Insurance companies report increase in claims of COVID-hit South Africans stuck abroad

Local travel insurance companies say they processing more claims from South Africans who are sick from COVID-19 in various foreign countries. Some are facing huge medical bills due to exclusions in their travel insurance policies.

The cost of hospitalisation or quarantine in a foreign country can easily run into a million rand. Travel insurance during COVID-19 is a must-have policy to avoid incurring excessive costs while travelling abroad.

Travellers are only covered for emergency medical expenses, quarantine, hospitalisation costs and even repatriation back to South Africa.

TLC is a division of Santam insurance. It says it is registering about two travel claims per week due to COVID-19.

Travel Insurance Consultants Manager, Simmy Micheli, says travel insurance covers your international medical costs when you are abroad.

“And our very first one happened in March last year, it was a 71-year-old travelling to Germany and his claim was R4million so, travel insurance covers your international medical costs when you are in a journey,” Micheli explains.

Most travel insurance does not cover mandatory testing and quarantine in a foreign country, which is often a requirement. This means travellers will be forced to dig deep into their pockets to pay for this expense. And travel insurance will not cover holidaymakers if they decide to cancel or postpone their trips due to COVID-19.

Micheli says: “Most travellers are not aware that the cancellation cover lists the events that you are covered for and any event not listed is not insured so cancelling as a result of COVID is not covered.”

Travellers are required to test for COVID-19 at their own costs within 72 days before their trip outside the country. And if the test is positive, they will be forced to postpone their travel arrangements as they are required to self-isolate.

Local insurance companies getting more COVID-related claims:

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Source: SABC News (