Travel Insurance in US for Africa

Jan 21st, 2009, 11:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 102
Travel Insurance in US for Africa

I have to buy travel insurance for a two week trip to Africa that I am booking in September.

Does anyone have a recommendation of a reliable company?

KSC2003 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I almost always buy the Travelite plan from

Try looking also at for quotes from multiple companies and easy comparison of prices and coverage.
sdb2 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
Another travel insurance comparison website is
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 247
I have used for my last trip with success. I like comparing all of the policies and having them all in one place is great! I usually don't buy insurance, but it was required for my last Africa trip so I bought through a company I found on web site (whatever was cheapest with an "excellent" rating). I do like that they rate the different companies so if you don't recognize the name, you will know if they are having financial problems right now or not.

CarrieT is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 641
Insurance is a tricky thing.

Are you a North American resident?
Insurance purchased from American insurance companies only cover US and Canadian residents.

Where did you buy your safari?
Insurance purchased from American insurance companies only cover "approved" companies, usually only the ones with offices in the US and Canada in case of bankruptcy. Your medical coverage etc is still intact though.

These are important factors before anyone can advise you. I suggest that you buy your insurance from your travel agent. Assuming that you are a North American resident, the price is exactly the same as on and you have an advocate to help you buy the “right” insurance for your safari and to fill in the necessary forms should you have a claim. This can be a challenge.
safarimama is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,771
I have used TravelGuard for all my travels to Asia, Africa including Egypt, Australia etc. I always take out the Travel Protect policy they offer with an extra rider of the maximium medical coverage, then they are primary any your carrier is secondary (a lot easier) and emergency evacauation up to $100,000 that allows you to go to a major medical "Center of medical excellence". When I was in Egypt I would have requiested I be taken to Tel Aviv in a medically equiped jet after being attended to in Egypt if it was serious. Most of the insurers are about the same cost if it is the SAME COVERAGE. +/_10%. It is expensive but worth it. TravelGard paid me $3400 to get home due to cancelled flights for 2 days from Central America and it arrived in less than 2 weeks. Another claim for about $900 was paid promptly about 8-9 years ago.
StanKase is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 03:28 PM
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>Insurance purchased from American insurance companies only cover US and Canadian residents.

Incorrect. In general, they only cover those with a North American mailing address. Many ex-pats keep a US address and avail themselves of the coverage.

>Where did you buy your safari?
Insurance purchased from American insurance companies only cover "approved" companies,

I have never seen any such restriction nor process, and have seen people have claims approved when the problem lies with companies which are not "approved."
NoFlyZone is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,967
Access America maintains a list of approved suppliers that they cover for financial default. Other insurers may maintain a list of suppliers that they exclude from financial default coverage. In any case, this wouldn't affect your other coverage - trip cancellation, medical, etc.
Patty is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 04:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 323
On my last trip I used STA because of the positive comments and also the price.

You only really know how good insurance you have, if you need to use it.

Thankfully, we did not need it.

We also had Flying Doctors and MedJet.

Good luck.
dssxxxx is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
We used Travel Guard on our last trip and I did get ill. It was a virus and I could not keep anything down so I got dehydrated. We were in Namibia at a WS camp. They said we had to go back to Windhoek for care and they arranged a charter flight, a taxi to meet us and take us to the medi clinic and a place to stay in Windhoek.

We called TG. They would not authorize the payment for care until we saw a doctor -- but the catch was we needed to get to Windhoek to see a doctor. However, they did say if we kept our receipts they would reimburse us. They also called to check up on me the next day.

When we returned home there was a package waiting for us withe everything we needed to do to complete the claim for both medical and trip interruption. They were very quick with handling the claim. The only thing we haven't been reimbursed for was the airfare -- and that is because I can't prove I paid it -- it has not yet showed up on my credit card(2 months later) If it does, they will reimburse for it.

We paid for the trip in Rands and they used the current exchange rate when they paid us. However, a phone call with proof that we had paid it when the rand was 8 to 1 vs 10 to 1 and they sent an additional check. Also, even though we just missed one night we also missed an extra game drive. When that was explained they paid for that also. We were able to get something from our agent about the cost of the game drives if you paid separately for them.

We took the rider where they were primary insurance -- cost maybe $30 extra but well worth it as we did not have to go to our health insurance first and then go to them -- highly recommend looking into a company where you can have them as primary health insurance.
mpkp is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
One more thing -- we did not insure the whole cost of the trip. We insured about 2/3 of it. If you have a preexisting condition that has been treated recently, then insuring the whole trip is necessary. If not, you can purchase the amount of insurance you want and they will pay up to that amount. They do not say the trip cost $10,000 and you only insured $5,000 wo we will only pay half of the claim -- they would pay everything up to the $5,000 -- and in the case of trip interruption that cas covered up to 150% of what we purchased they would pay $7,500.

If there is a preexisting condition; then be careful to insure it when you make the first booking -- even if it is ff tickets. And realize that, to begin with, you only need to purchase what you have spent. You can increase it each time you pay more toward the trip.

I have a chronic form of leukemia but, because I have not been treated for it since 2004, it is not considered preexisting -- I am stable. Had I been treated in the past year, it would be preexisting and I would have needed to get the insurance within the grace period to be covered for anything related to it. Most grace periods are within 2 weeks of the first payment -- which includes the taxes paid for the ff ticket.
mpkp is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2009, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
FWIW, we do not get travel insurance. That is, insurance to cover lost luggage, flights, etc. But we do have medical insurance and medical evac insurance. Those are the real big expenses if needed. If I loose a suitcase, well, I've lost a suitcase. Insure what you can not afford to lose.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,619
If you have to cancel at the last minute, then the travel insurance will be important. By then, all payments have been made and are usually non-refundable. On a trip to Tanzania a couple of years ago, a lady in my group had an emergency appendectomy two weeks before we were supposed to leave. I was able to find a last minute replacement, so she only used her travel insurance for the plane ticket. Had I NOT found that replacement, They would have also refunded the cost of the safari.

As Tom says, insure what you can't afford to lose.
ShayTay is offline  
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