please make sure you read the conditions carefully, as it is essential they are appropriate for the types of activities you intend to do.

Loss of valuables, personal liability, legal expenses. Your policy should include cover for loss of any valuable items too, as well as personal liability, legal expenses, and cancellations abroad, and any delays at your point of departure, whether you are outward or homeward bound.

Pre-existing illnesses. Please seek advice from an insurance broker if necessary to ensure that your policy covers any pre-existing illnesses.

Does your health insurance cover your safari? (This question is often relevant to travellers from the USA.). US health insurance premiums sometimes cover clients for their trips overseas. We cannot comment on these policies, but would advise clients to contact their existing insurers for health cover and to consider additional insurance to protect against the risk of loss or cancellation.

  • Incurring considerable costs. If you do not have a policy to cover any of the events mentioned above, you are at risk of incurring considerable costs. Repatriation home, for example, can cost a huge amount of money. As mentioned already, we cannot be held responsible for any of these costs.
  • Covering the full amount of your trip including international flights. Please ensure any policy covers the total cost of your safari. Many travel insurance policies will only cover up to a certain figure – this is a common issue with credit card travel insurance.

OTHER FAQ’s:

My credit card includes travel insurance – is that enough?
It is essential to check that you are satisfied with the amount of coverage included. Please contact your credit card company to verify what is and what isn’t covered.

Is medical coverage provided by national social insurance programmes or national healthcare systems in my country of residence valid in Africa?
National social insurance programmes, such as Medicare, and national healthcare systems, like the NHS, are unlikely to provide you with medical coverage. Please contact the relevant authority for further information.

I have private health insurance – is that enough?
It is unlikely that your private health insurance policy will provide you with adequate coverage. Please speak to your health insurance company about what is covered.

Can I buy travel insurance from Yellow Zebra Safaris?
No, Yellow Zebra does not sell insurance.

How much does travel insurance cost, and where can I compare policies?
The cost of travel insurance varies, as insurance companies will consider pre-existing health conditions, the length of the trip, the cost of the trip, and many other factors. We cannot legally advise clients on which policies are best, nor can we recommend any travel insurance companies or policies. However, to get an idea of where to begin your research, please take a look at the following:

Please note that we cannot take any responsibility for information provided on a third-party website.

Why is Yellow Zebra asking for my travel insurance details?
In the event of an emergency, Yellow Zebra and our suppliers will need to have access to the name of your travel insurer, policy number, and 24-hour emergency/claims number. We can then provide this information to emergency services so that you can receive the necessary treatment without delay.

I have already paid in full, so do I still need travel insurance?
It is a condition of booking with Yellow Zebra that you organise specialist travel insurance to cover your entire trip. Unfortunately, some clients have had to cancel prior to travel due to unforeseen circumstances, and because they had not yet taken out travel insurance they were unable to recoup their booking costs. Moreover, there have been cases of our clients being taken ill whilst in Africa and requiring treatment. We cannot stress enough how important it is for us to have your travel insurance details to hand, in order for us to assist you as quickly and efficiently as possible, should anything like this happen to you.

I’ve found a policy. Please can someone at Yellow Zebra review it with me?
Unfortunately, no – due to legal reasons we cannot review any insurance policy. It’s best that you contact the insurance company and review it with them, as they will have better knowledge of the policies they sell.

What if I don’t want insurance?
Arranging insurance is a condition of booking travel with Yellow Zebra and if you do not take out a travel insurance policy we reserve the right to cancel your holiday as per our Terms & Conditions.

AND LASTLY!

As is always the case, make sure you read the fine print of any policy! Unfortunately, we have known cases where clients had thought they were fully covered but had bought a policy that was not as good as it should be.