Make sure you're covered

14 May 2019

Make sure you're covered

Skiing – Europe

Did you know that TIC processes a large number of skiing and snowboarding claims every year? If you sustain an injury while participating in snow sports, it can bring your holiday to an abrupt end. Additionally, it can leave you with exorbitant medical costs, particularly if you travel to Europe, where the currency exchange rate is unfavourable for South Africans.  In a recent case, a male TIC client was involved in a skiing accident in Salbach, Austria. He was airlifted from the mountains by a rescue team and taken to hospital. He suffered head and spine injuries and concussion. He returned to South Africa with a medical escort and his claim came to a total of R306 000.

Malaria – Africa

Did you know that malaria is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide? It is a leading cause of death and disease in many developing countries. TIC provides unconditional cover to any insured clients who contract this deadly disease. In Africa, patients are often evacuated to South Africa for medical care if the local medical facility is unable to manage the patient or the patient is in a remote location. In a recent case, a male TIC client was diagnosed with malaria in Lusaka, Zambia. He was evacuated by air ambulance to South Africa and the cost of his claim came to R320 000.

Heart attack – USA

Did you know that TIC has the widest pre-existing cover and terms on the market? If you have a pre-existing condition, it is imperative that you consider a travel insurance product that includes this benefit, particularly if you are travelling to the USA where hospital costs are exorbitant, and can financially cripple you. In a recent case, a 69-year-old male TIC client suffered a heart attack and was admitted to hospital in New York, USA. The cost of his treatment came to R1 600 000.

Stonefish – Mauritius

Did you know that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) animal bites are a significant cause of illness and death worldwide? Numerous animal species have the potential to harm humans. In a recent case, a male TIC client was admitted to the ICU ward of a Mauritian hospital after being stung by a stonefish. The cost of his treatment came to R30 000.

Mountaineering – Nepal / ASIA

Did you know that if you are planning on participating in any adventurous pursuits such as mountaineering that it is possible to apply for a Sports Extension on your policy? In a recent case, a female TIC client travelled to Everest Base Camp in Nepal on a once in a lifetime trip. However, she suffered a High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE) at Lobuche, a village situated at 4 940m in Nepal. Her claim came to a total of R150 000. Fortunately she had taken out a TIC Comprehensive Policy with a Sports Extension for mountaineering.

Food allergy – Japan / ASIA

Did you know that you could be stranded for weeks in an overseas hospital as a result of an allergic reaction? A 41-year-old South African businessman travelled to Osaka, Japan for business purposes where he had an anaphylactic reaction to shell fish after having had a meal at a local restaurant and subsequently suffered a cardiac and respiratory arrest. He was in Japan for seven weeks before TIC’s assistance company organised a doctor and a sister from South Africa to go over to Japan to escort him back. The cost of his treatment came to R430 000.

Water sport accident – Mauritius

Did you know that TIC processes a fair number of claims for water sports accidents every year?  In a recent case file, a male TIC client injured himself in a water skiing accident in Mauritius.  He was admitted to the Clinique Du Nord, where he received treatment and was upgraded to Business class on his return flight home. The total claim amount came to R98 000.

Motor vehicle accident – USA

Did you know that medical expenses in the USA can cripple you financially? In a recent case, a 20-year-old male suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision in Stafford, Kansas. The car rolled over and he was ejected from it. He was airlifted from Stafford, Kansa to the Wesley Medical Center. His mother was flown to the USA from South Africa to give him support and he was repatriated via commercial airline to Durban and admitted to Life Entabeni Hospital. His claim came to R5 million.

TIC Case files summarised

Attacked in Nairobi – AFRICA / BUSINESS TRAVELLER

Tourists and business travellers often become victims of crime simply because they stand out from the locals and can be seen as easy targets. TIC has recently processed a gun-shot wound case which highlights the danger of travelling in Africa. Gary Rattray was violently mugged while walking through an industrial area in Nairobi. His medical and repatriation expenses have reached a total of R980 000. Before you travel abroad, TIC recommends that you keep up to date with official travel advisories and the news so that you are aware of the nature of the crime in the countries you intend to visit, and take due precautions.

Malaria – High risk for travellers – AFRICA / BUSINESS TRAVELLER

According to the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, 3.4 billion people (half the world’s population) live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories. In 2012, malaria caused an estimated 207 million clinical episodes, and 627,000 deaths. An estimated 91% of deaths in 2010 were in the African region. TIC provides unconditional cover to any insured clients who contract this deadly disease. The cost of treatment can rapidly escalate and TIC recently paid a claim to the value of R950 000 for a client suffering from the disease. TIC offers products that are specifically designed to cater for travellers into high risk areas, and patients are often evacuated to South Africa for medical care if the local medical facility is unable to manage the patient or the patient is in a remote location. Marius De Wit, a TIC client who contracted malaria in Lilongwe, Malawi, says: “Travel insurance is so important. Without it, you as the traveller take on board all the financial risk and one can never be sure of the medical costs in other countries.”

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – A life threatening illness for babies – AFRICA / LEISURE TRAVELLERS

When you travel abroad with your family, one of the most important things to take note of is the standard of the local medical facilities should a member of your family become ill. The following Evacuation and Repatriation Case File indicates how necessary it is to have a comprehensive travel insurance policy if you travel anywhere in Africa. TIC client, Mr Maclachlan*, who works for a large company in Lusaka, Zambia, is insured with a TIC Corporate policy. He lives in Lusaka with his family and when his six week old baby boy fell ill with the Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) after catching the virus from his older sibling, he was faced with an incredibly stressful situation. His baby was evacuated to South Africa and admitted to Sandton Medi-Clinic in the NICU ward. They diagnosed him with the RS virus, and he had respiratory failure amongst other complications. He was in hospital for three weeks. *Name has been changed.

Injured on duty – AFRICA / BUSINESS TRAVELLER

Business expansion into Africa is booming, and a number of South African companies are investing abroad, and sending employees to work in these countries. Providing employees with adequate travel insurance is vital as medical facilities and expertise can be inadequate in African countries. Johann Fourie, who works on a farming project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, injured his torso in a tractor accident and required TIC’s highly professional expertise to get him back on his feet again. He was treated in a Kinshasa hospital before being transported to South Africa for further medical care. “I would never work in a foreign country without travel insurance cover,” he says. “Even though the hospital in Kinshasa was not able to treat me, I still incurred costs in American Dollars just being admitted to the hospital. I would not have been able to pay that kind of money. I really felt cared for by TIC the whole time.”

Cerebral Bleed – R4,5 million – ASIA / BUSINESS TRAVELLERS

The unsettling thought that you may become gravely ill or even die in a foreign country is the last thing on most travellers’ minds when they travel abroad. However, as the following case reveals, illness can strike at any time and it is extremely important to have adequate travel insurance while travelling overseas in the event that the worst happens. Mrs Sithole* travelled to Guangzhou in China to attend a business conference. After collapsing unexpectedly at the conference, she was rushed to hospital and admitted to ICU with a cerebral bleed. TIC was contacted and managed the case of their critically ill client, who was diagnosed with an aneurism. Mrs Sithole was hospitalised for four and a half months in China, before being transported in an air ambulance to a care facility in Centurion where she died from multiple organ failure a month and a half later.

Terror attack in Tunisia – R1,4 million – TERRORISM EVENT – anywhere – something travellers talk about and are basing holiday destination risks on

Terror-related disruptions are profoundly affecting the tourism industry around the world. And as travel becomes more and more uncertain, travellers are becoming more aware of the importance of taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy when they travel abroad. A unique aspect of all of TIC’s products is that all our policies include War and Terrorism cover to the full limits, provided policyholders don’t wilfully expose themselves to danger. Cover for War and Terrorism is included under Emergency Medical Expenses to the full limits of the cover of the policy purchased. TIC also provides full cover for Medical and Accidental Death and Permanent Disability. TIC recently paid a large claim (total R1,4 million) when TIC client, Mrs Bezuidenhout*, who was on holiday in North Africa, was shot by terrorists. Her claim was paid in full and she was repatriated to South Africa with a medical escort. * Name has been changed.

High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE) – R150 000  ASIA

Every traveller needs comprehensive travel insurance, and if you are planning on participating in any adventurous pursuits while on holiday, it is vital that you check whether you need a Sports Extension on your policy. Mariska South travelled to Everest Base Camp in Nepal on a once in a lifetime trip, where she suffered a High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE) at Lobuche, a village situated at 4 940m in Nepal. Fortunately she had taken out a TIC Comprehensive Policy with a Sports Extension for mountaineering. She says, “Without the insurance my medical bills would have been nearly triple the cost of my entire trip or more!  You need your travel insurance. DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT. The best feeling in the world was to feel safe after such an incident and to get home safely.  The TIC team were brilliant and the assistance company held my ‘virtual hand’ every step of the way! Thank you!”

Snow Sports Accidents - EUROPE

TIC processes our fair share of skiing and snowboarding claims. TIC policyholder, Bernice, injured herself while skiing in Austria in March 2016. She says, “On the last day of our holiday I was skiing and on my second last run down, I became distracted for a moment by another skier doing a jump. I wasn't going fast at all but I fell.  I was in so much pain. Thankfully my husband was skiing behind me and stopped immediately to help me. A nearby ski instructor phoned the medics and I was taken to hospital.  I was told that I had fractured the fibula in my left leg, and my leg was put in a cast. I would most certainly recommend that travellers take out travel insurance when they go abroad.” Bernice was upgraded to a business class seat when she flew home and she says she is very happy with the service she received from TIC.