Travel Insurance for South Africa

Travelling to South Africa for a much-needed getaway? Compare your travel insurance options with Savvy.

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, updated on September 5th, 2023       

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Compare Travel Insurance Quotes in 30 Seconds

Whether you want to visit Kruger National Park to catch a glimpse of the local animals or go to the wine-producing region of Boland, it’s always important to have peace of mind when you’re travelling to South Africa. If you’re searching for the right travel insurance cover for your next international journey, Savvy can point you in the right direction.

By comparing with us, you can find a policy which offers you the right protection, whether your flights are delayed, your luggage goes missing or you fall ill while overseas. We provide instant quotes from our partners, so you can consider their pros and cons and compare the cost of each policy. Before you take off overseas, compare your travel insurance options with Savvy today.

Do I need travel insurance for a holiday to South Africa?

You don't necessarily ‘need' international travel insurance if you're taking a trip to South Africa. However, it's strongly recommended that you purchase a policy before you jet off on your international holiday, whether you want to visit the bustling mecca of Cape Town or relax on a white sandy beach at Sun City.

South Africa has man-made and natural marvels. However, there are still dangers for tourists and visitors to look out for, so it's paramount you compare with Savvy and get the best international travel insurance before leaving.

If you’re eager to experience all of what South Africa has to offer, some of the incidentals to watch for include:

  • Crime: South African crime is high and it’s most travellers' biggest security hazard, as foreigners in the past have been subject to violent attacks. In tourist locations, muggings, armed attacks and theft are common and carjackings, robberies and assaults can happen. Malls often have armed robberies. If faced by an armed person, do what they say and avoid any unexpected movements.
  • Petty crime: pickpocketing is quite likely to occur. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket and do not flaunt your wealth in the form of expensive gadgets like laptops or cameras, or any other obvious indicators of success.  Do not leave your luggage unattended at restaurants or bars by placing it under your chair or table or by draping it over the back of a chair.
  • Protests: demonstrations may happen at any time and any place in South Africa. The mood of any protest, no matter how peaceful it began, may quickly become violent. Additionally, they may cause problems for the flow of traffic and other forms of public transit. Keep away from any locations where there are protests or huge crowds.
  • Terrorism: a terrorist attack is possible, so maintaining constant vigilance is required. Lone wolves motivated by terrorist organisations pose a threat to public spaces, notably those frequented by international travellers. Schools, churches, and airports are just some of the potential government building targets.
  • Regional areas: refugees and immigrants from other African countries are the primary targets of xenophobic assaults, which are accompanied by rallies, looting, and outbreaks of violence. Such turmoil might happen anywhere in the nation at any time. Keep an eye on the news and listen for updates from the authorities; avoid huge gatherings and protests.

What’s covered by my travel insurance for my holiday to South Africa?

One of the reasons you need travel insurance is to protect you if you become ill or injured while travelling, lose your things, or suffer flight cancellations or delays. Most international travel insurance policies cover the following:

  1. Overseas medical bills: it’s a good idea to take out travel insurance in case you’re struck down with an illness or injure yourself and require medical attention while in South Africa. Private hospitals are of a reasonable standard in South Africa, though they may require you to make payment upfront.
  2. Evacuation or repatriation: you may need medical evacuation to Australia if you are in a critical condition due to illness or injury. Luckily, your insurer can pay for your evacuation and repatriation, including if you need to disembark a cruise ship, which may cost up to $100,000 without insurance.
  3. Cancellation: many travel insurance carriers may refund pre-paid deposits on hotels, flights, or excursions if you cancel your trip due to a covered occurrence. Illness, injury, or a sick or dying family member are among the valid reasons for cancelling a trip.
  4. Lost, stolen or damaged bags: most insurance providers will compensate or replace lost, stolen, or damaged baggage up to an agreed claim amount, which can reach up to $15,000.
  5. Individual items: taking a mobile phone or laptop on your overseas or domestic getaway? Many insurance plans offer sub-limits for lost, damaged, or stolen personal items.
  6. Travel delays: most travel insurance cover hotel, food, and other expenses if your flight is delayed longer than 24 hours. This includes delayed luggage owing to a delayed airliner. Most insurers have limits on how much you can claim if your travel arrangements are delayed.
  7. Personal liability: legal issues abroad may be costly. If you're held directly accountable for damage or injury, most companies may cover you up to $5 million.
  8. Accidental death: if you die overseas in a covered accident, your insurance company can repatriate your remains. They may pay up to $25,000 for funeral or cremation fees.
  9. Optional extras: planning to quad bike through the dunes on the Eastern Cape or sandboarding Silver Sands at Betty’s Bay? Most travel insurance plans don't cover these activities automatically, but they do offer supplementary coverage for an added premium.

However, most travel insurance companies won’t cover you for the following incidentals:

  1. Unapproved pre-existing medical conditions
  2. Lost personal items left unattended
  3. Breaking local laws and road rules
  4. Accidents caused by drug or alcohol use
  5. Travelling to a country against Australian government advice
  6. Medical tourism

What factors should I consider before buying travel insurance for a trip to South Africa?

It might be difficult to figure out which policy provides the most beneficial coverage for your next trip to South Africa. However, by comparing with Savvy, you may be able to make the experience of searching for the perfect policy a whole lot easier.

Premium cost

It is, of course, in your best interest to keep your insurance premium costs to a minimum. To avoid overpaying for your travel insurance, it is crucial to shop around and get the best possible policy at a price that works for you. If you’re over 65 and planning a trip to South Africa, you’ll likely be paying a higher premium based on your age, so it will be worth shopping around to find the best seniors' travel insurance policy.

The type of policy you need

Numerous options exist for travel insurance, whether you're looking for single-trip, annual or one-way cover, so it’s important to consider your travel requirements. For example, if you’re travelling to South Africa but also taking another holiday to Africa within the year, it might be good to find a multi-trip policy may be more suited to you than single-trip. Take a look at your itinerary, think about how often you’ll be flying and compare it with Savvy so you can get the best insurance for your trip.

What you’re doing in South Africa

Carefully consider which insurance company provides the greatest value and level of protection if you’re looking to partake in high-risk pursuits before signing up. If you’re planning to bungee jump off Bloukrans Bridge or skydive over Port Elizabeth, make sure you get a policy that covers you.

Claim limits

In most cases, the amount you may claim from your overseas travel insurance policy will be capped. Check if these limits are enough for your trip and the items you want to take with you by doing a side-by-side comparison of several brands with Savvy. For example, most comprehensive policies allow you to claim up to $7,500 if you lose your luggage or have it damaged while on holiday, compared to some other providers who only let you claim $3,000.

Inclusions and exclusions

When searching for the best international policy for your trip to South Africa, make sure you opt for a policy that best suits your needs. Before settling on one choice, do your homework and weigh what's included and what isn't. For example, a pre-existing condition you suffer from may not be automatically included under one policy, while it could be covered by a competitor.

Types of travel insurance

Why compare travel insurance with Savvy?

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Top tips for saving on your travel insurance to South Africa

Combine policies

You can get group policies from providers covering you and your partner, your extended family, and even your children or grandchildren. Most providers allow you to include up to 25 people under the same policies, which, if the costs are divided among the travellers, can save you money.

Consider increasing your excess

You can pay less for your travel insurance by increasing the excess you're willing to pay if you need to file a claim. A higher excess can help you save money in the long term, but it shouldn't be so high that it causes you financial hardship to pay it.

Only pay for what you need

There's no point paying for cover you're not going to use on your holiday. Before you purchase a travel insurance policy, read the PDS and make sure you aren’t paying extra for add-ons such as rental car hire or cruise coverage if you don't have any intentions of either hiring a car or sailing across international seas.

Compare your travel insurance options

Using Savvy to help you decide lets you easily see which provider gives you the best travel insurance coverage for the lowest price. You can compare policies side by side so you can weigh what's included, what's not included, the price of your premium, and any other essential factors.

Frequently asked questions about travel insurance for South Africa

Does travel insurance for South Africa cover me for COVID-19-related costs?

Yes – most travel insurance policies cover any COVID-19-related expenses, such as medical treatment while you’re in South Africa and the need to cancel your holiday if you test positive before you leave. However, cancellation due to COVID-19 isn’t usually available on basic policies. The risk of testing positive for COVID-19 is still quite high if you’re travelling to South Africa as of October 2022, so it’s best to wear a mask when possible if you’re worried about contracting the disease.

Can I take out travel insurance if I’m already in South Africa?

Yes – you can buy travel insurance if you’re already wheels up and headed to South Africa for your holiday through a broker or online. You won’t need much to take out travel insurance, only the details of your trip and some other important information. You’ll be afforded the exact coverage you would usually get if you purchased before departure. However, these policies have waiting periods of between 48 and 96 hours. This means that if you suffer a claimable incident inside this period, you won’t be able to make a claim.

When is the best time to buy travel insurance for South Africa?

Most people in the know will tell you the best time to purchase your travel insurance is when you know your travel dates. That allows you to be covered for the maximum amount of pre-paid bookings, such as those for hotels or tours if something unforeseen happens and you need to call off your holiday. There are also often sales on around holiday periods, such as Easter, Christmas and the End of the Financial Year, which means you could snap up a policy at a discount.

How do I make a claim on my travel insurance if I’m in South Africa?

When you do it online, claiming on your travel insurance is a pretty easy process. When you go to your insurance company's website, enter your policy number and the email address that goes with it. From there, you can do the following:

  • Fill out your claim form with plenty of detail
  • Attach any documents, such as receipts, medical evidence, or proof of purchase
  • Submit your claim

 
The majority of the time, you should hear back from your travel insurance company within about ten business days. It's best to quickly answer any requests for more information to avoid slowing down the process.

How much will my travel insurance to South Africa cost?

How much travel insurance costs for a trip to South Africa will be determined by a range of interchangeable variables, including:

  • Your age
  • The length of your trip and destinations
  • Whether you suffer any pre-existing conditions
  • If you need optional extras, such as adventure sports cover
  • The insurance company you’ve chosen
  • The level of cover you have purchased
  • What part of South Africa you’re travelling to (for example, you may not be able to receive cover if you’re travelling somewhere experiencing a terrorism event or outbreak of infectious disease)

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Disclaimer:
We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.