Cost of international medical care highlights need for travel insurance

awesome-money-wallpaper_090605350_192“Given the high international currency exchange rates, it is imperative to ensure that your clients are fully covered for any eventuality that may happen to them or their loved ones, while abroad,” says Turnberry CEO, Tony Singleton.

“People often incorrectly assume that basic travel insurance cover on their credit card or medical aid may be sufficient, but it is important to fully appreciate the high cost for private medical care internationally, especially where additional transportation such as helicopter assistance is required.”

Specialist travel insurance underwriter, Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC) has had a case where a client believed he was experiencing a bad bout of seasickness on a luxury cruise liner in Thailand. It ended up being an upper respiratory tract infection, which turned into pneumonia and ended in a 14-day stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a Bangkok hospital.

The total cost of the claim amounted to R333 751, which included transport for him and his wife back to Cape Town, accompanied by a doctor.

“Without the relevant cover and efficient service from TIC, the man’s condition could potentially have ended in fatal congestive heart failure,” comments Singleton.

“Travel insurance cover is a necessity given the exorbitant costs and the many possible incidents that may occur while on an adventure holiday or even a routine business trip. Analysing the various claims processed by TIC monthly, reveals that the cost of incidents claimed for could be financially crippling to most people if they were not adequately insured,” he stresses.

Turnberry offers TIC travel insurance as an added-value benefit for all its policyholders, whether clients have a gap or co-pay product, or funeral cover. The base travel cover offers R5 million worth of emergency medical insurance, which provides for end to end emergency assistance and includes the option to add top-up cover, such as baggage insurance, for members under the age of 69.