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Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Travel Insurance

What is Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance provides financial protection for unexpected events that may affect your trip. Benefits may include coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical expenses and emergencies, travel delays, and luggage. Compare benefits and exclusions carefully so you will purchase the policy that you desire and need.

Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance

Covers emergency medical treatment and emergency evacuation to a treatment facility and, sometimes, to your home for covered reasons. This coverage can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance. If you are not worried about pre-existing condition coverage, you can purchase this policy at any time before your departure. This insurance may include other benefits like lost luggage and missed connection coverage.

Trip Protection/Cancellation Insurance

Trip cancellation protection provides trip reimbursement for non-refundable trip payments and deposits if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason before your departure. Trip interruption protection can provide trip reimbursement for non-refundable trip payments and out-of-pocket expenses if your trip is interrupted after you leave home. It also usually includes emergency medical and evacuation coverage, and some policies may include non-emergency medical benefits.

Insuring Valuables

We are concerned about, but not responsible for, the safety of your valuables. Generally speaking, while on a guided tour, it is safe to leave equipment in the vehicle under the care of the driver, but we do not guarantee the safety of your valuables. You should keep items of significant value with you or in hotel room safes. Some items may be covered by travel insurance, but check your policy carefully for limitations and restrictions. If you have expensive camera equipment, you may consider purchasing an additional insurance policy. It is best to leave expensive, un-needed articles, such as jewelry, at home.

What are travel insurance limitations?

Whatever insurance you purchase, be sure to carefully check the up-to-date terms and limitations of your coverage, especially those for:

  • Pre-existing conditions. Important note: Before you purchase a policy, carefully read about pre-existing condition coverage. Some policies require you to buy insurance close to making your reservation deposit to cover pre-existing conditions, so you may want to buy insurance when you make your initial payment to maximize your coverage.
  • Trip cancellation reimbursement rules.
  • Valuables such as cameras, cash, jewelry, and computers.
  • Exclusion of coverage in the event that a disease outbreak, such as a flu, is classified as pandemic.

What are your travel insurance requirements?

Refer to your trip itinerary and insurance form to find out what insurance is optional, included (AMREF Flying Doctors for some of our East Africa safaris), or not included but required for you to purchase.

We do not include insurance for most of our trips. Many providers offer travel insurance, so do your own research to determine which company is most suitable for your needs. In the event of your medical evacuation while on safari, you are personally responsible for any costs associated with your evacuation, whether you are insured or not.

Optional Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance

For our tours where insurance is not required, we still encourage you to purchase a policy because we travel to remote destinations. Emergency evacuation and medical care can be very costly and difficult to coordinate in international locations.

Required Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance

For some of our most remote expeditions, we require you to purchase emergency medical and evacuation insurance coverage of at least $50,000 for most tours and $500,000 for our Antarctic and Arctic expeditions. Sometimes this insurance is required by the country you will travel in or the regional outfitter that we use.

Trip Protection/Cancellation Insurance

We do not require trip cancellation insurance for any of our tours, but consider purchasing this coverage if you think you have any chance of cancelling your trip close to your departure date, because we cannot offer refunds after the date specified in your itinerary, regardless of whether you purchase insurance or not.

What are good questions to ask about a travel insurance policy?

  1. What is the maximum trip cost limit? Is it enough for my trip?
  2. Is emergency medical/dental and evacuation covered with no deductible?
  3. Is the amount of emergency medical/dental and evacuation coverage enough for my trip?
  4. Is trip cancellation and interruption included? What are the covered reasons to cancel or interrupt my trip?
  5. Does my credit card insurance extend to my traveling companions? For instance, can children be included at no additional cost when traveling with an insured adult?
  6. If I become injured or ill while traveling, can I be transported to the nearest hospital of my choice?
  7. Are pre-existing medical conditions covered?
  8. If my trip is delayed, can extra expenses like hotel stays, meals and taxi fares be reimbursed?
  9. If my luggage is lost or stolen, can I be reimbursed?
  10. What if my luggage doesn’t arrive when I do? Can I be reimbursed for essential personal items to help me enjoy my trip?

Do you recommend any travel insurance providers?

Travelex

For your convenience, we offer travel protection plans, with a variety of benefits and optional upgrades, through Travelex Insurance Services (Travelex is not available to those living outside the USA). For more information on the available plans including Emergency Medical Evacuation/Emergency Medical only benefits, or to enroll, click on the link above or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 05-0911.

Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 15 days (Travel Basic) or 21 days (Travel Select) for the full trip cost from the time you make your initial trip deposit. However, the plan can be purchased any time prior to departure.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 BSW

Should you prefer to only have coverage for Emergency Medical Evacuation/Emergency Medical benefits you may select $1 for your Trip Cost which will provide benefits as outlined in the policy. Pre-existing medical condition exclusion would apply.

Wanderwell

For your convenience, we offer Travel Medical-only coverage and Trip Protection (includes trip interruption, cancellation, delays, lost luggage, and travel medical) insurance through Wanderwell (Coverage through Wanderwell is not available to those living outside the US). Each type of coverage includes emergency medical evacuation benefits, and if you purchase a policy, a portion of your purchase will go to NatureServe – a nonprofit member of 1% For the Planet. Please Note: To be eligible for the pre-existing medical condition exclusion waiver, the trip protection plan must be purchased within 14 days (TripProtector Classic) or 21 days (TripProtector Preferred) for the full trip cost from the day you make your initial trip payment of any kind. However, the plan can be purchased any time prior to the day before your departure from home.

Flying Doctors

Part of the African Medical and Research Foundation, AMREF Flying Doctors provides air evacuation services in medical emergencies across East Africa, as well as air ambulance transfers between medical facilities. This insurance will only cover extreme emergencies and does NOT cover the cost of hospitalization or medical care. The Maisha Tourist Plan for an individual tourist costs about $20 to $130 depending on countries covered. If you do not use your subscription for an evacuation, your contribution goes to evacuate somebody who urgently needs medical attention who cannot afford it.

Squaremouth

Compare different travel insurance at Squaremouth, which sells insurance for travelers from the United Kingdom and other countries around the world. Their website also has lots of information on travel insurance.

What about dive insurance?

Some of our safaris that involve snorkeling or diving require you to purchase dive insurance. While in underwater submersible and surface cages, you usually use a hookah breathing system; most insurance companies consider this a diving activity, which is not usually covered by regular emergency medical and evacuation insurance policies. Dive insurance can help cover you for possible injuries that may occur in the water.

Consult your regular travel insurance company to see if they have policies that cover in-water activities, but here are a few insurers:

  • DiveAssure – offers annual and short-term dive and travel insurance to residents worldwide, but does not cover anyone over the age of 75.
  • DAN – offers annual dive insurance, plus annual and short-term travel insurance to US and Canada residents, and covers anyone over the age of 75.
  • Travelex – offers an optional Adventure Sports Coverage upgrade that can be added to their Travel Select Insurance plan. The upgrade will help to cover diving activities, but only for US residents.