Ultimate Guide to the Best Travel Insurance for Africa
You are looking for the best travel insurance for Africa? Congratulations – I never even thought about travel insurance for my first trip to Africa. That being said, maybe you’re just a lot more intelligent than I was back then.
It just sounds so boring, right? Travel insurance. I mean, what if you don’t even use it? Why not keep your money for the trip itself?
Well, I can safely say that the above line of thought is why most visitors find problems on their trip. Trust me, you need travel insurance for Africa.
Travel Insurance for Africa – You Need It
As you may know, I worked as a tour leader in Africa for many years. These trips lasted for ten weeks and travelled right the way through the continent. Most often, there would be no major injuries or incidents on the trip but they certainly did happen.
During this time, I have had guests suffer from a broken back, broken leg, broken ankle, malaria, bronchitis, heat stroke and so much more.
To be honest, this experience only impacted my thoughts on travel insurance for Africa because it was me who had to pick up the pieces. Simply put, I was often the guy making the phone calls. It was me who had to fax over doctor assessments. My guests relied on their tour leader to guide them through the process when things went wrong something you don’t get backpacking Kenya on your own.
Luckily, most of my guests had opted to buy travel insurance for Africa. When this was the case, life was an awful lot easier. However, I also had the unfortunate experience of witnessing people in all sorts of trouble.
The sight of medical bills pile up is a frightening one – especially when that person does not have any travel insurance. I won’t go into details but what I wanted to make clear is that not having travel insurance for Africa is just a plain awful decision. You need it. Please buy it. If not with one of the affiliate links, from somewhere else instead.
So yeah, it’s boring, and it’s a really crap way to see money disappear from your bank account but……..you need it!
Why You Should Always Travel with Insurance
Since taking out my own travel insurance for Africa, I have had to register a claim on three occasions. If I did not have this insurance, I would have been in a right spot of bother and the truth is, this is bound to happen everyone at some point. So where and how and who do you get it from? I want to explain this in the following post and give a brief outline of the best policy for travel in Africa and the best travel insurance companies in Africa.
Shortcut: The Best Travel Insurance for Africa
My Pick for the Best Africa Travel Insurance Company – World Nomads
My Pick for the Best Travel Insurance that Cover Dangerous Countries in Africa – First Allied
Why You Need Travel Insurance in Africa
You need travel insurance in any part of the world, not just Africa. Although I have experience working as a tour leader on the continent, I also worked as a travel agent for two years prior to that role.
Unfortunately, as a travel agent, you only hear about the losers. That is to say, although many of my customers have registered claims on their insurance, the clients who tend to call me for help are those who declined it in the first place. I won’t go into details but the outcome is never good.
Anyway, Africa is such a primitive part of the world and somewhere you can expect things to go wrong. The locals lighthearted response to this is that “This is Africa” which is really another way of saying “That’s life, my friend”. And this is all well and good when your meal is late but when you succumb to malaria and need an emergency evacuation….the situation is anything but lighthearted.
Anyway, unlike the locals, we have a plan for when things go wrong – travel insurance!
How to Compare Travel Insurance for Africa
Did I say that I also worked in an insurance company for two years? It’s true. I worked in one of Ireland’s biggest insurance companies as a claims handler for illness and accidental injuries. Take it from me, most insurance companies will do whatever they can to decline a claim.
For this reason, choosing cheap travel insurance for Africa should not be the goal. Instead, you should be looking for an insurance company that takes care of their customers when something does happen. In other words, a company that will stick to their promise and pay out when you need it.
Most often, an insurance policy is not really as good as the advertisement. They may cover a certain type of incident but then they also have many stipulations in the fine print that will stop you from getting any reimbursement. For example, if you want to claim for $500 worth of medical bills but the policy has a $300 excess, this means you will only receive a small portion of the money spent.
Coverage Limit – Make sure that the insurance company has a high limit of coverage for medical expenses. More than $1,000,000 minimum.
Emergency – The policy should have cover for emergency evacuation. Cheap travel insurance for Africa will unlikely provide this on their plan.
Repatriation – I hate this word (repatriation) but you should have a policy that covers your return trip home. This will be needed for serious illness or injury.
But remember, good travel insurance companies will not attempt to refuse claims. If you take time to choose the right one, you will have no issues.
The Best Africa Travel Insurance – What You Need to Be Included
Africa travel insurance is usually a priority for those who travel to the continent. Sometimes I feel that this is due to negative media attention and fear in general. Either way, people want it and companies provide it. However, whoever you go with, make sure that the policy has the following:
- Cover for every country you are visiting.
- Cover for portable items – stolen, lost or damaged luggage.
- Laptop or camera coverage (If you have either).
- 24 Hour customer support.
- $1,000,000 cover for medical bills.
- Repatriation Cover.
- Cancellation cover so that you can return home for a personal emergency (serious illness with family member).
Things to Consider Before Buy Africa Travel Insurance
Fine print: Most Africa travel insurance companies will place many exclusions in the fine print. You should either read this print or just make sure that the company will cover you enough for the trip.
Expensive equipment: Cheap travel insurance for Africa is unlikely to cover you properly for electronics and other expensive equipment. Again, ask the question and make sure that you know what is covered.
How to Claim on Your Travel Insurance for Africa
You may need to make a claim on your Africa travel insurance so carry your documents somewhere safe.
If you do need to make a claim, keep all receipts and documents. When something is stolen, you need a police report and most of all, be patient.
What is the Best Travel Insurance Company for Africa?
In my time working as a tour leader, there were two travel insurance companies who were head and shoulders above the rest. World Nomads was by far the best and then I also had a really good experience with First Allied.
In case you might be asking yourself, First Allied cover some of the more dangerous countries that World Nomad will not. That being said, I would choose the latter as the best travel insurance for Africa in a heartbeat.
Tip – Buy insurance for a year rather than for a single trip. It usually works out cheaper or better value at the least.
My Thoughts on World Nomads
Whenever a friend or family member asks me about travel insurance, I tell them World Nomads. Most of my passengers had this company on the tours which was great but my experience of dealing with the company was even better. They are professional, competent, agreeable and reasonably priced.
Most importantly, the cover is comprehensive and I fully trust this company to cover my travels around the world.
My Thoughts on First Allied
To be honest, I would only choose First Allied if there were problems getting insured with the crowd above. Why? Well, some places are considered dangerous and First Allied seem to cover a lot of these places. That being said, I have also dealt with this company and know of my travellers who had no issues when it came to lodging a claim.
My Thoughts on Columbus Direct (Kiwi’s and Aussies)
I know little about them myself but I do know that many of the Australian or Kiwis on my trips went with Columbus Direct. I never had to contact or deal with this company myself but apparently, they are the best from that part of the world. At the same time, I found that most backpackers from either Australia or New Zealand still opted for World Nomads.
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Stay Safe and Have an Awesome Trip
That’s it guys, I hope this article went some way to guiding you toward the best travel insurance for Africa. Also, If you found this information helpful in anyway, it would be my absolute pleasure to accept a cup of coffee as encouragement to keep this blog going!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your insurance, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that I value the trust of my readers and will never endorse something I do not personally support. Namaste 😉