Student travel insurance

If you’re between the ages of 16 and 30; studying abroad; taking some time out to go travelling; or working abroad on a casual basis (for example as an au-pair); it is a very a good idea to purchase student travel insurance.  This is the time in your life, as a young adult to save hard and then go on an adventure, care free without any responsibilities. And you don't want your trip to be cut short because you’ve had to spend the rest of your hard earned cash on expensive medical bills. It’s best to buy suitable travel insurance and go away reassured, safe in the knowledge that if anything was to go wrong you could just pick up the phone to your insurer, and let them deal with the rest.

In This Guide:

What is covered in student travel insurance?

The first thing to note is that although labeled student travel insurance, you don’t have to necessarily be a student, most student insurance policies just cover the age bracket of 16-30. This insurance is specifically for young adults travelling on a budget.

When purchasing your insurance you’ll need to decide what kind of student travel insurance you need. As your premium (the amount your insurance will cost) will depend on the type of trip you have planned. It’s very important you explain to your chosen insurer what is on your itinerary. For example working abroad will possibly affect your quote, and some activities such as sky diving may be excluded from your policy.

Your policy will include:

Medical bills and related costs – If you need to pay for hospital treatment our travel insurance should cover you. Policies will most likely also include the cost of flying back to South Africa if you can’t get on your original flight. You may also receive cover for the cost of a flight for a family member to come out and visit you in hospital.

Lost, damaged or stolen baggage and possessions – If you misplace your baggage, you’re a victim of theft or one of your possessions gets damaged like a camera your travel insurance should cover you. However always remember to check your policy for any limits on what you can claim, for example your camera may be worth more than what your insurer is willing to pay out.

Holiday cancellation or curtailment – If you have to cut your trip short or cancel your trip altogether due to an emergency then your insurer will cover the cost of the holiday. This is why it’s always important to purchase your insurance as soon as you have booked your holiday.

Personal liability cover - Your insurer should cover you for any legal costs you may have to pay in the event of an incident that was your fault. For example the financial costs for damage you caused to another person or their property.

Travel tips and insurance

Compare - Before you purchase a policy it’s always a good idea to compare travel insurance policies. There are a variety of insurers and if you’re willing to do your homework you could find a more comprehensive policy, with more protections, for example insurance for particular gadgets. Plus the more you shop around the more likely you’ll find a good, cheap price, and as a young thrifty traveller this is exactly what you need.

Check your excess – the excess is the amount you have to pay out towards your claim, for example you may claim something that is worth 9700 rand and your excess towards that claim could be 2900 rand meaning the insurer pays 6800 rand. You pay for cheap student travel insurance but your excess could then be really high, making your claim useless and the insurance not worth having.

Annual cover – If you’re planning three or more trips in a year it will be more cost effective to get annual cover. This is not the right cover for a backpacker on a longer trip, only for trips that will be no longer then a month

Adventurous activities – Your travel insurance policy is unlikely to cover you for adventurous activities you may have planned for you trip. Something you may consider as not that adventurous like horse riding may be an activity excluded from your insurance so it’s best to always check the terms and conditions. You can always add a sports extension to your cover for an additional premium

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