Home Health Precautions Safari Vacation Insurance: Why Smart Travelers Never Skip It

Safari Vacation Insurance: Why Smart Travelers Never Skip It

by Team Safari Safety

If there is anything that needed to be insurance, it is the safari travel. This is simply due to the unexpected nature of the whole idea of safari trips.  You will be travelling far and wide, probably connecting several flights to your destination. So much can happen from the start of your safari to the end, and in-between.

Generally, planning a safari and being on safari is made up of an array of unpredictable elements. Whereas the unexpected sight of the elusive leopard of the time spent with the gorillas is awe-inspiring, a flight cancellation due to bad weather or a freak-accident on game drive is not so exciting.

These are 2 extremes of the spectrum, but there is a lot in between.

Taking a safari vacation insurance should therefore be a no-brainer. 

What are some of the travel insurance that one should consider when taking a safari?

Trip Cancelation Insurance
Medical Insurance
Emergency Medical Insurance
Travel Delay Insurance
Trip Interruption cover
Baggage Loss Insurance

Lets look at each of the policies for distinction

Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover

Trip cancellation coverage can be purchased as part of a comprehensive travel insurance policy, or you can receive it for free when you hold certain premium credit cards. The benefit is designed to protect prepaid, nonrefundable reservations, including flights, hotel reservations and other bookings if the trip is canceled due to an extraordinary circumstance. Each policy will state exactly which events are considered valid reasons for cancellations. Always remember to read the fine print.

For example, with COVID-19 still affecting travel plans, you’ll want to pay close attention to which reasons for cancellation due to the pandemic are valid. For example, wanting to cancel a trip you booked a while ago because your destination now has rising COVID-19 numbers and you’re afraid to travel is not likely a valid reason.

When you are making plans for a fairly expensive travel plans like a safari, it is generally going to be part of a tour or vacation package that requires down payments in form of deposits. Should something happen, to the effect you are not able to make the safari trip, you need some form of protection for your money. This is why it’s important to have trip cancellation insurance. This benefit can help you recoup your pre-paid, non-refundable trip expenses such as flights, accommodations and tours, if you need to cancel for a covered reason.

Needless to say,  it is very important to read your policy closely to understand exactly what the “covered events” are that will qualify for a trip cancellation claim. For example, if you or a travel companion comes down with an unexpected sickness like strep throat, this is a commonly covered problem.

Medical Insurance for Safaris

Travel medical insurance plans offer specific, defined coverage needed by some while traveling abroad. These plans are only available to travelers who are leaving their home country and require medical insurance that will fill the gaps in their primary health insurance coverage while traveling internationally.

Travel medical insurance helps cover the cost of many emergency medical treatments during a trip. If you’re traveling and have an unexpected illness, medical condition or injury that’s covered by your travel medical insurance, you typically will be reimbursed up to the plan limits.

Generally, most domestic health insurance policies are not accepted abroad, so there is a benefit to purchasing travel medical insurance as a supplement to your health insurance coverage. The travel medical coverage is only valid while you’re traveling on safari. The travel medical insurance in a travel insurance policy can pay for medical bills when these types of emergencies happen. You will be covered for hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medication and surgical procedures.

Emergency Medical Evacuation Cover

For safaris, you find yourself in cities and towns mostly on the first day (day of arrival) or the last day, just before you leave heading back home.  Most of the safari takes places in the remote parts of the safari destinations.  The roads are usually rough, or in some cases simply impassable. 

Should a life-threating situation arise, the remote places do not, by and large, have medical facilities that are equipped well enough to deal with such.  This is the reason why taking up a policy that could kick in in the event that you need emergency medical evacuation by helicopter or air ambulance, to quickly get you to a medical facility that is good enough to save life. 

Without insurance, this life-saving transportation can cost upwards of $50,000, so it’s extremely important to select a plan that can offer coverage for emergency medical evacuation.  This coverage pays to transport you to the nearest adequate medical facility, or even back home if necessary.

Travel Delay Insurance

Travel Delay coverage can provide reimbursement for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, such as hotel accommodations, meals and transportation if you are delayed during your trip.

Once your trip has started, Travel Delay coverage kicks in as soon as you experience a qualifying delay and lasts until travel becomes possible again. When your trip is delayed, you are eligible to seek reimbursement up to the amount shown in your Schedule for reasonable, additional expenses incurred while you are delayed.

If your trip is delayed, then you may need to stay in a hotel, receive transportation to and from the airport and buy meals until you’re traveling again. These are some of the most common expenses Travel Delay coverage can reimburse, but it can also do so for phone calls, additional parking charges, unexpected child or elder care expenses and even extra pet kennel fees.

Trip Interruptions

A trip interruption occurs when a traveler must unexpectedly cut short his or her trip and return home. Additionally, interruption can cause you to stay at your destination longer than originally planned (not always a bad thing, right?) Trip interruption insurance can refund lost prepaid costs, minus any available refunds and up to the maximum benefit amount, and cover the cost of your extra accommodations and/or your trip home

The recommended coverage amount for travel medical and emergency evacuation coverage will depend on individual circumstances. Talk with your travel insurance agent or insurer about the right amount of coverage to get for your particular trip.

What About Baggage?

Something else to consider is coverage for your baggage. Arriving at your destination sans luggage can really put a damper on a vacation. Baggage loss and delay coverage can be included in a travel insurance policy.

According to Goldman with Friendly Planet Travel, common baggage claims are for replacement of needed clothing and personal items because of bags that never show up or are routed incorrectly.

“If your bag doesn’t make it to your safari lodge, you’ll need to visit the gift shop—every lodge has one—and pick up what you need to get through the trip until your luggage shows up,” Goldman says.

You could be traveling with binoculars, a camera and sunglasses. Travel insurance baggage protection can cover any lost, stolen or damaged items during transit or at any other point of your journey.

“Policies will typically have per-item and total maximum limit and may exclude things such as jewelry, glass, antiques and equipment you use for professional purposes,” notes Cheng.

If you do have to make a baggage insurance claim, Cheng says it’s important you know that depreciation is taken into account, which means that you’ll get a replacement, repair or reimbursement of the current value of your item—not necessarily the price of the original cost of the item at the time of purchase.

In general, you can find travel insurance policies with generous levels of coverage such as $500,000 per person for medical expenses and $1 million per person for emergency medical evacuation.
Don’t Forget Travel Delay and Trip Interruption Insurance

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