Travel Insurance - do's and donts

Just found out my company no longer covers me for travel insurance whilst on leave !! so I am looking for travel insurance

To make things complicated my likely travel this year is 4-6 trips to South Africa, one or two to Mozambique or Tanzania, one or two to Namibia , 2-3 to France, possibles to Italy, Spain and Morocco via a cruise and DRC via transit trip.

Any advice on who I should (or probably more important, not) deal with



PS didnt link properly - probably me - Thanks everyone


PS just realised that may have sounded ungrateful or churlish to others who responded and it wasnt meant to be . Thanks for all the advice everyone- it was much appreciated

Thanks very much - Thats the closest I have seen to a fit so far -much appreciated


Maybe try this provider. I have known the owner for about 10 years! :) they offer travel insurance for Aussies.

Ooops I should add that one of us is S African and we plan to use this policy to travel there and to Namibia later this year.

Hi Steve, We are french residents, (British and Belgian passport holders) currently working in Chad in central Africa. We searched long and hard for the right travel insurance and ended up with an annual policy from EuropAssistance in Paris. I think the policy was something called Pass Mission. It is quite comprehensive but like Roger we have not had to make a claim. I am assuming you reside in France? If we can help you further do't hesitate to contact us.

We need to be betetr than with the Kiwis!

David - Thanks but seems to be only available through tour companies plus I am an Aussie so their referred site wont sell to me - thanks anyway


Thank you all for the advice but I missed a bit I didnt realise was important.

I am actually an Australian but living and working in Africa with a house in Trebes that I dont get to often enough. So far all the sites I have tried will only sell to pommies. What is surprising is that for the same coverage if you are from the UK, the rate is almost 1/10th what I could get (if in fact I could get it) from Australia - I know we used to (emphasis used to) beat you up at cricket and rugby but this is cruel


PS hows the weather - I havent done a proper winter since Japan in1983 so look forward to a change at the end of the month when I get there


Before you buy expensive travel insurance:

1 For European travel make sure you have a CEAM card - free from CPAM or UK if you are a pensioner

2 Check with CPAM - they have a good leaflet explaining what you are covered for under the French health scheme whilst travelling abroad. France has bi-lateral agreements with quite a few countries.

3 When you eventually buy insurance to cover any gaps, make sure you can be repatriated to France - many companies will repatriate to the UK only.

4 Annual policies work out much cheaper than individual trip cover.

5 Your bank may well offer travel insurance - but check whether it covers you for things you DID NOT use your card to buy.

Hope this helps

Specialist travel insurers based at Lloyds, London. I have known Crispin the boss for over thirty years!

You're usually covered under your mutuelle, not your home insurance but check exclusions of course. One such exclusion is skiing for which it is best to purchase a Carte Neige to cover emergency transfer to the first medical institution.

As regards approval for treatment overseas, even emergency, this is normal - I worked for years as a tour rep and spent much of my time communicating with insurance companies.

I thought French residents were covered under their home insurance????

Unfortunately many people do not read the small print. Most insurance policies have a cooling off period which gives the insured time to read the terms and conditons, and the right to cancel with a full or reduced refund depending on the circumstances.

Wouldn't dream of suggesting where or where not to go but take a lesson from me. I went to the States a couple of years ago and my wife was suddenly taken ill and hospitalised. I had full insurance with a reputable French insurer for up to 2,000,000€ to cover all eventualities. When I claimed the 12,000$ for her treatment it was refused on the grounds that I hadn't got prior approval for the treatment. This was a 'clearly'? stated requirement in the middle of page 3 of four pages of very small print.

I use World Nomad's Travel Insurance, which you may want to check out ( - I even get a small discount now as a repeat customer.

Steve, I just got back from a road trip through West Africa, so my experience with travel insurance may be relevant...

I finally settled on a UK company called STAYSURE - "over 50's experts" - who do travel insurance for expats. Their rates are very competitive, but as I had no cause to make a claim, I can't say how good they would be if anything had gone wrong. I bought their annual cover, which includes emergency repatriation.

Before leaving, I had several email exchanges with them about cover in Mauritania. (Morocco, Senegal and Gambia were not a problem.) What it boils down to, with STAYSURE and any other insurance company, is that if the FCO advises against travel to a region/country then whatever your policy says, you are NOT covered there. I posed the scenario where I fell over in a shower in Nouakchott and broke an arm; the answer was that you have been told not to go there! Doesn't matter if you are blown up by Al Quaida or if you fell in the shower - you shouldn't be there!

As we were only going to be in Mauritania for about 24 hours, I took the risk.

Hope that helps!



We use Club Direct and get annual worldwide cover. We have had to claim once when my husband got stuck in Bangkok during the airport riots in 2008 and they paid out no problem. Not sure if there are any limits to trips but it would be worth contacting them