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Travel insurance

Travel insurance

It is a condition of booking with Expert Africa that you have travel insurance before you leave on your trip. Specifically, all members of your party must be adequately insured for any medical emergency that could arise, including the potentially very high cost of an air evacuation back to your home country. Other benefits of travel insurance usually include cover for cancellation, curtailment and loss or theft of your belongings. Expert Africa does not sell travel insurance and we cannot recommend particular providers or policies. We do, however, have some experience in discussing these issues with our travellers and we hope the notes below are helpful.

When to take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance as soon as you book with us, just in case you have to cancel your trip for any reason. We have come across a few policies which must be taken out within a few weeks of your deposit payment for your trip.

Medical cover on travel insurance

Emergency medical cover is the most vital element of your travel insurance. If you suffer an injury, medical costs can start to stack up quickly, especially if an emergency medical evacuation is required.

Some policies offer very basic cover with low maximum limits: these should be avoided. In the case of a serious medical emergency in a remote location, you need to be confident that your insurance will cover all the costs for your evacuation and care.

It is hard to know how much cover you need. As a guide, the UK's independent consumer watchdog, Which?, recommends a minimum cover level of £5,000,000 for British travellers heading worldwide. They advise that in most cases this should be enough to cover emergency medical evacuation, any medical bills while in the country and medical repatriation to your home country, if required.

Always insure the full cost of your trip

Some insurance companies put a maximum cost limit on the value of trips which they will insure. In the UK, this is typically around £5,000 per person. Many will offer extensions to cover the full value of trips for additional premiums.

Always check the maximum cost of the trip covered by your policy: if you only insure a proportion of your trip, then any insurer is likely to refuse to pay out more than the equivalent proportion of any claim.

If you are resident in the UK and the maximum trip cost covered by your own insurance is lower than the cost of your whole trip, then you may wish to investigate the add-on insurance provided by companies like Top up my cancellation cover. Although we don’t have any direct experience of this company, we were made aware of it by an experienced insurance broker.

Finding the right travel insurance for you

Under regulations from the UK's Financial Services Authority, we are not allowed to make any specific policy recommendations for your insurance.

A vast array of providers and policies is available and the right policy for you will depend upon your circumstances. So we urge all of our travellers to take time to do their own research, so they can choose the best possible policy for their needs.

We note that many insurance companies around the world only offer travel cover for residents of their own country. So although we cannot recommend any policies, we make some suggestions below of companies to contact when starting your own research.

For travellers based in the UK

Which?, the independent UK charity that acts as a champion for consumers, regularly surveys the market and recommends a number of insurance companies. Below is a selection of their top-scoring travel insurance companies, as of April 2024.

For travellers based in North America

Below are a couple of insurance companies, based in North America, which have assisted our travellers in the past.
Another promising possibility is a policy from Travel Guard Plus, purchased through Safari Samaritan - who have set up a guidance page for Expert Africa's travellers. Their USD100,000 medical cover is less than we recommend to European-based travellers, but we're told that it's relatively high compared with the level of medical cover provided by most US insurers. At the time of writing, we believe that this policy includes adventure sports, but do check all the details for yourself. We're also told that travel to southern Africa from North America is regarded by US under-writers as relatively low-risk. Hence these premiums are lower than similar insurances which cover world-wide travel. Although we don't have personal experience of this policy, and we cannot endorse any insurance product, we believe that this policy is well worth investigating. If you have questions about this policy, then email

For travellers based anywhere

Squaremouth has its HQ in Florida, but offers policies to travellers from most countries – from over 20 insurance companies and nearly a hundred policies. Its site has tools to work out which companies and policies will suit which travellers.

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