Most medical aids will cover members travelling abroad. There are, however, limitations to this cover, and in these instances we find the true value – if not necessity – in purchasing travel insurance.
South African residents who would like to travel Europe on a Schengen visa may find that their medical aid cover is insufficient in meeting the Schengen visa criteria. In order to be granted this visa, the traveller has to have minimum medical aid coverage of EUR 30,000 (almost half a million rand) and the cover should not only be valid throughout the entire Schengen area (26 countries), but also extend to covering any expenses related to repatriation to South Africa for medical / health / emergency treatment, or death.
The benefits of your medical aid may also not cover the entire period (often limited to 90 days), or may not cover persons over the age of 70 at all, who are often deemed too high a risk. Seniors, then, would need to apply for additional senior cover.
Here is something else to think about:
With fluctuating exchange rates (not always in favour of the South African rand), the cost of medical care in some countries can be astronomical, and as tourists, we may not be entitled to the free healthcare offered by certain governments to their citizens.
What happens if we fall ill, or injure ourselves? What happens if we are assaulted, or find ourselves caught up in an act of terrorism? What happens when a natural disaster strikes? Or, at worst, what happens if we die? These are questions worth asking ourselves, to which travel insurance or vacation plans hold many of the answers.
People still want to travel – they just want a safety net.
People want freedom – they just want security.
Safety. Security. Peace of mind.
When we, as travellers, know what we’re buying and why we’re buying it, travel insurance becomes a product that pretty much sells itself.