What travel insurance do you need?

Wondering if you need travel insurance? What about local travel? I am travelling for business and leisure - which insurance product do I take?


2min read

Published 10 May 2023


Wondering if you need travel insurance? What about local travel? I am travelling for business and leisure - which insurance product do I take?

Travel insurance brings with it a whole host of questions and complexity. The Flight Centre team unpacked the different types of travel insurance, so you have a better idea of what insurance you’ll need. Insights provided by Flight Centre’s travel insurance provider, Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC).

It’s important to know which travel insurance category you fall under

I have free insurance cover on my credit card or with my medical aid - Free cover is limited. Ensure that you boost it with a comprehensive policy.

I’m applying for a fairly pricey visa – Did you know that you can get a visa denied cover? This is essential cover for South African passport holders should your visa be denied. Please note that your passport must be valid, you cannot have a criminal record, applications must be submitted in the prescribed time and all related documents, as specified, must be in order.

I’m aged 70 and over – Ensure about exclusions for cardiovascular diseases, cerebro vascular diseases and pre-existing illnesses for travellers aged 70 and over.

I have a pre-existing illness - If you have a pre-existing illness, make sure you inform your advisor and choose a product that contains pre-existing illness cover, which covers you for hospitalisation as a result of your pre-existing illness. For travellers up to the age of 69.

I’m travelling to a malaria area – check that your policy covers you for tropical diseases.

I will be doing manual labour on my travels - Manual labour related injuries are usually excluded from cover. If you are a business traveller and you plan to engage in manual labour, make sure you purchase a policy that will include cover for any injuries.

I’m travelling with my kids – With a TIC policy, your accompanying, dependent children up to age 21 are covered and will share in your limit of liability.


I’m going skiing – Leisure skiing is covered as long as the traveller isn't participating in a competition. But be sure to check upfront it’s covered in your chosen insurance product.

I’m renting a car in Europe or the States – Enquire about car rental excess waiver. This policy inclusion covers any specified excess that is payable in the event of a car-hire insurance claim. This could prove especially handy when you’re travelling on Rands in Europe or the States, and the exchange rate is a decided issue. Pay a bit extra upfront on your travel insurance policy and, in the case of a car accident or other vehicle-related claim, be assured that there’s no excess to pay upfront before your insurer coughs up for the damages.

Heard of the case when a honeymooning couple stopped to take in the view in a scenic part of the French Riviera, and a herd of cows caused damage to the hire car’s paintwork after just a few licks? Their excess for paintwork repair would have been exorbitant had they not had an excess waiver firmly in place!

Taking part in sports? You need sports inclusion – This is a policy for the young, fit and adventurous in which the sporting events you are keen on taking part in overseas are automatically covered. Relevant sporting activities include mountaineering, rugby, motorbike touring, professional sports and more – when you “Add Sport” to your cover options on application.

Here are TIC’s general different types of travel insurance:

The Leisure Standard product is geared towards travel to neighbouring states, where the Rand has a decent exchange rate. This policy offers cover for Cancellation and Curtailment, accidental death and disablement, travel delays, missed connections, luggage issues, and personal liability – but excludes cover for pre-existing medical conditions, which you can take as an add-on, if needed.

The Leisure Comprehensive offering, on the other hand, ensures travellers have the most comprehensive benefits in place – including hospitalisation for those pesky pre-existing conditions. Additionally, this product goes highly recommended for travel to first-world destinations where the Rand exchange rate is high.

What about if you’re a business traveller? Have a look at the tailor-made benefits under the TIC Business Administrative policy, here. Hot-shot add-ons include economy-class travel for a replacement employee to complete the assignment, should you be unable to; cover for damage/loss of trade samples; and full malaria cover – should your work assignment take you into a high-risk malaria area.

Local insurance - People may think that medical aid will cover them for local travel, however, there are other risks that you need to consider, i.e. lost luggage, liability, travel delays, journey curtailment, journey cancellation. Enquire about local insurance cover.


Important to note

Your Flight Centre Expert cannot offer advice as they are not an insurance broker. However, they will assist you by pointing you in the right direction, advising on the necessity of travel insurance, and putting you in touch with a TIC consultant to advise on the best policy for you. Your Travel Expert will be able to then purchase the right policy on your behalf.

Flight Centre

© Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd. Registration No. 1994/000253/07.

*Prices are in ZAR and subject to availability. Please refer to specific product’s terms and conditions.