With the opening World Cup match just weeks away, travelling fans are being urged to invest in travel insurance before flying to South Africa.
Travel insurance is generally affordable with annual worldwide policies for adults costing as little as £35. Yet going abroad without travel insurance could have catastrophic financial consequences should you become ill, get injured or fall victim to crime while abroad.
Bills for medical treatment and being brought back to the UK, for example, could total tens of thousands of pounds depending on where you are in the world.
Street robbery and muggings are perceived as the biggest crime risks to tourists entering South Africa, so football fans are advised to take safety precautions (such as not ‘advertising’ valuable items to opportunist thieves) as well as ensure they are adequately insured in advance of travelling.
Travel insurance: when and what to buy
Travellers often don’t think about the need for insurance until the last minute – but you could miss out on vital protection by not buying your policy before you’re due to fly.
It makes sense to purchase travel insurance as soon as you have organised your holiday and check that it will cover you in case you need to cancel your tip due to sickness, bereavement or other unforeseen circumstances.
However, buying holiday cover from your travel agent could leave you out of pocket. A recent travel insurance investigation by Which? found that agents sell potentially unsuitable policies to customers, and offer very poor value for money in comparison with Which? Best Buy travel insurance deals.
Rochelle Turner, head of research for Which? Holiday, says: ‘The recent disruption to flights has demonstrated just how important it is to have adequate cover. If travel agents want to sell insurance, they must train their staff properly so customers can feel confident they’ve bought the right policy – otherwise, they should stop selling it altogether and leave it to the experts.’
Travel insurance tips
If you’re planning a trip this summer – whether to the World Cup or to a destination as far away from football as possible – it’s vital to buy a good quality travel insurance policy before you go.
The Which? Travel insurance review rates travel insurance policies on the level of cover they provide as well as how much they cost, so you can be sure of getting a good deal. For more information on why you need travel insurance, and what to look for in a policy, read the Travel insurance explained advice guide.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been affected by the Icelandic volcano or want to be sure of your rights in the event of another eruption, check out our Iceland volcano advice.
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