Is travel insurance necessary for local flights?

By Isabelle Coetzee

Although travel insurance is often included when you purchase flight tickets with your credit card, experts will still advise you to take out additional travel insurance for big trips.

However, is this necessary when you’re travelling locally? We have a look at what travel insurance entails and whether it’s worth getting for local trips.

Tip: Did you know that your medical aid may cover you for a period while you travel abroad?

What does travel insurance cover?  

Travel insurance is short-term cover that, in essence, protects you when you travel. Once you’ve made your travel arrangements, you can get in touch with a local insurer to set this up for you.

According to Simmy Micheli, manager of sales and marketing at Travel Insurance Consultants, travel insurance offers the following benefits:

  • If you need to cancel or curtail your holiday as a result of sudden illness or accident or death, you will be reimbursed for your loss.
  • Should you require medical transportation and evacuation to hospital, your travel insurance policy will cover you for this.  
  • Should you be hospitalised on a journey for at least 24 hours, your travel insurance may include a travel inconvenience benefit for each complete 24 hours you remain in hospital.
  • A car hire benefit can be included, which can go a long way in absorbing the cost of finding other forms of transportation, should your car break down while you are on holiday.
  • If you’re involved in an accident, you will be held liable by the car rental company for the excess, which can be very high. Along with the stress of dealing with such a traumatic event, you would have the added worry of financial loss looming over your head. Travel insurance can cover you for this eventuality.

“Local travel insurance will cover you for all of these events, as well as providing a host of other important benefits when you travel to a destination more than 200 kilometres from your home,” says Micheli.

READ MORE: Travel insurance through medical aid: Is it enough?

Travelling is always risky

Micheli says that travelling always involves risk, regardless of where you go.

“This applies equally to local trips and journeys abroad. This is why it’s important to consider the benefits of buying domestic travel insurance for local travel,” says Micheli.

A hospital plan may also cover your medical costs abroad if you’re in a tight situation.

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