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Travel Insurance questions and using a South African agent

Travel Insurance questions and using a South African agent

Nov 19th, 2007, 03:08 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 313
Travel Insurance questions and using a South African agent

Can anyone recommend a US based insurance agency to get travel insurance?

My work travel agent says that he cannot sell a policy (nor can others in the US) unless I purchase a part of the trip from him. He also noted that I would not be covered by US travel restitution laws if I book through an agent in South Africa and that the exchange rates may be vastly different than what is posted. This was leading me to think a US based insurance policy was best.

Do I have cause to be concerned? As of now, the same itinerary is significantly less expensive with the SA agent due to their volume discounts on the safari piece, which I think seems reasonable - but I do not want to be surprised when charged either if the exchange rate is going to be that different than a typical rate.

If anyone has info to share, I would really appreciate it.

kak113 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 03:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,000
I booked my trip with southern Destinations in Cape Town. I live in the US. I bought Travel Guard insurance through www.insuremytrip.com.

I will add that I had to send the total amount to the agency before our arrival. This was payable in Rand and (for the Botswana part of the trip) in dollars.

If things go wrong, or something gets messed up, it is easier to have the agent nearby and in the same time zone. Or at least that was my thinking.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 05:44 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
As poster above, many use www.insuremytrip.com for their Comprehensive Trip Cancellation & Interruption policy. This also includes: flight/baggage delay, baggage loss (though your home/apt insurance should cover this); medical/dental, medical evacuation.

You can also purchase Medical & Evacuation only.

Some posters prefer something a bit less expensive, so use STA for their trip insurance and a separate policy from Medjet who will evacuate you to your home hospital. Other policies claim to evacuate you to best suitable hospital closest to home, but may not be your preferred medical facility. Medjet can be purchased direct or thru the insuremytrip site above.

In reviewing option from STA vs those policies available from insuremytrip, found the benefits were higher with the latter.

I've never had to put in a claim, so can't comment on whether any one over another would be better.

Whichever you choose, read all drop-down menus for exclusions, especially pre-existing medical conditions, etc. etc.

As to payment to your SA agent, if in Rand, there's always the possibility that what you agree to in USD and the current exchange rate on the day it hits, you'll pay more (or less... unlikely, with the USD in the cellar).
sandi is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 08:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
I think your work travel agent is misinformed about the value of the rand. It's value doesn't bounce around wildly, and no reputable company will give you an exchange rate "vastly different" from what you see posted at banks. It sounds to me like he doesn't have much experience with South Africa.
Celia is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 08:08 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
I bought insurance through insuremytrip.com and bought CSA based out of San Diego, CA. Don't use them. i had a horrible issue with them over baggage delay.

Good luck.
heasereb is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 10:16 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Can you share the details? How long were the bags delayed and did the airline offer you any compensation?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2008, 12:44 PM
  #7  
 
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ekscrunchy,
More details in this thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35079018

We had a 1 day baggage delay this past trip and had it been any longer, we would've had to figure out to get the bags delivered to us far from the airport. I was going to offer to pay my TO to have someone drive it out instead of relying on Kenya Airways to do anything about it. I know insurance wouldn't have covered it and I just look at it as sometimes sh*t happens and there's no one to reimburse you for it. Luckily, the bags caught up with us while we were still near the airport so we didn't end up having this extra expense.
Patty is online now  
Mar 6th, 2008, 12:37 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 193
You can happily book with an agent in South Africa and stillg et travel insurance,www.tic.co.za will cover you with insurance and they are very good with claims.
Doogle is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 09:57 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 75
Sorry it has taken me months to respond but here's what happened.
I flew from LA to JBerg via NYC, then next day to Zambia. My bags missed the connection in NYC so arrived a day later in JBerg. I was in Zambia for two nights and my bags didn't arrive. the third day i left for botswana on a tour and that's when my bag arrived to the hotel in Zam. I used SA airways and they gave me a lost luggage number, which have the time didn't appear in their website. I arranged with the hotel for them to hire someone (the mgr's friend) to drive my bag from Zam to where we were lodging in Botswana. It was about 60 miles away. I paid the $200 (what else was I goign to do) and got a receipt from my tour guide. when i filed with CSA, they denied it without a valid reason. They said that the lost baggage is supposed to be for buying new things, not the cost of getting my things, but it doesn't state anywhere in their insurance policy. I fought twice and then filed a compliant with the CA dept. of Insurance. Voila, I got my $200 bucks bag. CSA never admitted guilt and they had no valid reason for denying my claim. I wouldn't trust them at all.

SAA website is crap for lost luggage. In order to get reimbursed, you have to have it really lost, but if they eventually deliver it to you, you have no way to get $$ back. People were havign problems with British Airways as well. Pack your carry on wisely. Good luck.
heasereb is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 11:49 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 182
As you can see, everyone has had different experiences with Travel Insurance. We use CSA and the one time we had to file a claim ($4000), it was paid promptly. We might not be so lucky next time but we're sticking with them until we have a reason not to.
jbella is offline  
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