tips for purchasing travel insurance for Africa

No one expects an emergency abroad, but it is important to at least think about the “what ifs” regarding your health and safely while volunteering and travelling aboard. For travel to Uganda, and elsewhere in Africa, insurance covering these 4 broad areas may be helpful:

1. Medical: Tummy bugs and other small out-patient issues can often be taken care of quickly at an array of international clinics around Uganda (and Africa, in general). These are usually not more than $50 to sort out, and can be easily claimed back once you’re healthy. However, in case you need to be admitted to an international hospital, out-of-pocket expenses can add up quickly. Having appropriate medical travel insurance can help you to get the emergency treatment you need.

2. Evacuation: Should you be involved in a catastrophic event, like a natural disaster or major accident, you may need specialized treatment not available locally. In this case, having evacuation insurance can save you thousands of dollars in emergency air-lift expenses.

3. Gear: If you’re travelling light, you may want to give this one a pass. However, lost passports and stolen cameras and laptops can be replaced with this type of travel insurance. Also, airline baggage delays and losses do happen from time to time. If your gear is top quality, don’t leave it to an airline to reimburse you fairly.

The Real Uganda offers 2 – 12 week locally-led communty-based volunteer programs.

4. Cancellation: Sometimes life gets in the way of your volunteer abroad or travel plans. You may have a family or personal emergency just before leaving home. Your travel buddy may drop out last minute. Cancellation insurance may allow you to claim back funds spent, in the event you can no longer travel. This kind of travel insurance may also cover cancellations including tour provider bankruptcy or airline delays leading to missed events.

RELATED: Check out our comprehensive East African packing guide!

Pro-tip: Before buying travel insurance, check out whether you have existing coverage through your health care insurer and credit card company. You may be eligible for hospital stays in certain countries. You may have access to cancellation insurance if you book your trip with your credit card.

Don’t forget to carefully and thoroughly read all the details of any travel insurance plan before you buy, to ensure it is the right policy for you. 

World Nomads provides travel insurance to many of our volunteers and other world travelers.

When you purchase travel insurance from any of the links found in this post, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). The Real Uganda uses these funds to provide scholarships to deserving but underprivileged Ugandan school students.

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