You’ve all heard the horror stories – a dream holiday interrupted by lost luggage, the romantic getaway gone wrong after spraining an ankle… DECO loves to travel but we know the drama that can often accompany it. Here is what we found out about travel insurance to ensure smooth sailing. 

FINLAND hotel-kakslauttanen-igloo-village4
The Northern Lights swirl above Saariselkä, Finland © Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Travel insurance is always necessary, especially if you’re travelling overseas. Be it for leisure or business purpose, we recommend taking travel insurance to all our clients.

– Russell Jarvis, Head of Communications at TravelStart



  1. Don’t leave it until the last minute
    Securing your travel insurance should be as important as getting your flights and visa
  2. Expiration dates and extension
    Make sure you know when the insurance period ends and if you can extend it if needed
  3. Travel agent advice
    Don’t settle for who your travel agent recommends, do your own research before making a decision
  4. Refunds
    Find out the refund policy if your trip is cancelled or shortened
  5. Payouts
    Go through all the fine print about how and when you will receive your payouts – this can sometimes take a very long time which is not ideal
  6. Cheaper is not always better
    Paying just a little bit extra often entitles you to much more cover, so research the options carefully
  7. Reference numbers
    Once you have bought your insurance keep the reference and contact details with you at all times during your travels
  8. Be prepared
    Make sure you know exactly what documents you need to lay a claim and have them with you when travelling. This may include medical records, cope of ID’s and flight itineraries
The Royal Chundu in Zambia is the ultimate luxury escape.


Even if a traveller feels it is unnecessary, it is often unavoidable because of visa application requirements. Nowadays there are so many options for every type of traveller. Based on reliability and price reasonability, here are some of the travel insurance companies that our readers recommended:

Head to Zanzibar to find tropical paradise.


We have the perfect selection of destinations that we have tried and tested, because life is all about exploring and discovering beautiful things that make you happy. Here are some links to our best DECO Travel features:


Fancy yourself a travel guru? Show us where you’ve been and give us your advice. Best place to eat, must-see attractions, we want to hear it all! Perhaps you can even take a #DECOSelfie and Tweet as @ELLE_Deco


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The official 2016 Trends Issue of ELLE Decoration South Africa is on shelves now, at your nearest magazine retailer. Enjoy DECO’s exclusive decor, design, lifestyle and fashion report for the year ahead. Everything from architecture to scents, this is your comprehensive guide to make informed and confident decisions. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco, sharing your #TrendIssue #DECO