Safari Travel Insurance - 2021 Review
As you prepare for your trip to Africa, Safari Travel Insurance should be part of your planning process.
Travel insurance offers many different levels of coverage for a Safari Travel Insurance plan, so it pays to consider the right protection.
In this article, we discuss travel insurance sold by travel agencies, how much coverage you need in Africa, and how to shop for the lowest-priced Safari Travel Insurance.
Africa Safari – Planning Your Bucket List Trip
First and foremost, congratulations on taking the opportunity to explore Africa. It is a beautiful continent.
Also, Africa is truly vast in scale. Take a look at the image below.
Everything is bigger in Africa. The scale can be a little overwhelming, even to those of us who travel internationally frequently.
You can see that the USA, Europe, India, and China could all fit within its borders simultaneously.
At AARDY, some staff members have been lucky enough to live and travel through Southern, Eastern, and Northern Africa. Western Africa is still on our list of territories to explore. The vast majority of Safari adventures occur in Southeastern Africa.
As you plan your trip, remember the distances as you consider moving from country to country within Africa. How much time do you want to spend in transit between countries and Safari parks versus having an immersive experience in one or two?
Safari Travel Insurance – Is Travel Agency Insurance Good Enough?
Your travel agent will probably offer travel insurance when you book your Safari. If you have not already, carefully review their insurance coverage and compare it with plans available on the broader travel insurance marketplace.
Safari Travel Insurance sold by travel agents usually offers limited coverage with a high price tag. In particular, they recommend policies with totally inadequate coverage given your trip location.
If you want the best value for your money and peace of mind, investigate a little further. Every major travel insurer will insure your Safari, so you do not need a specific policy. As far as a travel insurer is concerned, Africa is just another continent.
Next, we dig into the details of Safari Travel Insurance coverages you find on all policies through AARDY.
Safari Travel Insurance – Trip Cancellation Protection
Travelers usually book their Safari months ahead of the departure date. Sometimes, we see safaris booked two years ahead of time. We don’t know how travelers have the patience to book that far ahead!
Regardless, ensure that you have robust Trip Cancellation protection embedded into any Safari Travel Insurance policy.
From time to time, people become sick or injured and cannot make the trip. Safari Travel Insurance should always include Trip Cancellation benefits.
If one of the insured travelers is medically unable to travel, then all travelers on the policy can cancel their Safari and receive a full refund of their covered costs.
Similarly, if a family member fell gravely ill or died, the policy provides the same Trip Cancellation protection and full refund.
Safari Travel Insurance – Trip Interruption Coverage
Sometimes, misery strikes during your trip. If a family member became critically ill or passed away during your Safari, you can curtail the journey and return home immediately.
Every safari travel insurance policy includes Trip Interruption protection.
This coverage reimburses you for the unused portion of the trip and the added cost to fly you home. No one wishes to think of these things, but you will have peace of mind from knowing you have that coverage if you need it.
Safari Travel Insurance – Emergency Medical Insurance
We don’t expect to get sick while overseas, but sometimes misfortune strikes.
Travelers become involved in accidents or injure themselves across the world every day.
Even though the majority of accidents are minor, traffic accidents can be severe and result in significant medical and evacuation expenses.
Contrary to popular belief, most Americans have no overseas health coverage whatsoever. Medicare does not protect US travelers, and even those Medicare supplement plans with overseas coverage are limited in their nature.
The CDC and US State Department are consistently advise that US travelers own comprehensive Travel Medical Insurance while overseas. Otherwise, you must pay the full cost of any Medical treatment as well as the high cost of a Medical Evacuation.
At Aardy, we recommend that international travelers buy at least $100,000 Emergency Travel Medical Insurance.
This recommendation holds for any Safari Travel Insurance coverage. You need sufficient financial protection to cover a severe illness or accident.
A $100,000 minimum is the lowest level of coverage that we are comfortable recommending. However, we have several policies that provide higher levels of Medical Insurance coverage.
Safari Travel Insurance – Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage
On your Safari, you will probably be hundreds of miles from high-quality healthcare. Although you can receive treatment for minor incidents locally, you will require a Medical Evacuation for anything significant.
Depending on the illness or injury, you might go to a local hospital for immediate treatment. After that, they will transport you to an international hospital in Southern Africa. Once stable, you can return to the United States.
Medical evacuations are complicated and incredibly expensive.
Due to the remote nature of Safari travel and difficulty reaching medical facilities, we recommend that you take at least $500,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage on the Safari Travel Insurance policy you buy.
Safari Travel Insurance – Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion
Any Travel Insurance policy you buy will exclude your recent medical conditions. Make yourself aware of any limitations and exclusions within a plan.
Any Safari Travel Insurance policy you buy will exclude coverage for new or recently changed medical conditions. Also, it excludes existing medical conditions if you recently received a new or changed medication.
So, what do we mean by ‘recent’?
Recent medical conditions refer to the number of days before enrolling in the Safari Travel Insurance policy.
The most generous travel insurance plans only exclude coverage for medical issues that are new or changed in the 60 days immediately before booking the policy. The policy covers unchanged medical issues older than this.
Some more restrictive policies use a 180-day ‘Look Back’ to exclude a medical condition. A longer Look Back is less generous toward the traveler. We recommend you check your records to be sure you have not had any medical visits in the 180-day window of exclusion.
Most people find that they do not have anything to worry about when they get travel insurance that only uses a 60-day ‘Look Back.’
Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver
However, some travelers have experienced recent medical conditions within the 60-day or 180-day ‘Look Back’ period that the policy excludes from coverage.
The solution is easy. Buy a plan that includes a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver.
A Medical Waiver allows the policy to cover the Pre-existing Medical Condition instead of excluding it. Many plans offer a Medical Waiver. You can qualify for the Waiver if you buy the Safari Travel Insurance within 14-21 days of your Initial Trip Deposit.
That means the Time Sensitive Period (14-21 days) clock starts the day you pay the very first dollar toward your Safari adventure.
In summary, if you want your Safari Travel Insurance to cover your Pre-existing Medical Condition for Trip Cancellation, Interruption, and Medical treatment, buy your policy within two weeks of your first payment.
Safari Travel Insurance – Medical Waiver – Family
Even if you have no medical issues, your family member could have a health emergency. If your family member becomes gravely ill or passes away, you may need to cancel your Safari and receive a refund.
If the family member already had a Pre-existing Condition when you bought the Safari Travel Insurance, then the policy would not pay a cancellation benefit. That would be a problem if you invested thousands in deposits.
You can solve this problem with a Pre-existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver. This Waiver protects not just you but also your family members if their medical condition causes you to cancel.
Remember, there is no additional cost to have a medical waiver activated. It happens automatically. Just purchase the insurance policy promptly after the trip deposit.
Medical Waiver – Insure the Full Trip Cost
Most Safari Travel Insurance plans will insist that you insure all non-refundable trip costs to activate the Medical Waiver.
If a Medical Waiver is essential, make sure you follow this requirement to guarantee coverage.
There are a few trip insurance policies that do not require full coverage to receive a Medical Waiver, but these are unusual.
Check with us at AARDY to discuss which plan works best for you if you need a Medical Waiver but do not want to cover the full Trip Cost. We will do our best to help you buy travel insurance that covers this situation.
Safari Travel Insurance – Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
You might spend years planning for a Safari and fully intend to make the trip unless an accident or illness prevents you from traveling.
But what if you want more cancellation flexibility? What if you think a wedding, autistic child, or real estate deal might interfere with your Safari travel plans? What if countries in Southeastern Africa face political or security uncertainty?
Then you need a Cancel for Any Reason Safari Travel Insurance policy.
Again, this is a Time Sensitive Benefit. You must purchase the policy within 14-21 days of your first trip deposit. Also, Cancel For Any Reason policies require that you insure the entire non-refundable trip costs for your Safari.
If you want to cancel your Safari using CFAR, use it anytime before 48 hours ahead of your planned departure. Then you will receive 75% of your trip costs back in cash.
Cancel for Any Reason is a benefit above and beyond your standard cancellation protection.
Of course, if you had to cancel your Safari due to injury or sickness, you could still claim a 100% refund since all covered cancellations reimburse the full Trip Cost.
But, if you have no covered reason to cancel, then Cancel for Any Reason Safari Travel Insurance provides ideal protection. Again, we can help guide you.
AARDY - Travel Insurance Marketplace
Our parting advice to you is the same we give to every traveler: take the time to compare your travel insurance options.
When shopping for Africa Safari Travel Insurance, look for a policy with at least $100,000 Medical Insurance, $500,000 Medical Evacuation, and a Pre-existing Condition Waiver.
At AARDY, we work with the leading travel insurance carriers in the US.
Nobody can beat our policy prices. We guarantee that you cannot find the same policy at a lower price. So, enjoy the peace of mind that you have value for money and reliable protection when you buy Safari Travel Insurance.