| Independent Travellers
Information & Advice:
to your visit to The Gambia it is strongly recommended you at least
take out a Single Journey Travel Insurance
Policy to cover you against risk of illness, injury, theft
or loss. It is possible to get medical cover only; however there is
usually little difference in the price for such policies covering
holiday insurance policy should cover flight delays and cancellations,
loss of luggage, documents, belongings, and money up to set limits,
emergency medical treatment and/or international medical evacuation.
If you are a frequent visitor to The Gambia or intend to visit various
countries throughout the year on holiday or business then you should
think about getting a comprehensive Worldwide
Annual Multi Trip Travel Insurance, as these policies often
attract a lower rate per trip, can work out cheaper if you are travelling
more than two or three times a year and sometimes offer holiday cancellation
cover. If you plan to take a trip with your family or a group you
may find that it is more cost effective to purchase group or family
An Expat Insurance Policy will
generally cover the duration of your stay and can be purchased from
several months to an annual basis. If you live in The Gambia throughout
most of the year then it might be a good idea to ensure that you get
your premiums paid by direct debit in case you are in the country
at the time your plan expires. It is important to get an International
Health Insurance policy from a reputable company with plans
customised for expatriates such as BUPA Global (UK), AXA PPP International
(UK), Clements Worldwide (US) and Cigna (US).
If you are coming to The Gambia on a long stay then consider the option
of Long Trip Travel Insurance
which can cover you anywhere from 3 months up to 18 months. This is
best for example if you are visiting family and friends, are on a
short work contract or on extended leave and don't often visit the
country. Some providers will offer the option of being able to go
back to your country of residence on a short visit, for example 2
weeks, and return to Banjul while still covered. Read the small print
before committing yourself.
• Before you apply for a new policy, however, you should see
whether in fact you are already covered. A few all-risk home indemnity
policies might indemnify you for loss of personal belongings while
abroad. Also a good number of private medical schemes include health
cover when overseas.
• Always read the small print when shopping around as one of
the most common reasons for a claim being rejected is when an provider
relies on a particularly onerous or restrictive term in the contract.
Some policies specifically exclude 'dangerous activities' such as
quad biking, motorcycling and even trekking.
• It is better to get a policy from a company that will directly
settle any costs you incur in The Gambia, especially medical, rather
than refund you after you pay your bills.
• It is highly advisable to buy travel insurance at the same
time as you book your holiday or flight. The reason is that if your
are forced, for example by illness, to cancel your trip you could
still be covered and as a result could save you lots of money.
• Finally you should also look for a plan that will indemnify
you for 'end supplier failure' - that is, if one of the companies
you are travelling with goes bankrupt, such as a hotel, tour operator
* The UK tour operator The Gambia Experience, in partnership with
Travel & General Insurance Services Limited (tagis), have negotiated
zero excess on their holiday insurance policy (except Personal Liability
which is at a set limit). NB that their plan does not cover any pre-existing
health conditions for people travelling to Banjul.
Most travel agencies specialising in independent voyages also offer
trip insurance, which is customised
to the requirements of the independent traveller and often at slightly
lower premiums than the market average.
If you are a student or on a university gap-year and your flight agent,
broker or credit card company cannot help you with a good explorer
or backpacker insurance, try a
student travel service. Make sure emergency flights home, loss of
belongings, medical treatment and medivac are covered.
Making A Claim:
In the event that you find yourself needing to make a claim, you should
keep all receipts for medications and medical treatment received while
in The Gambia, and should you be a victim of theft or are injured
in an accident, you must get an official report from the nearest local
police station to where the incident occurred.
It is better to reduce the likelihood of having to make a claim by
using your common sense and taking precautions with the things you
have some control over such as your
personal safety and belongings. Such measures include, but are
not limited to, using a hotel safety deposit box for your valuables
and documents, being aware of your immediate surroundings and being
conversant of good food and drink safety practice.