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Compare travel insurance for South Africa

With its stunning landscapes, big game wildlife and buzzing cities, South Africa is a holiday destination like few others. Here’s what you should know about finding the right travel insurance for your trip.

With its stunning landscapes, big game wildlife and buzzing cities, South Africa is a holiday destination like few others. Here’s what you should know about finding the right travel insurance for your trip.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
3
minute read
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Posted 2 APRIL 2020

Getting travel insurance for South Africa

You should get travel insurance for any trip, and it’s no different for South Africa. When comparing insurance policies, ask yourself:

Am I insured if I need to cancel my trip? 

Add up the cost of flights, accommodation and anything else pre-booked, such as day tours. Cancellation cover – which is typically included in travel insurance policies – is the most you can claim back if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday (as long as the reason is listed in your policy). For example, if you get too sick to travel, or you’re called for jury service, you could claim back the money you’ve spent.

Will I be doing any high-risk activities?

 Check if any activities you’re planning are covered by insurance. A provider will consider some pursuits to be high-risk, such as rock climbing or sky diving, and these might not be covered by basic travel insurance policies. If your chosen activity isn’t included in a policy, you might need to get additional cover, such as adventure travel insurance.

How much are my belongings worth? 

Like many popular destinations, South Africa has areas with high crime rates – extra caution is advised in the country’s major cities. Look the single item limit on the travel policy, as this is the most money you can claim back on any single item if your belongings are stolen, lost or damaged. Check with your provider to see whether extra cover can be added to your policy if required, or find a specialist insurance provider who offers the level of cover you need.

Am I covered for medical emergencies?

The right travel insurance will cover the cost of medical bills if you get sick or injured during your trip and need private treatment. Generally speaking, your policy should include at least £2 million in medical cover for areas outside Europe.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Starting on 5 November, the Government has introduced a national lockdown for England that will last until at least 2 December. As part of this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against all non-essential domestic and international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination while the FCDO has advised against non-essential travel, or domestically against the instructions of the UK Government, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim will be rejected.

For those living in the UK but outside of England, the public health rules may differ, but you must abide by the restrictions imposed by your local authority.

We’ll continually review the situation, and update you with the latest FCDO or Government guidance on travel.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we will only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover for all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has also launched a directory of insurance providers, who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.

How much is travel insurance for South Africa?

If you’re travelling to South Africa, worldwide travel insurance could cost from £13** for a week, based on Compare the Market data in September 2020.

**Based on a worldwide travel insurance policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling for 1 week. Prices correct as at September 2020.

Do I need a visa for South Africa?

British passport holders can visit South Africa for up to three months without a visa. The UK government advises that you should have at least six months validity on your passport when you travel. Also, your passport should have at least two blank pages when you present it at immigration at South Africa.

Do I need vaccinations before I go to South Africa?

You may need to get vaccinations, so visit your doctor four to eight weeks before your trip. Some vaccinations, such as for tetanus and typhoid, are typically free on the NHS.

Any other travel tips for South Africa?

Safety The government’s website has information on safety and security in the country. Take precautions while you travel, such as keeping any valuables out of sight.

Tipping It’s standard practice to tip - 10 to 20% should be appreciated.

Time difference South Africa is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Currency The country uses the South African Rand.

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