Travel Insurance for Tanzania Safari

Jun 14th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11
Travel Insurance for Tanzania Safari

Hello -

I'm trying to determine how much travel insurance I need for my safari next year. I will definitely get the minimum (Emergency Assistance) insurance, but my tour operator recommended a more comprehensive plan for $373.00 a person. That one covers trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, baggage loss, baggage delay, medical or dental expense, and accidental death/dismemberment. Is it wise to get the comprehensive plan ... or does anyone know of insurance companies where I can just buy trip cancellation and medical insurance?

Thanks! Gerie
gerie is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Assuming you are in the U.S., I am not positive but I think you have to buy the whole package. Check or Just make sure whichever insurance you chose that the tour company is approved by the insurance supplier.
Louise is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Ditto Louise.
doohickey is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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You could personally contact the various travel insurance companies to ask if they can tailor a policy to your needs. I've used Travelguard and also Travelex, but have opted for the basic comprehensive travel policies.
girlpolo33 is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 04:49 PM
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Make sure that any plan you get includes medical evacuation. If anything happens while on safari, you want to be sure you will be transported to an appropriate medical facility. That can be very expensive if you don't have the proper insurance.
lilla is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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It would be even better to have evacuation insurance which would bring you home. It can reach almost $100,000.
Louise is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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Please correct me if I am mistaken but I think according to the Flying Doctors's website ( a $15-30 registration fee would cover the cost of a medical evacuation to Nairobi.
long2travel is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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Yes Flying Doctors covers evac to Nairobi. Some tour operators automatically include this.
Patty is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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A lot can happen in a year and very little is refundable. I'd get the comprehensive. If you have connections through Europe double check the volcano coverage.

If you buy insurance within two weeks of booking your trip, most companies on include "cancel for any reason". Again, the med/evac is the most important part. I try to get the max available. It doesn't add a lot of cost. FYI - Travel Guard is AIG.
christabir is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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I live in the U.S., but I insured our trip to Tanzania with Campbell Irvine in the U.K. at a cost of $524 (for two people - covering a trip cost of slightly under $20,000). The policy covered trip cancellation, medical repatriation, emergency dental, hospitalization, personal liability etc etc in very liberal amounts. It was much less expensive than any policy I found offered through a U.S. agent. We also have a Medjet annual family policy at a cost of $315 (for two people), which covers all of our travel for the entire year. MedJet will transport you HOME -- not to the nearest hospital, but home.
TC is offline  
Jul 15th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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You should insure whatever you can't afford to loose... especially if your trip is prepaid (air, land, hotels, tours, etc. etc.), so need cancellation, interruption. And, should have medical/dental and evacuation.

On the insuremytrip site you can buy individual medical/evacuation, but believe for cancellation/interruption would have to be a comprehensive policy. Bear in mind that your baggage/clothing are usually covered under your homeowners/apartment insurance, but what you pay for this in a comprehensive policy is neglible.

Flying Docs cover for a standard 2/week holiday is $15 for Kenya only and $25 for combo Kenya/Tanzania, thus the supplement that Medjet adds to their premium. Price should be a tad more expensive if including Zanzibar or the southern parks of Tanzania, as Flying Docs is based out of NBOs Wilson airport.

I never leave home without insurance regardless where traveling outside of the States. Anything can happen anywhere, to anyone.
sandi is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 07:27 PM
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You should insure what you can't afford to loose. But if you can afford the trip, then you will have spent that money and it is gone. Whether you go or not, the money is "lost". Buy insurance to cover possible loses that exceed what you can afford to loose. For instance a medi-evac back home can be $50,000. Can you afford to loose that much?? Or will it cost you your house?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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I’ve been investigating various insurance needs. While digging into the details (by speaking directly to claims processing people rather than the sales group), I have uncovered something interesting. One of the companies I spoke with said they have experience with direct pay using hospitals in Nairobi. That said, they also told me it is at the doctor or hospital’s discretion to file a claim against the insurance company. They may opt to demand payment directly from the patient. I went on to ask specific details about how to submit a foreign medical claim and they told me no problem…they have their own translators. I could submit the claim in any language (kiSwahili) and the will translate medical bills and convert currency conversion. As long as they can verify that the claim is legitimate, they will reimburse you. He also told me most insurance companies consider safaris to be at risk travel and would require a special sports rider on the policy.

I did some comparative price shopping and in speaking to the claims department of a competitive company, they told me that I would bear the expense of having all the bills translated into English or they would NOT reimburse. That kind of technical translation could run into some serious money if the medical services rendered were complex (meaning a trauma accident versus a minor tummy problem).

Be aware, that there could be some peculiar demands on the back-end of some medical insurance plans.

Lastly, I called American Express and spoke to their Global Services Department about how to go about having them wire large sums of cash upon demand in case of dire need. The whole process has been an eye-opener and I wanted to share my experience with you.
Khakif is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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Thanks, Khakif. Would you care to share the names of the companies involved and which one you thought was the best? These are not issues that will pop up while simply comparing the policies on "".
ShayTay is offline  
Aug 18th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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On our last trip to S Africa, we only got evac/med. No trip insurance because we were going in just a month. Little chance we'd not go. So you can do it - just put $0 in the part that asks how much of it you'd like to insure. We did the highest med/evac possible. A lot of coverage is included with your credit card issuer - bags lost, death, etc.
christabir is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 02:24 AM
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ShayTay, the company I purchased from is imglobalDOTcom (International Medical Group) and the product I bought was Green Travel Medical Insurance with a sports rider.

I'd rather not mention which companies had the peculiar back-end reimbursement demands, as these requirements could change over time. I just wanted buyers to beware and investigate fully.
Khakif is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 03:29 AM
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Khakif, I don't know how concerned I would be with translating medical bills from Kiswahili into English as the language of business in Kenya is English. I would think all documents would be in English anyway, especially as so many Doctors are internationally trained and English speakers. Interesting thought though, and one I hadn't considered.
twaffle is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 03:51 AM
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TC - re Campbell Irvine - I note on their website they say that their services are for UK residents only unless the insurers agree otherwise- did you deal with them via phone? Ultimately who is your insurer? The price is very good (having just paid over $1200 for a similar cost).
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Twaffle, agreed, Kenya hospital administration records may be in English, but that is not true of all foreign countries. The more important concern for me would be having an int'l. medical policy that expected ME to pay in cash BEFORE leaving the hospital/country. When it comes to serious trama, that could be a considerable amount of cash and a few logistical headaches (laws about foreign currency brought into the country, etc).
Khakif is offline  
Aug 19th, 2010, 05:20 AM
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We are using our Visa Platinum and all the emergency, etc, insurance seems to be included. Or am I dreaming? ( I've claimed back from them before for theft)
tinydancer is offline  

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