Probably one of the most important items on every traveller's must-have list is travel insurance. Sales and marketing manager Simmy Micheli of Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC), which is underwritten by Santam, says that accidental injuries, rather than illnesses, account for more than half of the value of claims it receives. Last year, for instance, the company had a R230,000-claim from a 43-year-old traveller who fell down stairs and suffered a concussion while visiting Zimbabwe, and a R650,000 claim from a 40-year-old who slipped at a pool in Mauritius. Further statistics show that about 15% of claims are from travellers who cancel their prepaid trips and, here, the most common cause is a medical emergency. One of the best benefits of a travel policy, Micheli says, is medical cover.

Seeking treatment for a fall or even a bout of the flu overseas can be costly. Something more serious could run into millions of rands — such as the R3-million claim from a 29-year-old travelle...

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