Thank you for subscribing!
Got it! Thank you!

We're upgrading the Forums!

You can now add or change a profile photo. Simply click on your username above and upload an image. User blogs will be added back very soon.

advertisement

Forums » Health, Safety & Travel Insurance » Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

Pages:
Avatar
alice in travel land

Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by alice in travel land »

It's just sooooo pricey. I wasn't sure if I needed it, or just regular insurance. Does anyone know?

Avatar
Vacation Lover

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by Vacation Lover »

Yes, yes, yes!!!! If you got injured you could spend thousands getting to a hospital. Its the best investment you can make. I've used TravelGuard in the past and thought they were fine (though I can't say how good they actually are, since nothing went wwrong lol!)

 

In Response to Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?:[QUOTE]

It's just sooooo pricey. I wasn't sure if I needed it, or just regular insurance. Does anyone know?


Posted by Alice in Travel Land[/QUOTE]

 

Avatar
Caroline

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by Caroline »

I am in complete agreement with Travel Lover that health insurance is essential.   I would also add that if you are going to be in areas or circumstances where you might need evacuation and or transportation home (i.e., safari,etc.) then you'd be very wise to also purchase a good quality transportation insurance.   I have no affiliation with any insurance company but I will tell you that if you needed to be transported home, etc. it is very expensive.  I began purchasing it from Medjet Assist after someone I know had a friend in the hospital in South Africa for months after being attacked by a hippo. She was completely paralyzed from her waist down and needed medical transportation home too.   The point I'm making is that the health insurance will cover your medical bills (depending on what level you purchased) and many/most will cover transportation from the injury site to the nearest hospital but  the difference is that if you don't like that hospital or it's not up to your standards, then they don't usually pay beyond that.  Medjet Assist will transport you from the hospital to the hospital 'of your choice' which is very important to me.  So, while it's expensive, so are medical bills and transportation costs.   There are a number of companies that will do that, but after researching them carefully, we chose Medjet. 

Avatar
paweber

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by paweber »

Make sure the insurance includes repatriation of your remains in case the hippo attack results in a fatality. Freight cargo charges for your body home from somewhere in Africa isn't going to be cheap if your family wants you back instead of leaving you in Africa.

Also make sure you understand the exclusions for pre-existing conditions. For example if you are under treatment for an chronic disease and your condition worsens, you may not be covered. My son's doctor in Rome knew the ropes when it comes to travel insurance and was very careful to specify that his stomachache was an acute stomachache so we could get reimbursed his charges.

Which also reminds me - understand how the claim process works. Do you have to front the money for the hospital or physicians then apply for reimbursement later? What kind of documentation does the carrier want? The time to find out is before the trip, not when you are sitting in the emergency room in Gaborone.

Trivia: Setting aside the mosquito, most experts consider the hippopotamus the most dangerous animal in Africa. The previous poster's acquaintance is lucky to have survived an attack.

 

Avatar
Caroline

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by Caroline »

The reason the hippo is so dangerous is that most people misjudge how far he goes from water and how fast he can run.   The lady I mentioned in my prior post had gotten off the buggy to get a closer photo although that is something the guide almost always says you shouldn't do.  

Avatar
arion

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by arion »

When I was on safari in Kenya/Tanzania our guide NEVER allowed any of us to get out of the Jeep until we were back at the lodge or tent for exactly the reason described above in Caroline's post..  I am surprised any guide would allow a client to put herself in danger in hippo territory.

Avatar
Caroline

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by Caroline »

The story I heard about, arion, was that they stopped the buggy and as you said, the guides said no one should get out of it.   The guide may have gotten out to do tracking as some of our guides did when I was there, I don't know.  Ours  was gone quite a while tracking and we all got rather nervous about it.  There were about 8 of us.   He had taken the weapon with him and we felt vulnerable.  However, most of the guides there were very good and very protective.   

The lady decided she wanted a better 'photo shot' so she just got out.   I have a good friend who worked with her at home.   I tried to get as much info through my friend  as I could and keep up with it because it was so intereting to find out what happened.  The last I heard, she finally got back to the states but was still in the hospital and still paralized from the waist down.  It was a sad story, but people need to listen to the guides.  

Avatar
Joanna

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by Joanna »

Regarding buying insurance, some airfare consolidators provide post-departure travel insurance, including emergency evacuation, in the cost of their tickets.  I refer in particular to Airtreks with whom I have experience.  It doesn't include cancellation insurance which some people, although not I, want but is a good middle ground for peace of mind when on the road.  And it satisfies some modes of transportation, like ships, who require it.

http://www.airtreks.com/product/airtreks-insurance/

Avatar
tsmock

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by tsmock »

I just saw this question and I am not sure when you doing this trip so I am responding in hopes you have not departed. I will be very honest with you I am in the travel business and have been for many years.  I own a store front agency and IN NO WAY DO I HOPE TO GAIN ANYTHING BY TELLING YOU THIS INFORMATION OTHER TO FEEL BETTER THAT YOU ARE FULLY INFORMED ON THIS SUBJECT. 

Our agency has used Travelex insurance for over 12 years for all of our clients.  Only about 1% of our clients prefer the vendor insurance and that would be due to a "Cancel for any reason provision". 

I cannot stress to you enough, the need for travel insurance.  Just an FYI, that most travelers do not know, is 99.8% of  US health insurance carriers DO NOT COVER ANYTHING OUTSIDE THE US.  The only one that covers worldwide is Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal for gov't employees.  Most health insurance companies if you call the customer service # they will tell you they will because the agent on the other end of the phone does not work in claims. 

If you just refuse to purchase travel insurance at the very minimum purchase Medivac insurance.  As stated below Medivac from South Africa is alot more than you anticipated I am sure and I know that you dont want to get hit with that bill once you are home and well again. 

If you go to the Travelex insurance website, you will see that there are multiple ways to buy travel insurance and not spend a fortune but have coverage.  Travelex insurance is not based on age, so if you are over 55, not to worry it is the ONLY travel insurance that is only based on trip cost and how many days of travel if over 30. 

You can buy travel insurance to only cover you medically and for evac for the trip which is SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER than trip cancellation, interruption, medivac, and medical coverage for each passenger. 

For example a $5000.00 trip for two, Total cost of travel insurance with trip cancellation, interruption, medivac, and medical is an approx. total for two of $362 (if trip is less than 31 days) This coverage would give you per person $100,000 Medivac/Evacuation, $50,000 per person medical as well as many other coverages. 

I just had a family of 6 come back from a trip for 33 days to Paris and Lisbon and the departure airline lost their luggage for NINE DAYS.   We submitted our claim upon their return and Travelex paid 100% of their costs (over $4500.00) in necessaties and clothing they had to buy to survive.

PLEASE reconsider your decision to not carry coverage.  Most travel insurance companies also provide a 24/7 concierge with their policies as well.   

Safe travels and good luck to you.

Dawn

Concerned Travel Agent/Retired Surgical Nurse

According to MedjetAssist, transportation from Durban, South Africa, to Boston is typically around $125,000 and from Rochester, MN, to New York City might cost $16,000. 

 

In Response to Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?:[QUOTE]

It's just sooooo pricey. I wasn't sure if I needed it, or just regular insurance. Does anyone know?


Posted by Alice in Travel Land[/QUOTE]

 

Avatar
drobert360

RE: Is it a good idea to get evacuation insurance for an African safari?

by drobert360 »

Medjet is a good option for evacuation ... their evac takes you to the hospital OF YOUR CHOICE (not "medical transportation to the nearest adequate medical facility") ... this is the option your must have otherwise your family will have to commute to visit you (what if that hospital is in Europe). The Your Choice feature is not offered by all policies (sometimes it is an extra cost option). Like everything now days, read the fine print, the devil is in the detail.

Pages:
advertisement