Going For A Drive Over The Border

Travelling offers us amazing opportunities: for the business professional, it can help us launch our business to new levels; for those travelling for pleasure, it can be that break from life that recharges our batteries and energises our souls. But if things don’t go according to plan, it can mean the opposite.

Many of our clients enjoy overland touring and often leave the borders of South Africa, and whilst we often talk about these things, many of our clients only think about them when they need to claim. It’s a wonderful feeling to embark on a trip and have the peace of mind that if anything goes awry, you will have the financial support that you need.

At Olea South Africa, previously APIO, we believe that taking the cross out of cross-border travel insurance begins with knowing what is, and what isn’t, covered. When you leave South Africa, the scope of cover for your vehicles and insured goods changes.

It’s best to let us know prior to crossing the border from South Africa into any other territory. Then, apart from acquainting yourself with the road traffic rules and regulations in that country, we can assist with any necessary additional cover before entering. Generally, we will check the cover provided under multi-peril policies compared to specialist stand-alone policies, as cover under stand-alone policies may be wider.

Some insurers will only pay towing costs from the SA border to your premises or nearest repairer, with the costs to the border being for your own account. We advise our clients that if you visit a certain region regularly, you should source the name and contact details of suppliers who are efficient and quote market-related fees.

We also find it helpful to work through the following questions:

  • Do the territorial limits meet your needs, especially regarding transit of goods and motor vehicles?
  • Are you aware of the territorial limits under your policy and the cover provided, especially if all vehicles are not comprehensively insured?
  • To what extent does your emergency roadside assistance extend beyond South Africa?
  • Does your insurer have a branch or partner in the territory being visited, and are you up to speed with their claims reporting procedure, emergency road accident contact numbers, and their treatment of total loss claims (e.g., will the amount of the claim be reduced if the insurer has no branch/partner/salvage contract in the territory).
  • Are there any cover limitations or exclusions outside the SA borders on your policy?

In addition to this checklist, we always advise our clients to check:

  • Any current or planned riots and strikes (outside RSA and Namibia),
  • Towing of the vehicle to the closest repairer if not arranged by the Insurer,
  • Vehicle recovery costs,
  • Repatriation of vehicles to South Africa and that the cover limit is adequate,
  • Import Duty extensions

It’s a lot to think about, we know! That’s why we’re here to help you make the best decisions so that you can drive, and sleep, more peacefully.