Travel insurance for South Africa

Average customer rating: 4.3/5
Written by Tiana Lee-Collins
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor
Last updated March 19, 2024

Do I need travel insurance for South Africa?

We recommend that every traveller consider travel insurance, regardless of their destination. South Africa can be a wonderous place where you can experience relaxing in style in Sun City or take a hair-raising guided tour through a safari. If all goes to plan, your trip could be the adventure of a lifetime; but what if it doesn’t?

Without travel insurance, you may find yourself potentially paying thousands of dollars out of pocket should something go wrong. If you’d like cover for accidents, illnesses, cancellations, delays or losses and damages you might encounter on your trip, travel insurance may be something you need.

This is why getting travel insurance for Africa is a crucial step of planning a holiday there. With the right policy, you could be covered for all those things and more, meaning you can fully focus on your trip knowing you’re financially protected against the unexpected.

Expert tips for choosing the right travel insurance for South Africa

Our Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, has compiled some top tips for when you’re searching for a travel insurance policy that suits your trip.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Decide what level of cover is needed

Different levels of cover may suit different trips and budgets. A comprehensive policy is the most inclusive, and may offer cover for medical treatment, cancellation fees, personal liability, theft and more. If you’re planning to drive, also consider any rental vehicle excess cover and additional add-ons you may need to get the best travel insurance for your trip.

Adjust your excess amount to suit your needs

Your excess is the amount you pay out-of-pocket towards a claim, so it’s always important to choose an amount you’re able to pay. However, you can choose to increase your excess in order to reduce your premium.

Declare any pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer

When applying for a travel insurance policy, it’s important to declare your pre-existing medical conditions. If it’s not an automatically covered condition, your insurer will need to decide whether they can offer you cover for the medical condition, which may cost an additional premium.

What should my travel insurance policy for South Africa include?

When on holiday, you want to live each day to the fullest. Whether you plan to kick back by the pool or strap on your hiking boots, you might want to include a few key things in your cover when journeying to South Africa, for your peace of mind.

Make sure you review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the policy wording before purchasing your cover to understand the ins and outs, as well as the Target Market Determination (TMD) to check your suitability for the policy.

Medical cover and 24/7 assistance

Travel delay and cancellation cover

Adventure cover

Exclusions in South Africa travel insurance

Storms river in South Africa

Of course, travel insurance won’t cover every possible thing that can happen on your trip, which is why it’s important that you read and fully understand all the inclusions and exclusions of your policy outlined in the PDS.

Here are a few standard exclusions that you might find on your policy:

  • Unattended luggage. If someone steals your luggage while it was unattended, your insurer might reject your claim.
  • Illegal or reckless activities. Your insurer may reject your claim if it results from an incident where you knowingly acted recklessly or illegally, or deliberately put yourself in danger. For example, you may not be covered if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident you’re claiming for.
  • Sickness due to being unvaccinated. If you didn’t get the proper vaccinations before you left Australia, you might not be able to claim for medical costs should you fall ill from a vaccine-preventable illness.
  • Extreme and winter sports. Unless offered by your insurer as an optional extra, you may not be covered for participation in extreme, winter and other adventure sports.
  • Third party compensation. If you’ve already been compensated for delays or cancellations by a third party (e.g. your airline or tour company), your insurer likely won’t pay you out again.

Is South Africa safe?

Like all countries, there’s always a chance something could go wrong. Here are a few things to be aware of on your trip and tips to stay safe:

1. Be aware and cautious when driving

2. Consider your health before you leave

3. Avoiding theft, robbery and scams

Meet our travel insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As the Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor believes in educating customers about the importance of travel insurance so that anyone can kick back and make the most of their time away from home. While no one wants a disrupted holiday, a suitable travel insurance policy can provide a financial safety net for yourself, your belongings and your trip in case things go wrong.

1 Smartraveller. South Africa. Last updated Dec 2023. Accessed Jan 2024.